Growing Minds and Building Australia’s Future! What are the Critical Development Benefits of Playing with LEGO®?
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All parents feel great when our kids engage in their passion for LEGO®! Aside from anything else, it is brilliant to see them engaging in screen-free good fun and creating things with their hands. However, these good feelings aside, were you aware of the seven critical developmental benefits of playing with LEGO®?
Increase Focus and Concentration
Completing LEGO® models requires concentration! Anyone who has built a model with their child knows how time can zoom by as the model is built, layer by layer. Kids are immersed in a LEGO® world of their own creation (and creations!).
Our programs encourage and reinforce the need to focus. Following instructions, planning what piece comes next, waiting for their turn and listening to others (when building in a group) all takes focus and can hugely help with children who sometimes need a little extra help with concentration.
Who would have thought those colourful little LEGO® bricks could have such amazing benefits!?
Anyone who has enjoyed LEGO® Masters Australia will vehemently attest that LEGO® creations are a form of art. Kids become creators and story makers!
One of the greatest benefits of LEGO® is sparking the creativity and imagination of kids. When engaging with LEGO®, children can be as adventurous as they want, allowing them to experiment, test out and build new ideas!
In our programs, the children are given the opportunity to free style with LEGO® as well as following instructions and collaboratively building with LEGO®. They can do this individually or in pairs, letting their creativity, imagination and self-expression flow.
Develop Social and Emotional Skills such as Patience, Persistence and Lateral Thinking
LEGO® building can take time and can test children’s patience, especially when that one important LEGO® piece takes forever to find!
In a world where children often want instant gratification, the building process can help children understand that in order to get good results, it can take time and hard work can pay off!
However playing with LEGO® can be upsetting when the bricks may come tumbling down because of one small move – initially this is frustrating, however repeatedly playing with LEGO® can actually help children develop perseverance and learn to overcome frustration, knowing that their masterpieces can be re-built.
Playing with LEGO® allows an opportunity to try out new ideas without a fear of failure, due to children knowing that errors are fixable and fallen pieces can be replaced – things might not have worked out just as planned, but they can manage and overcome this.
Planning skills and a building strategy form part of the problem-solving process. Young children learn that it takes more than having ideas to create a LEGO® masterpiece at an early age.
Construction play also requires patience, endurance, and sometimes lateral thinking to find the solution. Kids also discover that there is more than one way to solve a problem and that different approaches could end with the same or a better result.
Grasping the idea of different approaches to a problem helps kids appreciate others’ points of view. It gives them an open mind and teaches them to listen to others’ ideas; friends (and, later, colleagues or peers) may have a better way of reaching a solution.
All may benefit from good communication. When children play with each other, they learn to communicate and play together. The ability to communicate efficiently and with verbal clarity helps avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications—traits that will benefit them in the adult work environment and relationships.
Language development is essential for good teamwork. When building a LEGO® project, children learn the fundamentals of working together as a group. With plenty to do, children learn how to contribute, share, negotiate, and accept responsibilities.
One of the main aspects of our programs is that children work collaboratively in a small group to create something together. Collaborative teamwork encourages joint focus, sharing, reinforces positive behaviour and social contact. Social skills and conventions are encouraged and reinforced by the instructors.
Develop Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are developed and enhanced with LEGO® play, allowing a child to perform more intricate tasks with greater ease over time, developing dexterity and strength in the fingers.
The different amounts of pressure used to assemble the LEGO® pieces is a wonderful exercise for kids, supporting children in being able to hold a pencil and control the pressure applied when writing.
In a society where many children are often experts at swiping on screens, having the opportunity to develop those fine motor skills is hugely important.
Introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Skills
Developing and creating an interest in STEM-related topics is one of the top benefits of LEGO® play. It can even lead to potential STEM careers!
Research has shown that playing with puzzles and building blocks helps develop kids’ spatial intelligence which is essential for STEM-related tasks. The ability to think in three dimensions and visualising shapes in your mind’s eye are indispensable skills for architects, engineers, and artists.
Playing with LEGO® is so much fun that you may not even realise your kids are strengthening their STEM skills!
- Science is having an idea and proving it. LEGO® stimulates a child to come up with ideas and develop them creatively;
- Technology uses new techniques to complete a task. At their essence, LEGO® bricks are raw materials that kids can use to create complex objects and build things in new ways;
- Engineering skills blossom with LEGO®. The simplicity of constructing something like a spaceship, castle or car with LEGO® pieces requires figuring out how to create these works of art successfully; and
- Maths skills flourish with LEGO®. Thinking about shapes, sizes, and counting of LEGO® pieces come naturally when constructing a model. Kids count, add, and subtract constantly when they play with LEGO®.
At BRICKS 4 KIDZ, our content is multi-disciplinary and designed by educators to increase a student’s general knowledge as well as introducing STEM concepts related to the model. Our programs are designed around kids’ interests, with themes such as animals, space, transportation and pop culture!
Enhance Self Esteem by solving problems an completing projects
A sense of achievement and accomplishment naturally follows from putting LEGO® pieces together to form a structure or other tangible object!
Problem solving is a skill that every person in the world needs to develop, and the time to start learning how to problem solve is when children are young.
LEGO® creations do not just happen; they are constructed by connecting one LEGO® brick with another. Children learn to plan their building projects, especially if a haphazard construction falls apart. Playing with LEGO® bricks is a safe environment for failures and kids learning to plan better with their next attempt.
A LEGO® tower that collapses is part of the fun; kids do not mind rebuilding it repeatedly until they reach success. They may happily try new ways and enjoy learning from their mistakes and experiencing a sense of accomplishment with a successful LEGO® creation.
Learning from their mistakes builds a child’s self-confidence, which may help them grow up and function in the adult world. Children who have self-confidence are not afraid to try something new; they see failure as part of the learning process and do not take it personally!
Ready, Set, BUILD!
As children stack, make, create, break and try and try again, they aren’t simply building a simple structure, they are also building their minds. As the research clearly shows, the time, expense and effort you invested into this pastime is something that will pay off down the line, especially as they make advances in their education.
Sign them up for a School Holiday Program or Birthday Party hosted by BRICKS 4 KIDZ! The hands-on learning in the fun, collaborative environment will challenge them and add to their growing skill set!