Arts and Crafts, Useful tools
Lego – More than your Average Toy
18 March, 2020
LEGO was launched back in 1949 in Denmark and is nowadays sold in 130 countries. At last official count, in 2015, 600 billion LEGO parts had been produced over that time making it one of the world’s leading toy.
But did you know that LEGO is so much more than just a toy?
Brisbane-based business Brick Resales offers high-quality, low-cost pre loved LEGO online and via regular community events that double as charity fundraisers. Founder Judy Friedman says LEGO offers proven educational benefits for children of any age. Here are Judy’s Top 5 reasons why you should encourage your littlies to partake in LEGO play:
Fine motor skills
Connecting LEGO pieces improves the user’s dexterity, while also allowing them to practice using different amounts of pressure to complete different tasks. This is particularly helpful when it comes to handwriting, as they can learn how to control the pressure of their pen. It’s also very relevant to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Creativity and imagination is fostered via using bricks and pieces of various shapes, colours and sizes to construct intricate designs. With LEGO, there’s no right or wrong. Children should build without limits.
The very concept of following instructions is a key life-skill made more enjoyable by LEGO. Children will practice their focus and attention to details when building a box set, and can begin to grasp ideas of symmetry, balance, shapes and sizes as they go. LEGO is also great for learning fractions – observing how many small pieces fit onto a larger piece – and surface area.
Supporting autistic kids
“LEGO-Based Therapy” was developed by Dr Daniel LeGoff in 2004, utilising LEGO as a therapeutic medium to provide effective social skills intervention for children with ASD. Some of the therapy’s target skills include communication, joint attention, focus, turn-taking, sharing, and problem-solving. Other benefits for using LEGO as a therapeutic medium for children on the spectrum include improving fine motor skills, improving visual perceptual skills and expanding imaginative play skills.
Teamwork and social connection
Watching a group of children build LEGO toy side-by-side proves beyond doubt that kids bond with each other over LEGO. For shy ones, LEGO can be an ice-breaker and help them feel more confident in a social setting. Group LEGO building is a great exercise in sharing and taking turns, as children must work together to complete the build without mistakes or arguments.
Building LEGO with friends is also a wonderful way for them to relieve stress and it’s a platform for meaningful conversations.