Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
If there's a gift that works for both the boys and girls in your family—and keeps everyone equally entertained—most parents would be thrilled. Gender norms aside, building sets are great entertainment for boys and girls, teens and adults.
Utah business owner Suzanne Calton says her Latter-day Saint temple building kits are not only popular among all age groups, but of all the photos submitted to her, more than half are built by girls, moms and even grandmothers!
So whether you want a good STEM activity for your child or something to keep your teens busy on Sundays, Brick'Em Young building sets are a great way to pass the time together during the Christmas season.
Nativity building sets
In 2018 Brick'Em Young started selling a traditional-style nativity. While visiting Temple Square during the Christmas season, Suzanne Calton noticed varying international style nativities on the temple grounds.
This inspired Suzanne to expand beyond the traditional nativity and create two international style nativities: African and Asian. These nativities are not meant to depict the actual circumstances surrounding the birth of the Savior, but rather show how this marvelous event might be understood by another culture similar to the displays at Temple Square.
Especially now, it's important that kids learn about the significance of the temple and keep their eyes on the prize. Keep your kids actively thinking about temple worship with the newly released building sets such as Las Vegas and Laie Hawaii temples.
The larger temple sets take anywhere from 3-8 hours, depending on the design. A smaller Salt Lake Temple set is also available for younger builders.
The family that bricks together, sticks together
The creation of Brick'Em Young all began in 2014 with the Calton family's desire to teach their children about the importance of temples while living in Shanghai, several hours away from the nearest temple in Hong Kong.
Inspired by their son's love of small plastic building blocks, Suzanne and Tim Calton decided to create and sell a large model of the Salt Lake Temple with about 1,500 pieces.
Seven years later, both their family and their business have grown. The Caltons have expanded their temple sets to include more than a dozen models, with new sets and figurines added each year. The Caltons have since moved back from China to the US with their two sons and three adopted Chinese daughters.
Not only has this venture helped teach about the importance of temples, but it's created an opportunity for families to grow closer together.
"Many parents have expressed excitement about having a project for their children to do which does not involve electronics," said Suzanne. "It makes an ideal gift as it connects faith, family and fun."
Next year's 'Come, Follow Me' made easy with Bible figurines
In addition to their temple sets, the Caltons recently released a variety of figurine sets, including Noah's Ark, Jonah and the Whale and Moses figurines — perfect for use with the 2022 "Come, Follow Me" focus of studying the Old Testament.
The Brick'em Young website also includes a free downloadable instruction manual to give a better idea of the different scripture stories kids can tell with this set. These sets make a great Sunday afternoon activity after your Come Follow Me discussion.
To enhance this learning experience, through December 9, Brick'Em Young is also offering $10 off the Noah's Ark figurine set.
Order your set now
The larger Brick'em Young temple sets are recommended for ages 12 and older, though younger children may enjoy working with an older sibling to build the models.
For a more simple activity for ages 8 and older, the missionary, nativities, bride and groom and Book of Mormon figurine sets are easier to assemble, along with the small Salt Lake Temple set.
With an average build time of 3-5 hours depending on the set and number of pieces, this is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy during the winter months and a great gift for the hard to shop for loved ones.
Kids and even newly returned missionaries will love these building sets. Visit their website today to get your boredom-curing sets!