LEGOs are timeless. Whether kids are building castles or space stations (or just sticking the pieces up their noses), the colorful connectables have been key building blocks for fostering imagination and conceptual thinking for generations of little tykes. Perhaps their only downfall is that they hurt so darn much when you step on them.This weekend, middle school students from all over South Texas finally have a reason (other than their parents' nagging) to pick the pesky little things off the living room floor. Why? So they can put them together in uniquely scientific ways for a LEGO League Robotics Tournament. Students will design, build and program LEGO robots to complete specific tasks based on this year's tournament theme: Mission Mars. No word yet if nasal exploration is on the itinerary. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 6. Hogg Middle School, 1100 Merrill. For information, call 713-743-1855. Free. -- Keith Plocek
Leaf Your Mark
You wouldn't want your kids to notice that Santa uses the same wrapping paper as Mom and Dad. You've got to stay consistent. Take your little elves to the arboretum, where they'll play with leaves and colored ink and design wrapping paper that you can use to help maintain their holiday innocence. 2 p.m. Sunday, December 7. Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, 4501 Woodway. For information, call 713-681-8433 or visit houstonnaturecenter.org. Free. -- Keith Plocek
Bear It All
What's the best way to teach your little sophisticates about the social value of afternoon tea? Mix in some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a man in an overstuffed bear suit. It's time for Teddy Bear Tea at the St. Regis hotel. Cheerio! 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, December 6 through December 21. 1919 Briar Oaks Lane. For more information, call 713-403-2760 or visit www.stregis.com. $40. -- Keith Plocek
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