Lego, the plastic building block toy, has been a staple in childhood entertainment since 1949. Anyone who knows the joys of creating and building a Lego masterpiece also knows the downsides. While searching for that specific piece you need, you make a lot of noise, the pieces get scattered all over the place, and if you attempt to walk through a room where Lego is being played with, there is a high chance you will experience extreme pain from stepping on a piece (although a solution for that last issue has recently been discovered).
There is now a way of using your creative and building skills without creating a mess. Lego, in association with Google, has created a virtual Lego playground called ‘Build with Chrome’. This website allows you to digitally access the same Lego pieces you know and love and to develop your own creations online. You can start with online lessons or dive right into creating Lego versions of your favourite buildings and landscapes in Google Maps. Once your masterpiece has been built, they are published as part of an online community.
After browsing this virtual Lego world, I was fascinated by the imagination, time and talent required to create Lego clones of real life locations.
Here are some of my favourite buildings/landscapes I have found in the ‘Build with Chrome’ Universe.
- Parliament Buildings – https://www.buildwithchrome.com/build/SyWTjgAQA
- The White House – https://www.buildwithchrome.com/build/WONhWAAQA
- Air Canada Centre – https://www.buildwithchrome.com/build/UNA_O0AQA
- Hollywood Sign – https://www.buildwithchrome.com/build/ScMmeAAQA
- Big Ben – https://www.buildwithchrome.com/build/UewqOAAQA
- Leaning Tower of Pisa – https://www.buildwithchrome.com/build/X8glyAAQA
As a former (self-appointed) Lego expert, I figured the digital version of one of my favourite childhood pastimes would come naturally to me. I attempted to make a Lego version of Execulink’s head office in Woodstock. After 20 frustrating minutes – I gave up. It’s a lot harder than I remember. Placing and maneuvering the pieces takes some practice – I highly recommend starting with the provided training called Build Academy.
Luckily for me, my co-worker and fellow blogger, Candice, had the patience, imagination, and ingenuity to create an amazing replica of our company headquarters. Check it out online by visiting https://www.buildwithchrome.com/build/UedueiAQA.
Not only is this an extremely fun and challenging activity, it might be an interesting way to teach children world geography in a new and engaging way. I do have to warn you, as with many things on the Internet, there are some people who publish irrelevant designs that may be tasteless. I haven’t found anything too inappropriate, but it’s a big world out there.
I also must warn you that this is an extremely addictive program and could eat away at your weekend. If you have built any of your own (appropriate) creations, we would love to see them. Feel free to post a link or screen cap on our Facebook page.
Have Fun! And remember, even if your building doesn’t quite turn out the way you imagined – Everything is still Awesome!