The judges’ top pick came from eight-year-old Lexie, who hails from Lincolnshire, UK. Her series of creative scenes depicted a day in the life of LEGO gardening, which invariably involved a mixture of flowers and zip lining.
Alongside her new title of Young Explorer of the Year, Lexie will take home a bundle of National Trust books, a 12-month National Trust membership, and a year’s supply of LEGO sets. The two companies behind the contest will also share her entry on their social media pages.
The competition was designed to get families building in the great outdoors, at a time when summer holidays were basically off the menu. And it coincided perfectly with National Play Day, as well as the National Trust’s own Play Week (who doesn’t love a bit of corporate synergy?).
The judging panel included celebrity farmer and nature expert (and JLS member) JB Gill, who called Lexie’s submission “fabulous.” LEGO Play Agent David Pallash also praised the winning entry, saying, “I’ve never seen so much fun happening in one place. I would love to spend time in this garden, especially on the zip-wire! Lexie’s scene is packed full of adventure and detail and is the perfect blend of nature with the LEGO bricks.”
Lexie’s mum Jo shared her daughter’s build on the contest’s Facebook page. But when she heard the judges’ pick, she couldn’t quite believe it.
“We had to pinch ourselves when we heard the news – she’s so proud to be crowned LEGO Young Explorer of the Year,” Jo said. “She’s a massive LEGO fan and is always imagining and building different places for her mini figures to play in, so when we heard about the competition we just knew it was the perfect way for Lexie to get creative in the great outdoors.”
National Trust Play Specialist Anita Stevens and a young ambassador from the National Trust’s Museum of Childhood were also involved in the judging process. As well as their use of minifigures and bricks, the panel examined the story behind each entry, prizing creativity above all.
Lexie had stiff competition, too, as thousands of builds poured in during the entry period, which ran from August 3 to September 9. You can check out some of the other entries by searching for the hashtag #LEGOYoungExplorer on the LEGO Facebook page.