If you’ve enjoyed aspects of LEGO then you’ll probably enjoy other hobbies that are similar in their creativeness, or perhaps, in how hands-on they are in the process of making whatever it is you’re making.
LEGO is fun up to a point but can lack complexity which can hinder the creations you’re wanting to make and eventually is the reason why people move on to other hobbies.
LEGO can also lack depth in terms of problem-solving as the solutions are usually quite linear in how they are approached which makes for a very predictable pastime once you get to grips with it.
It’s a well-known fact that the human brain is an excellent pattern-recognition machine which is part of the problem when doing a task or hobby that has very few outcomes.
You can become conditioned to the response and eventually, your brain learns the experience of doing whatever it is you’re doing. This, in turn, reduces the dopaminergic response which is our brain’s way of incentivizing doing different tasks or hobbies for fun which becomes diminished over time.
Finally, this is why it’s important to pick a hobby that has many outcomes or many tasks as it gives greater longevity without it becoming boring.
Without further ado though, let’s take a look at some hobbies that are similarly as fun or hands-on as LEGO but offer greater creative input.
Do you like LEGO but want more creative input? Here are 5 hobbies that you should definitely check
One of the main competitors in the realms of toy-based building hobbies is Meccano, and arguably, it can offer far more input when making your creations due to having a larger range of mechanisms for attachment or the building process itself.
This means the Meccano creation procedures are far less linear in comparison but are able to offer aspects of fun that most people similarly enjoy when building LEGO structures.
Meccano is still advertised mostly for children but we’ve seen some beautiful inventions from people of all ages and creeds.
In fact, many hobbies that are targeted at children are enjoyed by grown-ups alike which seems to be a common trend these days.
Meccano can be a little more complicated at first as it has a steeper learning curve to get to grips with all the nuts, bolts, and attachments that you’ll find in the box.
This is why we recommend going for a pre-designed Meccano set that has you building something specific, such as a car, as this will allow you to understand what the parts do whilst being guided through it.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some mind-blowing inventions that have been made using Meccano:
As you can see from the video, provided you put your mind to it, you can get really inventive with what you want to make or achieve with Meccano especially since it’s designed for movement as well.
This is probably one of the most defining characteristics of Meccano compared to LEGO in that it is built with moving parts in mind so there’s a greater level of freedom for whatever you want to build.
2. Diorama Creation
If you like the idea of creating beautiful scenes or fantasy backdrops then creating a full-blown diorama could be a great replacement for your dwindling LEGO habit.
Compared to LEGO, creating an actual diorama allows you total creative freedom as you will be able to buy realistic trees, foliage, buildings, war vehicles, and people (which are all to scale), that can be painted and placed as intricately as you want them to be.
In fact, creating a diorama could be seen as more or a piece of art rather than a toy (in terms of the end result) but this shouldn’t stop you from having fun with it as well.
If you hadn’t guessed already, a diorama is meant to be a model representing some kind of scene. It can be as dramatic or as historically accurate as you want it to be — It could even be made up if you’re that way inclined.
Many people who create dioramas go for dramatic war scenes to represent a certain historical moment in history. It’s a great starting point too as there are plenty of pre-made model sets for war-type dioramas meaning you shouldn’t be stuck for choice.
To reiterate as well, not all of your diorama models will come painted or pre-colored meaning you’ll need to practice carefully to make sure your pieces look great.
As always, if you’re looking for any tips regarding the diorama creation process we would recommend looking on YouTube for video guides.
3. Model Building
Model building has aspects that are similar to LEGO creation, Meccano, and diorama creation all wrapped up in one.
Model sets are often built to scale meaning they have the same ratios as the real-life versions of whatever it is you’re making, be it aircraft, warships, and basically anything else you would want to make a model out of.
Many of the model sets come with all the necessary parts, however, they often require assembly and will also need to be painted.
Most people stick with one particular brand of models as they will also sell the required equipment to paint and complete whatever it is you’re doing.
If you want something hands-on that can also be mounted on shelves or to add some character to a room then model-building is a fantastic hobby to do just that.
4. Play Minecraft
Playing Minecraft is probably the best solution if your ambitions cannot be met with LEGO alone.
Minecraft looks very similar to LEGO blocks, albeit rendered in a video game, and can be infinitely customized to make some of the grandest projects you could ever imagine that couldn’t be realistically done with a physical LEGO set.
Minecraft was released all the way back in 2009 but it’s popularity has continued to surge or remain relevant even as of 2020.
This goes to show that sandbox-based building games are incredibly fun and draw on many of the same aspects that LEGO uses to give joy to its users
In terms of cost, the only thing you need to invest in is the game itself and an entry-level gaming PC so you can play the game efficiently.
Minecraft isn’t demanding in terms of specs meaning you shouldn’t need to spend more than half the average person’s monthly salary for a PC to play it on.
With that said, this may seem like a large amount of money to splash out on for a hobby, however, if you consider how often you would need to buy LEGO sets to remain relevant this could easily be a far cheaper option.
Lastly, we have woodworking which is basically LEGO for grown ups.
Woodworking has thousands of applications and lots of potential for creating functional or fun little objects.
Most people get into woodworking either as a job (joinery) or sometimes as a hobby so that they can build useful items for around the home.
As a hobby, we’ve talked about the costs involved in woodworking before; we’ve even pondered on whether it’s a dying art.
Overall, woodworking is a solid hobby that can give you plenty of opportunities to get hands-on, have some fun, and to flex your creative side.
As an added point, most people start with wood carving as it helps you learn some of the more basic tools such as chisels, planers, scoops, and how to apply sandpaper for maximum effect.
Wood carving also requires less space in the house; if you were to take up a fully-fledged woodworking hobby you will usually need dedicated space for machinery such as a compound miter saw, table saw, and band saw to name a few.
If you want something practical, creative, and with infinite potential to last you a lifetime then woodworking is one of the best hobbies like LEGO to do that.
There are quite a few hobbies like LEGO that offer a similar, or perhaps, even a better experience in general.
This isn’t for people who love LEGO so don’t think we’re trying to dismiss how fun it can be.
Mainly, we wanted to highlight some hobbies that feel similar in how hands-on they are but can potentially offer you more longevity over the years.
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You can also browse our ultimate list of hobbies for hobbies similar to the ones mentioned and more.