Learning with Lego?

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Lego is a fun, colourful, and innovative toy. Contrary to other toys such as action figures or dolls, Lego

provides kids with unlimited ways to build and play. The only obstacle is their imagination. With a large

set of Lego bricks, individuals can reconfigure them into any shape or size they wish! The options are

endless! Create buildings, design statues, and build worlds. But is Lego actually beneficial for kids? Can it teach them anything? And can they learn while playing? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes!

 

Lego is helpful for kids in a number of ways. I grew up on Lego and can attest to the usefulness of it for

learning and creativity.  It’s a much better alternative to sitting on the couch watching mindless TV! So what does it help with? Read on!

 

Creativity

The first thing that comes to mind is the creativity involved in building Lego. While having a small themed

set won’t provide too much flexibility, having general bricks and larger themed sets allow for countless

ways to create entirely new sets. Kids can create anything they dream up with the right bricks and time. I

once used a cowboy town to build a steampunk castle! The only thing limiting you is what you can come up with in your mind. Join bricks from different sets to create sprawling cities and lands. I also, at one point, used Lego to design board games that I’d play with my friends. They allowed me to create whatever board or set piece I needed for the board game theme to come to fruition.

 

Design

Another critical component of Lego that goes hand in hand with creativity is developing an eye for design.

Design in not only aesthetic but also engineering and architecture. Does the house I built work with the colours I’ve chosen? Does it stand on its own by having one vs two main support beams? These and many more like them are all issues that need to be considered when constructing new Lego structures. Children can get faced with creating design strategies to ensure their Lego sets make sense are structurally sound.

 

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is another skill derived from creating Lego sets. Kids have to plan out how their set will

look and figure out to make it stand on its own. They have to consider how what they build will make

sense in their world. For example, if they’re building their own space station, where should they put the

landing pad? Where would it make the most sense? If the power is room is on the other side of the station,

how will power get to the kitchen? These kinds of questions can encourage kids to develop their critical thinking skills.

 

Technology?

Lego and technology don’t typically get placed in the same sentence. But they can absolutely work

hand-in-hand! Lego designed their own coding system to be used in conjunction with their building blocks

and pieces. This system is called Lego Mindstorms. Mindstorms is essentially robotics that can be

programmed by children to do all sorts of different functions! It could be configured to be a fast race car, a

crayon colouring robot, or even a deathly battle bot to fight other Mindstorms projects! Not only can kids

get all of the above benefits of working with Lego, but they can also combine them with learning

programming and robotics. The entire time having loads of fun!

 

Final thoughts

Lego isn’t just a simple toy. It can develop all kinds of valuable life skills in children. From expressing and

nurturing creativity to learning basic architectural strategies, Lego is a versatile toy. Couple that with the

robotics of Lego Mindstorms, and you’ve got a killer educational toy!

 

Speaking of Lego Mindstorms, this summer, Coded Minds is offering multiple summer camps to help kids

get started on programming their own Lego robot! Click HERE to learn more!

 

David Peachment

 

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