Building Independence One Brick at a Time {LEGO Juniors}

posted in: Apollo, LEGO | 4

To say it has been a rough twelve days since Apollo’s g-tube removal would be a massive understatement. I am happy to say he is now fever and pain-free and healing well. We had an amazing visit to Children’s on Friday. We now get to move onto a much less invasive packing of the wound that we can do here on our own. He only has three more days of his nasty antibiotic and is on track to go back to school on Monday.


I have to say, it was all I could do to contain my snark when the nurse Friday told me to let them know if he develops any “redness or swelling” at the site.

A short mocha an vicodin to help with him his dressing change after his staph infection.

Over the past two years, we have been working hard to help Apollo overcome his anxiety and become more independent. This is no small task for a kid with serious medical issues. Having two weeks off of school (unplanned) for his surgery and infection has been hard on all of us. He is now cleared to go back to school but I anticipate the transition back is going to be a bit bumpy. 

Encouraging small steps toward indolence with school, friends and LEGO Juniors.

To ease  the transition, I took him to school on Wednesday so he could have lunch with his class. I wanted to his classmates to see that he wasn’t dead (he missed a day for a minor surgery and never came back) and I am hoping it will help him when he returns on Monday. 

Encouraging small steps toward indolence with school, friends and LEGO Juniors.

In addition, we had his friend from school, Indi come over to play. 

It has been fun to see their friendship grow since they met in kindergarten. Apollo and Indi have birthdays just one day apart. They share a love of LEGO and Star Wars. Recently when we were reading together, Apollo pulled out a  book and said, “Indi was helping me read this at school today!

It was so cute.

Encouraging small steps toward indolence with school, friends and LEGO Juniors.

We hatched a plan for Apollo to help Indi build with LEGO bricks since she helps him read. Then came his surgical complications and their LEGO date had to be postponed. He was finally feeling well enough this week to make it happen. I am hoping that spending time with Indi outside of school will help him with his return on Monday. 


Watching our kids grow up and become more and more independent is one of the most rewarding parts of parenting. I believe we need to help our kids build confidence, but not false confidence (think participation awards). I bought Apollo his first LEGO Juniors set over a year ago. His siblings had just started back at school and he was overcome with anxiety. I had hoped that the LEGO set would offer a welcome diversion and boost his confidence. It was our at-home preschool.

Apollo was so proud that he could put it together himself!

{You can check out the video of him assembling it here}

LEGO Juniors Review

Just look at that cute little face!

Encouraging small steps toward indolence with school, friends and LEGO Juniors.

These days Apollo is an absolute pro at putting LEGO Juniors sets together. He was very excited to show off his LEGO building skills to Indi. They each took a set and carefully emptied their bags onto cookie sheets to guard against lost pieces.

One thing I love about the LEGO Juniors sets is they come with a few premade pieces such as a wall or car chassis, yet are fully compatible with regular LEGO bricks. These are the perfect challenge for 4-7 years old especially ones who want to build LEGO sets just like their older siblings. 

At four Apollo still needed a little bit of help with his LEGO Juniors sets. At six he is full of confidence and has no trouble assembling the sets, even the bigger ones like this house. The larger sets come with several numbered bags and the child can choose to build in whatever order they like.


Encouraging small steps toward indolence with school, friends and LEGO Juniors.

My best tips on building confidence and overcoming anxiety?

Practice Separation

For us, this started with Sunday School once a week.  Now he is able to separate for school every day and has even made his own friends!

Be Compassionate

Realize that there is a difference between safety and felt safety. Challenge you child, but make the challenges achievable. 

Celebrate Small Victories

Verbalize their victories and tell them how proud you are.

Let Them Be a Leader

Find ways your child can succeed and lead. Apollo loved taking the lead on this LEGO building project with Indi.

Encouraging small steps toward indolence with school, friends and LEGO Juniors.

How do you encourage independence in your kids? Have your children even dealt with anxiety? What did  you do to help them overcome it?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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4 Responses

  1. Such a timely post! We’ve been struggling a bit with ransom’s fears. They had gotten SO much better thanks to school, but coincidentally they came up again recently because we keep his logos in our room and he has a crazy fear of our room. But let me tell you, he’s FULLY motivated to go get his legos despite his active imagination regarding monsters in our bathroom! Lego always coming to my aid 😉

    • LEGO for the win! Always. These moments in parenting are always so hard. Glad to know school is helping Ransom just like it did Apollo.

  2. Glad he’s feeling better. I love Indis shirt.

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