Lego Challenge Tuesday – Build a Bridge

This week’s Lego Challenge from Gather. Love. Grow. was so interesting to my kids that they worked on it most of the day! Today, they had to build a Lego bridge that was at least 10 inches long and then see how strong it was by putting books on top of it.

I let the boys test their bridges as much as they wanted so they went a little crazy with seeing whose bridge could hold the most books. Their initial bridges didn’t hold very many books, but since I let them try to make them better, their bridges ended up being able to hold many books!

One rule that bothered them a little bit was that there could be no supports in the middle of the bridge, so none of the Legos there could touch the ground. I was able to explain to them how our house (an A-frame) was built with a central beam that takes all the weight and distributes it to the supports on the end. They took that idea and worked on figuring out how to do that with their bridges.


Corran built his bridge with some interesting end plates as support. These actually worked quite well. We could see them bowing up during the weight test!


Matthias was probably the most elegant-looking of the bridges. Everything is symmetrical.


Honestly, Ian’s bridge didn’t look it would hold anything up. But he tied with Corran for the most weight held.


I took this pic during a previous weight test (unofficial) and you can see that the bridge is bowing in the middle! It didn’t collapse though, which surprised all of us. An interesting note about Ian’s bridge: it was able to hold up all these books, but if you took your hand and forced it down on the bridge, the bridge collapsed immediately. I called Ian’s bridge our glass cannon.

For the official weight test, we lined up all the books we would use by the wall, so that they would be ready to go.


We took video of the “official” weight tests. Corran went first.


We had to stop at this much weight because the pile of books toppled over, and Corran’s bridge still had not broken.

Thias’ bridge took a little more than half as much as weight as his brothers’ bridges.


Thias’ books toppled over too but the end of his bridge collapsed.

Ian’s bridge was difficult to balance books on, but somehow it still made it to about 67 pounds!



Since both Corran’s and Ian’s bridges never broke, we declared them both the winners. We did have Corran stand on his bridge and it immediately broke.

Thias did later add the small flat pieces to the ends of his bridge and he was able to stand on it. I think he was standing on the ends though, which were supported.

Thank you, Isabelle, for yet another interesting and fun Lego Challenge! We are looking forward to next week’s challenge!


Freezing Green Beans

This is not going to be a how too.  Those things exist all over the internet already.  I do not really have anything to bring to the table for instructions on freezing beans.  I found the instructions I used at Better Homes and Gardens, and they were easy to follow.

The basic instructions are:

  1. Trim the ends
  2. Cut the beans into bite sized pieces
  3. Blanch the green beans
  4. Prepare the beans for freezing
  5. Freeze the beans

I am posting to say that this is such an easy process that anybody with extra beans can preserve some for later in the year.  Our bean plants were going crazy, so I had to do something with the extra beans.  I was able to prepare and freeze enough beans to fill up a quart bag in about a half hour.  This process was probably one of the easiest and fastest preservation techniques I have ever done.  Now we have some beans ready for the winter when they do not grow well here.

The beans I am growing are not technically green beans, though the process was the same.  I am growing Purple Teepee Bean and Red Swan Bush Bean.  Both of them do cook green, so that explains the color change in the pictures.


If you have never tried to preserve green beans, I encourage you to give it a try.