Are your kids into building and tinkering? Do they love constructing gadgets and things that really work? It’s so fun to build cool LEGO creations that do something. Young inventors will love these awesome LEGO ideas with gears.
In this post, I’m going to do something that I don’t usually do, but that many of you will be really excited about. I’m going to show you how to take one $29.99 LEGO set and build cool machines with it. There are even printable instructions at the bottom of this post.
New LEGO Gears!
I’m really excited about new gears that LEGO recently released. The gears work super well, and it’s fun to watch them turn. They’re easier for young kids to use than the Technic gears, and they don’t require as many specific LEGO elements in order for them to work.
This post started when I was strolling down the LEGO aisle at Walmart. Two of my kids were sick, and I was out shopping for tissues, Gatorade, and coloring books. I spotted this new LEGO Classic set, and decided that it was definitely worth a try! For $29.99, you get 500 LEGO bricks and elements, and you get instructions for building 7 different models with moving parts.
In this post, we’ll do a quick review of the LEGO Bricks and Functions set. Then we’ll show you how to build 5 more cool projects using these pieces. And then kids can design even more cool creations on their own!
This LEGO set is called LEGO Classic Bricks and Functions (Amazon link), and it’s set #11019.
Here it is on Lego.com if you prefer to order from there: LEGO Classic Bricks and Functions.
I was impressed with the assortment of bricks that you get in this set.
You get plenty of gears to work with! There are 12 of the small azure blue gears, and 19 gears total.
Here are the gears on Brick Link – they are categorized under round plates. The part number for the smaller gears is #35442, and they are called Plate, Round 2 x 2 with 6 Gear Teeth.
These gears are simply round plates that snap onto turntable bases. So easy! The plate gears do not have as much strength/torque as the Technic gears, and I’m not sure that you would be able to use them with the Technic motors. I’d have to test that out. But they are definitely better for beginners.
We built this little helicopter with the directions that came with the set. It’s so cool! When you push it along the table, the turning of the wheels causes the propeller to spin.
The set comes with instructions to build the helicopter pictured above, a worm that comes out of an apple, fishes that turn, a spinning dancer, a windmill, a bird that swings around a tree branch, and a cute little pipe organ with pipes that go up and down when you turn a handle. We really enjoyed building these projects!
What else can you build with the gears and bricks in this set? Lots of cool stuff!
For this post, we stuck to only the pieces that came in set 11019. I don’t do this very often… because as soon as I spend a bunch of time developing projects that come from a certain set, then LEGO discontinues the set. However, this set is SUPER COOL. And I know that many of my readers are teachers and library program coordinators. It will be so easy for you to get this set and then set out the instructions for your kids.
I’ll show the projects here, and then you can print these projects at the bottom of the post.
Awesome LEGO Ideas with Gears
Make 4 LEGO minifigures (not included in the set, but surely everyone has four?) spin on this fun merry-go-round ride!
We started by using a 2 x 2 plate to attach two other plates from the set. Then we added the plates to hold the gears.
The 2 x 2 white pieces are 2 x 2 tiles with a large hole. The 4 x 4 white plate is a turntable base.
Snap on the gears. Then add two 2 x 2 round bricks to make a handle to turn.
Then build the passenger ride. Grab four 1 x 8 dark gray plates and attach them as shown. Make seats for the passengers by attaching two 1 x 2 slopes to each of four 2 x 4 plates. Colors don’t matter! Find a 2 x 2 light gray round plate and a 2 x 2 lime green round tile.
Attach the seats as shown. Place the 2 x 2 light gray round plate under the center of the ride. Then place the 2 x 2 lime green round plate on top.
Attach the passenger ride to the center of the dark gray gear. Then you’re ready to play!
SPINNING EYES SILLY MONSTER
Build a crazy looking monster whose eyes spin in circles! There’s a handle on the back of the monster. Turn the handle to make the eyes spin.
Looking at this silly monster just makes us laugh! Kids can modify the head with other pieces from the set, if desired.
Here’s how I built the head. The pink 2 x 2 brick will hold one of the eyes. The other eye will be attached to an axle that will go through one of the holes in the lime green Technic brick.
Attach a 2 x 2 white plate with a hole in the center to the pink brick.
Attach the spiral eye (they’re not really eyes – we’re just using them like that!) to the gear. Then gather the pieces shown.
Attach the stud end of the dark tan axle to the underside of the azure blue gear. Slide on a yellow bush (1/2 length). Insert a light gray pin into the azure blue Technic liftarm.
