Who doesn’t love a bit of Lego? Lots of colours, towers and trucks, hours of fun and suitable for young and old! In a world full of gimmicky gadgets and mind-numbing computer games, Lego is a toy that has really stood the test of time.
Raedan Institute has just recently started offering Lego Club – open to all – because Lego has so much to offer.
Let’s collate its benefits here:
- Lego does not discriminate! Adults and children alike, boys and girls , all can play and build as much as they like and whatever they like.
- Lego play builds spatial awareness in children which is linked to problem solving in the real world. What perspective can I see this from? What could I use it for? How can I fit these together? Is there something I should rotate? Spatial skills in children earlier on can also predict their ability in maths.
- Lego metaphors are rife in the scientific world. This is no coincidence. Lego is all about construction (albeit a playful one) and so is science. Engineering for example is all about pulling things apart and then putting them together again. For those children interested in STEM careers, Lego is one way to go.
- Knowledge of colour and shape. A child doesn’t have to rote learn the colours of the world and the different shapes. The physical touch of the blocks will provide invaluable knowledge as well as the visibility of the different colours of Lego.
- Playing with Lego can be calming. As the brain is so focused on the creation of something, there is no scope for unwanted thoughts which organically helps relax the mind.
- In the same vein, Lego play builds a child’s concentration span. The more engaged a child is in an activity, the greater their concentration grows. And Lego can be completely engrossing.
- Regardless of the size (though the smaller the better), Lego play improves motor coordination. Because adults do it ‘instinctively’, the amount of finger control and coordination required for Lego play is not instantly recognisable. Similarly, Lego trains the eyes and hands to work together as well as the different sides of the body (the right and left hands).
- Social skills. Whilst Lego can be played independently, playing together will build team co-operation and social skills as well as just relishing time spent with peers.
- Learning to plan. This is a very underrated skill. You may notice younger children building haphazardly whilst more developed and older children will set out to build with an intention. Though both are important in their own right for creativity, learning to plan is a strong academic and life skill to develop.
- Lego play builds perseverance. A child is encouraged to keep going to build whatever it is their mind has pictured.
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