How LEGO supports Child Development
by Dr. Maryhan Baker
At my parenting seminars I am often asked about how much time school-aged children should have to play each day. The common issue seems to be afterschool activities and homework leave very little time for anything else. My answer is always the same…
I believe play is the single most important activity for children to engage in, each and every day, for at least one hour. The research evidence is overwhelming in documenting the power of play for children’s emotional wellbeing, social development and academic achievement.
With so many electronic and battery powered gadgetry on the market it can be hard to find toys which children find engaging yet stimulate creativity, promote intellectual and physical development more than good old fashioned LEGO.
Here are my top three reasons why LEGO should be in your child’s toy collection:
1. Promotes Fine Motor Skills
LEGO bricks come in a vast range of shapes and sizes, which smaller hands need learn how to assemble and take apart. These small twists and turns of their hands, fingers, and arms promote coordination and dexterity which children need for handwriting, crafts, and independent dressing.
Through their manipulation of LEGO bricks children learn about applying differential pressure; some bricks need small amounts of pressure when building, whilst others require a great deal. The benefits of this hands-on trial and error learning is far more valuable than anything we can say as parents to teach our children about applying the right amount of pencil pressure as they write.
2. Develops Creativity
Play is a child’s work and their way of trying out new skills, whilst perfecting others. Providing a box of random pieces of LEGO and unstructured time is essential to ignite their imagination and develop their creativity. These different sized pieces of LEGO are so exciting because they can become a pirate ship, a space rocket, a magical kingdom or the entrance to another world.
Through imaginative play children lose themselves in their fantasies. An anxious child loses all inhibitions when they are slaying dragons, teaching their pupils, caring for poorly animals, or saving the universe with their super powers.
3. Provides an opportunity to try new skills without fear of failure
When children play they are constantly learning new skills, which can then be generalised to other areas of their life. Playing with LEGO provides an understanding of spatial awareness, promotes a sense of creativity, and teaches mathematical concepts of symmetry, shape and geometry.
Children learn so much more through LEGO play because there is no fear of failure, LEGO creations fall down when you stack them too high, not all our creations quite work out as we planned, but we can always start again.
The possibilities for learning with LEGO are endless!
When you see a child’s bedroom floor covered with LEGO bricks which need to be tidied away, are you tempted to tidy the bricks away yourself, rather than encourage him to put away his toys himself? I’m often guilty of this – it just seems quicker and easier. But that’s not always helpful.
Surely it would be better for me to leave my son to work through the task himself and let him have the pleasing sense of satisfaction at the end. I was reminded of this fact when I read an article online today by Christoph Nieman, entitled “What organising LEGO can teach us about life”. It prompted the question, “How do you sort your LEGO bricks?” To which my instinctive response was “by colour, naturally!”
The article went on to say that there are of course many different ways of sorting and organising those LEGO pieces, not just by colour. What about by shape or size, or by brick type, or how about sticking them together to make new shapes? And what about using a different method every time? The possibilities go on and on. But the point the blogger was making was that the child will learn more by deciding for himself and that as adults we shouldn’t be imposing our own ideas of how LEGO (and life?) should be organised. Allow the child to choose the system of organisation, let it be different every time, and let them enjoy the act of tidying rather than it being a chore.
With all this in mind, tonight’s subject for debate at supper will be “how do you sort your LEGO bricks?” At least then we’ll have discussed the possibilities, even if we haven’t done the clean-up!
We’ve added some great new sets to the rental catalogue in the last week, most of them from LEGO’s brand new 2015 releases – my favourite models are Anakin’s Custom Jedi Starfighter and Titanium Dragon – both of them are in stock and ready to rent immediately, so all you have to do is sign up to the LEGO rental club to get building!
Check out these photos of all our latest sets here.
We’re really excited about the very latest 2015 sets from LEGO and we are busy picking the best ones to add to the WeLoveBricks catalogue . We’ve chosen some new sets from Ninjago, Legends of Chima, Friends, Creator and of course from Star Wars.
We haven’t added them to the catalogue quite yet, so watch this space to find out which sets we’ve chosen, and we’ll let you know when you can start renting them. We know they are in hot demand as they were only released last Friday, and incredibly LEGO have already sold out of some of them. But it’s ok, we’ve ordered them already and hopefully they are already on their way to us.
Top of the list for excitement is this beautiful looking set called Birds from the new LEGO theme Ideas. There’s a good review on Brickset. If you like the Architecture theme, you are going to love this one.
We’ve seen some great Christmas photos and messages over the last month and we wanted to share our top two – the ones that really capture the spirit of Christmas.
Festive jumpers and a set of LEGO, what more do you need on Christmas day? Here’s one of our new members and his Poppa deep in concentration with his latest LEGO set from WeLoveBricks. Poppa’s glass needs a top-up though!
One very happy Mum was given this Lego necklace by her seven year old prince…simply unbeatable!
It was great to hear Lucilla being interviewed live on Radio 2 on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Friday evening. Rebecca Pike hosts an Innovation Slot which finds innovative new business ideas to feature and they were keen to talk to WeLoveBricks about our LEGO Rental Club. Click here to listen to the interview here.
The Salisbury Journal are always keen to know about innovative new businesses in the area, so when they heard about WeLoveBricks they wanted to learn how our LEGO rental club works and how the idea for the business came about. You can read their article here
Looking for an original Christmas gift for LEGO fanatics? Look no further!
Give a gift subscription to WeLoveBricks the UK’s only LEGO rental club. Sign up for £7.99 per month (ongoing), or a one-off payment of £24 for 3 months, £45 for 6 months or £85 for a whole year.
Rent unlimited LEGO, no sign-up fee, cancel any time, no charge for a few lost pieces. Go on – give something different this year!
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