Lego is a brand that we all know, and the vast majority of us absolutely love. It is something that most of us were born with and took with us through the whole of childhood. Some of us still pay absurd amounts of money for the plastic blocks because it is just so nostalgic and appealing. Despite all the years of fun and joy that came from playing with Lego it is unlikely that you’ve ever thought about the educational benefits of doing so.
Whilst Lego may simply still be a toy to some people, and an expensive one at that, it actually has many educational benefits that can greatly help the development of a child’s mind, especially helping their mind develop during its critical stages. This article details just some of these many benefits and explains exactly how they can help to educate children.
Improves Acute Motor Skills
Through the act of natural play, children develop their motor skills. But Lego goes one step further. Because of how Lego pieces fit together it requires different levels of pressure to fit the pieces together and create a whole shape made of different size blocks. This pressure management is great for little children’s hands as they soon learn how much pressure to apply to different objects, a skill that becomes incredibly important later in life such as when holding a pen when writing.
Encourages Group/Team Work
When playing in a group of other children, it is learnt how to take turns and share. When working on a Lego build together they are tasked with finding which pieces will go together in a cooperative way. Here they are forced to work together and not argue over who has which pieces. Children have to decide what they are all making together and have to learn how to compromise so that everyone is happy with the final product. Roles and responsibilities are also often given out when children work in groups to create one Lego product.
Encourages Creativity and Free-Thinking
A vital component of any child’s life, their creativity and free-thought is essential to their development. Children will often use the different colors, shapes and sizes of the Lego bricks to create wholly new designs that they have created in their mind. Making their creative thoughts a reality encourages them to keep having these creative thoughts. When playing with Lego there is no right or wrong way of doing things, children are simply left to their own devices and can explore the deepest reaches of their mind with no limitations.
Encourages Problem Solving
Alternatively, when using an official Lego building kit with instructions children are taught how to problem solve and how to pay attention to the details on the page. They are taught how to identify numbers in a sequence and are taught how to locate the shapes they require. When they can’t find the pieces, they need they are forced to problem solve in order to find a way to fix the problem.
Whilst it may sound trivial to adults, for a child, building a Lego creation that you have created in your mind and then physically manifested is something incredible. To have a thought in your head that you then make a reality teaches children that they can accomplish anything if they set their mind to it and remain persistent. When a child shows you their Lego model don’t just brush it aside, the likelihood is that they have worked tirelessly on it just to show you, make them feel as though that time was worth it.
Taken from the August 2018 issue of Geek Parenting, out now!