My 13yo has had a fair amount of unstructured time this summer. He was going to spend two weeks with Boy Scouts this summer; one set of plans fell through. He wanted to take scuba-diving, but it wasn't really set up for kids his age. Even the day trip he signed up for through our town's parks and rec department was canceled.
"I think you need a project," I told him. "What if you made a Lego city?"
I have heard a lot of moms say "We have a lot of Legos," but let me tell you: we have a LOT of Legos in this house. Four boys x Lego requests for every gift-giving occasion for years x (parents + grandparents + birthday party guests) = enough bricks to build the pyramids. We have a little uninsulated attic space over our front porch, and it is filled with Lego pieces.
Many, many Lego pieces.
It turns out that even though we have enough bricks to build the pyramids, we didn't have enough sand-like bricks to build a slice of Tatooine. Joe sank a bunch of his own money into buying beige bricks by the pound. He sank more time than we can count into creating rippled dunes and a giant underground clone trooper bunker, covered by more dunes. There is a clone trooper hero, ziplining down with multiple weapons to mow down droids.
There is an advancing drone army, doing its hive-mind best to plot the overthrow of the clone troopers.
There are many other things I could point out to you: the vulnerable position of the tank vis-a-vis the rocket launcher, the lone courageous clone trooper guarding the entrance to the bunker, the fierce combat that has left many corpses (or assemblages of nuts and bolts) facedown in the sand.
There is a boy, feeling very pleased with the fruits of his determination.