Your child’s time in school provides there path to the knowledge and skills required by many well-paying careers. The book smarts and hard skills they acquire will give them the tools they need to succeed, and mastering mathematics can open doors to an engineering program.
Still, employers are saying many new grads could use help in another area, one we often refer to as “soft skills.” In this basket, we may also call them social skills, emotional intelligence and leadership skills — referring to things like flexibility, understanding, building bridges and solving problems.
How does a parent go about building these skills? The American Institutes for Research advocates for the idea that kids have access to a place where they can master their people skills. After-school activities put kids in an environment where social skills play a huge role. Their briefs about the personal gains from after-school activities got us thinking about how that ties into building with LEGO Bricks as an after-school activity.
Interpersonal skills: Becoming a master of interpersonal skills means being able to work well with people who come from different backgrounds and ages. In these after-school settings, it’s not at all unusual for your child to be grouped with new faces, such as children from another classroom, grade or perhaps even another schools. These unexpected situations can help kids learn to be comfortable in many social settings, make new connections and include others.
Communication: In the classroom, kids are “captive” and listening. But in the space of non-academic electives, they enjoy a more casual relaxed atmosphere where tasks tend to be more of the hands-on variety and kids work together. We can see where this is especially true in a Bricks 4 Kidz program where students are often paired up or put in groups to finish a project. In these settings, they learn to listen well, speak clearly and calmly so they can all reach that common goal together — building an awesome LEGO model.
Stronger sense of self: When kids untangle a tough knot together, the hope is they will come out the other side of it with a better sense of the stuff they are made of. Each time they face a challenge, it’s an opportunity to build up that confidence one more notch. So the next time a hurdle comes along, they will have that innate knowledge that they will somehow find a way to work through it. What employer wouldn’t want that quality?
Bricks 4 Kidz offers a hands-on, fun, interactive setting where kids build with LEGO Bricks and solve problems together. While it won’t feel like a day at the office, we do believe it will ultimately help them find their way to success. Check out www.bricks4kidz.com.au/ges for more information.