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Kids of all ages love playing with Lego, and here's an easy idea to craft your very own Lego candy machines that we know they'll adore.
This fun project combines two things kids go mad for: sweets and Lego. Best of all it's easy to craft your very own Lego candy dispenser by following our step-by-step instructions.
Just remember to tidy away after so you don't step on any stray pieces – ouch!
It sure beats yet another Lego train, city or house that's for sure, and the kids will love the thrill of pulling the arm to release their sweets. As building craft goes this candy machine should take around 30 minutes to put together but there's a lot of fun to be had along the way. Younger kids will love working with you on this simple design but why not challenge older kids to come up with some fun ideas on how they could customise it? How about stacking two on top of each other for a double hit of sweet treats? Good news: the Lego store has now reopened if you need to top up your collection to build this one.
Before You Begin
As with all projects involving food and toys there are some considerations to make before you start. You may like to give your bricks a quick wash if your confectionery of choice is unwrapped. And also think about the size of each sweet – it needs to be able to fit down the ramp and through the door. The bigger the sweet the more ambitious your kids' project will need to be. On a separate note: why not impress Lego-mad kids with these top themed gags.
You Will Need
Variety of Lego bricks.
Lego base plate.
How To Make Your Lego Sweet Dispenser
Step one: Your base plate will be used for the bottom of your candy dispenser, so make sure to use one that's a good size – 12 X 12 is perfect for a small dispenser, but size up if you want a bigger one. Add rows of bricks along the outside edge of the base plate on the underneath side to give your Lego candy dispenser some extra height and make it more comfortable to use. One additional brick height should be plenty.
Step two: Using some flat Lego pieces you need to make a small slide for the candy to slip down. If you can't find the exact pieces shown in the picture below challenge your young engineers to create their own slide out of the pieces they already have. The red/black brick is used to prop up the slide when you fix it in place.
Step three: Position your ramp on your base plate as is shown in the picture, with two 2 X 2 pieces either side of it. You'll need those to attach your door.
Step four: Now make your door! You will need one Lego piece that can be used to hinge the door. If you don't have this get the kids to get their thinking hats on for how they can operate the door. Have a look below to see what you can use to build your door.
Step five: Position your door on to the ramp, like this:
Step six: Add bricks to your base plate to add another layer. You need to build up some areas around the door and ramp. Add two 2 X 6 pieces on either outside edge, with the door and ramp in the middle. Add 1 X 6 pieces over the same sized piece you used to attach the door. To join these, add two 2 X 6 pieces directly behind your ramp. Your build should look like this now:
Step seven: Bridge either side of the ramp using two 2 X 10 pieces and add a flat, smooth 2 X 2 piece (known as a tile, fact fans) between these bridges – one on each side. It's important these two squares have a smooth finish to enable the arm to slide easily and dispense your candy.
Step eight: On the left side of your two bridges add a 1 X 6 piece to act as a stop. Then top a 2 X 10 flat piece with a 2 X 4 flat piece on the end. Slot it between the two bridges and check you can pull it in and out easily.
Step nine: Use 2 X 6 and 2 X 3 pieces on your bridges and add a 1 X 6 piece which straddles your sliding arm. It should click on to the Lego either side but not on to the arm itself. Check you can slide your arm in and out smoothly before moving to the final step otherwise you may be disappointed with your final build.
Step ten: Once you're happy it works you can build up your sides. Add in window pieces if you want to be able to see the candy inside the dispenser. Remember the taller your sides the more sweets you can stash inside!
Step eleven: Tip your sweets into your new candy dispenser and find a large piece that will cover the top of it. Now you're ready to operate it.
How To Use
Getting to your treats is simple. You can gently pull the arm out which will release the sweets into the chamber below. Then push the door so that the hinge allows it to swing up and your sweets should spill out in front of you. Of course, creative kids don't need to follow our instructions – let them loose and see what wonderful ideas they come up with all on their own. You may not like to keep your sweets inside this project for more than a day or two – though we're sure the excitement of using this means they won't last much longer than the build itself.
Projects such as this give curious kids a brilliant insight into STEM activities and the chance to try out their own science, technology, engineering and maths skills. Young kids can reinforce number skills by searching for the right sized pieces and counting each bump (fact fans: these are referred to as studs) to make sure it will fit. Older kids can puzzle over the best way to build a functioning model and what happens if you change some of the pieces.
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