Most kids have imagined their dream home at some point. It might have a movie theater, a giant pool, a jungle gym or a zoo, but few actually carry out their architectural dreams.
Kids had the chance to bring their designs to fruition at the Missoula Building Industry Association’s Lego Dream Home contest at the Home Show on Saturday.
They sorted through piles of Legos in pursuit of the right pieces to build their homes. Some came with plans while others simply started from the ground up.
Gunnar Erik Hawk, 6, arranged blue Legos to create a pool for a pet shark to swim in.
“This is a waterproof TV,” Erik Hawk said as he placed a large blue block next to the pool. “And this is my work area and this is my bed.”
Other kids based their homes off more familiar concepts, like Trinity Houde, 5, who built a rendering of Barbie’s Dream House. Houde incorporated a pink door frame, flowers and a kitchen with small purple blocks to represent grapes.
Janna Geier, the executive officer of MBIA, said this was the first year they held the Lego competition at the Home Show, which is typically geared toward adults looking to build or remodel their homes.
The competition kept kids busy while their parents perused booths, and it sparked the kids’ interest in building and construction.
“There’s a huge workforce shortage in the industry for all of our trades so we feel like building interest at a very young age, even if it’s Legos, even if they remember this or don't remember this, they’ve done it, they’ve worked with their hands and hopefully it plants a seed and they continue to be interested whether it’s architecture or building,” Geier said.
Children ages 5 to 12 participated in the contest for the chance to win more Legos. Their only instruction was to build their dream home, which a group of builders judged based on creativity, structure and livability.
Trey Good, 7, won one of the prizes for his home that featured an “overflowing toilet.”
“He loves Legos,” said Davy Good, Trey’s father. “Ever since he was 5 years old, he would throw together the 14- to 18-year-old ones. You give him a whole package and he’ll throw it together in like two hours.”
Trey’s grandmother regularly buys him Legos, especially limited edition sets, and showcases his finished constructions on a shelf in her home.
Trey typically builds from sets so the competition encouraged him to think outside the box and come up with his own design on the spot.
Others like Olivia Plum came to the event with a plan to build a castle, which also won a prize. Plum arranged her blocks by color and began building a tower by constructing platforms connected by staircases.
Kids who attended the event also had the option to work with real tools at a Home Depot Kids Workshop, where they could make different wooden items such as planters, boxes and even a mini field goal game.