Then insert the axle into the lime green Technic brick, in the center hole. Slide another yellow bush onto the axle. Attach the Technic connector to the gray pin.
Then slide the handle onto the axle. Your silly monster is ready to play with!
Make a caterpillar that crawls across a leaf! This one is my favorite.
Gather the pieces shown for building the leaf. The tiles are needed for the caterpillar to slide back and forth on.
Add the other 1 x 4 green tile on top of the 1 x 4 brown plate. Then add the 2 x 2 green plate and the 2 x 3 green wedge plate.
Place two 1 x 4 lime green Technic bricks on the edge of the leaf.
Add a 1 x 2 tan brick and two 1 x 2 brown Technic bricks. Then find the pieces shown.
Slide the 8-tooth gear onto the axle, and then slide the axle through the Technic brick. Add a red bush and then the wheel.
Then build the caterpillar as shown. The base of the caterpillar is a 1 x 6 lime green plate and a 1 x 2 yellow place. Place a white gear rack on top of the caterpillar.
Slide the caterpillar under the gear. Then turn the wheel to make the caterpillar crawl across the leaf!
This silly car has a propeller that turns when you push the wheels forward!
For the base of the car, I used a 6 x 8 tan plate that came with the set. Kids can design the front of the car however they want. The back of the car needs to have two 1 x 4 black Technic bricks. The 1 x 4 lime green Technic brick will function as a handle for pushing the car. Put two 1 x 2 Technic bricks at the front of the car to hold the front wheels.
I used white axle pins that came with the set to attach the back wheels. There is space on the axle pin for both the gear and the wheel. Attach the front wheels to the car using tan axle pins.
Slide a black bush and a wheel on the right back axle. Attach a 2 x 2 light gray round plate to the bottom of the gear. Attach a 2 x 2 black round tile with a hole to the top. Then slide this onto the left back axle.
Attach the left back wheel and snap the gear in place.
Then build a post for the propeller. I stacked two 2 x 2 lavender round bricks. Then I inserted a yellow axle. I added another 2 x 2 round brick and a 2 x 2 round plate at the top of the axle.
I used four 1 x 3 white plates for the propeller. Then I added some color by placing two 1 x 3 blue plates and two 1 x 2 green tiles on top.
My 12 year old son constructed this funny little driver for the car! We really like the hand pieces that came with the set.
We’ve built LEGO spinning tops before, but this set has some great pieces for building them!
We used the little “ice cream cone” piece as the bottom of the top, and it spins SO WELL!
The base of the top is a 4 x 4 red round plate, and then there are two 3 x 6 half round plates on top of that.
We stacked two 1 x 1 round bricks and a 1 x 1 cone to make the handle for spinning the top.
Attach the ice cream cone to the bottom of the top, and place the handle on top. That’s all there is to it!
Ready to Print the LEGO Instructions?
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Have fun building LEGO gadgets!
If you’re into LEGO STEM projects, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of our LEGO inventions book! It’s called Genius LEGO Inventions with Bricks You Already Have, and it’s perfect for tinkering kids. The projects in the book are a bit more complex than the ones in this post. I would recommend it for ages 8 to 14.
Lindsey Apr 3, 2022
Absolutely amazing! Thank you Sarah!
Ruth Quiring Apr 3, 2022
Have you ever designed any Transformers? My grandson has been infatuated with Transformers since he was 3 and is turning 8 soon. I’d love to get him more interested in Legos.
Sarah Apr 6, 2022
We actually DO have a Transformer in our Genius LEGO Inventions book! It's not one of the official characters, but it's a LEGO robot that can transform into a car.
Evelyn Webb Apr 3, 2022
Easter holidays about to begin and these are wonderful ideas for our 5 year old grandson. He is learning about movement and gears at school at the moment.
Dana Domenigoni Apr 3, 2022
This is great! I just got a bunch of Legos donated for our Makerspace in the making and I would love to get the printout for these and add to it for stations.
Vicki Whalley Apr 4, 2022
This is a fantastic idea. Means we can use the solely set, and not have to spend ages hunting around for any additional pieces we may not even have! Stress free and enjoyable for us all. Thank you!
Caroline Sep 7, 2022
We just checked your book on inventions out of the library. I'm wondering, since Lego doesn't sell M motors anymore, which current Lego motors and battery packs are best for working with your designs? Thank you so much for so many fun ideas!
Nate Nov 14, 2022
This is amazing! I'm a kid and I LOVE Lego stuff, and I'm good (really good) at mechanics and i like learning about this stuff, and this is the best! I love legos, they are really cool!
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