LEGO Masters, Amateur Builders Join Stay Home, Build a Home Challenge

You don’t have to be a seasoned builder—or even a LEGO Master—to participate in Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver’s Stay Home, Build a Home Challenge. But as LEGO Brick Designer Aaron Newman demonstrates, it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Newman, a contestant on the first season of the FOX reality TV series “LEGO Masters,” is just one of the first people to step up and join our challenge: build a tiny home from the comfort of your own to raise funds for those without that same comfort. We’ve seen amazing builds thus far, including a humble abode fit for a Disney princess, an ambitious 3-D Habitat home and a comfy crochet cottage.

Newman admits he didn’t actually build his own LEGO home masterpiece for this challenge—he was commissioned to build the impressive replica of a Northshore, Chattanooga, Tennessee, home before we even launched our challenge. However, he was inspired by Habitat’s challenge to put his ingenuity to greater use.

“Especially in this time, those that are lucky enough to have homes of their own I hope are moved to kindness to want to be able to share that luxury with other people,” shared Newman from his New Hampshire home.

“You can’t shelter in place unless you have a place to shelter in.”

This is Newman’s first foray into the world of Habitat, but he says he hopes it’s the beginning of future service. He says the participatory, communal nature of Habitat intrigues him, and the physical nature of the work is particularly interesting to the guy who can’t remember a time when he didn’t know how to use his hands to build using LEGOs.

“One of the reasons I love doing this is because it’s like a delicious puzzle,” Newman said. “You’ll solve one problem, but that might complicate something else that you then have to go and fix and re-sculpt and find another solution for.”

Newman has already raised more than $1,300 for his fundraiser, urging friends and fellow “LEGO Masters” contestants to follow suit by using their skills for the greater good. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Corey Samuels of “LEGO Masters” team Brothers Who Brick has also begun raising roofs and funds.

Now it’s your turn. Whether you’d like to breathe new life into plastic blocks or reuse objects around your house:

Join our Stay Home, Build a Home Challenge!

And if you’re interested in building with your own kids but don’t know where to begin, Newman’s here to help:

“The first thing you have to figure out for yourself is, ‘Who’s this house for?’Are you building it for a LEGO minifigure? Are you building it for one of your dolls? That will help determine the size you’re gonna go for—what scale you’re working in.”

Encourage problem solving. “In my opinion engineering is basically just solving problems using structures and machines.” In that vein, start with the problem—your tiny character or family needs a new home—and then engineer a way to help meet their needs.

Make learning fun. “If you frame it as, ‘This is something you have to learn,’kids love to learn, but they don’t always know they love to learn. You don’t want to show your hand more readily saying, ‘This is what we’re learning about today, now go learn it.’It’s more like, ‘This is a cool thing I want to share with you. Let me show you how it’s done. Now, go try it yourself.'”

Go one step further in stirring up their excitement by helping them create a story. “Something they can escape into that world…That’s something that kids really love to do.”

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