Playing with toy bricks can help a child develop their vocabulary, improve math skills and even teaches them about geometry, balance, gravity etc. Building with bricks is all about size, shape, weight, leverage and balance. As the child plays more with this and works out their skills by playing, these handmade constructions will become more complex.
We all know there are a few toys out there that children use bricks to build. These toys are the all popular Lego and its direct competitor nanoblock, plus other toys. When it comes to Lego, most of us grew with it. Lego is one of the largest brands in the world. It is instantly recognised, and it has a huge fan base. The same can be said about nanoblock bricks too. The only difference is that they are much smaller, they come with an instruction sheet, and it covers Japanese media, and you may also see some animals and others.
The Lego Education
The Lego brand has been working with educators for some time, specifically for over three decades. These toys have helped develop experiences in the classroom where children were building to bring concepts to life. For some people, Lego is just a toy. However, this toy has educational benefits by playing with colourful, multi-faceted bricks. There have been identified eight key benefits of creating, configuring and crafting with Lego bricks.
Playing with Lego helps in promoting fine motor skills. By building with bricks, children practice dexterity as they connect Lego pieces of different sizes and shapes. The different amounts of pressure to assemble the parts become an excellent exercise for childrențs fingers. This exercise will help children in being able to control the pressure they apply for writing, for example.
Playing with Lego will encourage teamwork. Through Lego, children learn to share and take turns. When they work together, children have to agree on the general idea during their play; is it a castle? Is it a boat? Or is it a spaceship? Children learn to follow each other’s lead and understand how different ideas can contribute and extend their play. Children can also learn to negotiate roles and responsibilities to have an enjoyable experience.
Playing with Lego improvises creativity. Creativity is becoming an important factor nowadays, and Lego can help with that. By playing with Lego bricks, creativity is improved because children use various shapes, colours and sizes. They construct designs, whatever they want it to be, a police station or a spacecraft that travels to the moon; it’s their choice. Through Lego, creativity and imagination is fostered because there are no limitations to what they can make. During these situations, there is no right and wrong, so that children can explore creativity to the fullest, without the fear of failure.
Playing with Lego helps with solving problems and mathematical thinking. Just by following the instruction to assemble a piece has lots of benefits. Children learn to solve problems, focus and have attention to detail. During play symmetry ideas, balance, shapes and sizes are explored. Children observe that by working with fractions, they can see how many small pieces can fit into a large part, and they begin experimenting with the division.
Playing with Lego improves communication. Just by playing with Lego, helps in reducing stress. It also helps in engaging meaningful and joyful conversations. When children comment on their creations, they develop essential communication skills. During the play, communication skills are based on the ability to explain ideas, describe their work, talk about the process and verbalise challenges that children had along the way.
Playing with Lego develops persistence. All of us have experienced an entirely constructed tower fall apart. Lego teaches children the importance of perseverance because they want their vision realised. By playing with Lego, children are encouraged to have a go, take their time and persevere. As fine motor skills improve, they can create more elaborate construction and follow intricate designs.
Playing with Lego improves self-esteem. A child’s vision can be challenging when they connect the small pieces to create a final product. And by achieving this task, the child will get an immense sense of satisfaction that will bring a big smile on the face. A child will start to show off their completed work proudly. This has an immensely positive effect on children’s self-esteem.
Playing with Lego develops lateral thinking and planning skills. Following the instructions can be challenging. However, it helps children develop planning skills, as well as lateral thinking. When they face an assembly problem, the child has to retrace the steps and analyse the work to find parts that need fixing.
Yes! Yes and Yes! Playing with LEGO…Building with LEGO….Making Art with LEGO…all of these things are so wonderful for our children. And adults, too! I grew up with LEGO bricks and now my children are playing with the same bricks and thousands of new bricks, too. For elementary-aged children, I love the LEGO BOOST which adds in an element of coding, too.