LEGO’s are bright, and colourful, fun-filled interlocking plastic blocks that have created excitement since generations and hone the sensory abilities in children. The attractive blocks are accompanied by matching components and gears which open creative avenues for construction of buildings, vehicles and much more. LEGO, a Danish toy design brand derives its name from two words “Leg Godt” meaning “play well”. The ease of use and the idea of creating almost anything spark curiosity, making LEGO’s a hot favourite for decades. LEGO’s provide the joy of play with plentiful benefits.
Teamwork and communication skills: LEGO construction paves the way for meaningful conversations in children. Children explain their ideas to each other negotiate and arrive at a decision- either to build a mansion or a spacecraft. Children come up with building strategies by translating their ideas and follow each other’s leads to create the desired structure.
Problem Solving and Critical thinking: The instructions LEGO provides for building structures are challenging. The creative process of construction is the one of focus and attention, of planning skills and critical thinking. When children fail in specific steps, they have to retrace their steps and identify the problem, use a trial and error method to succeed. The structured play right from achieving balance, symmetry, the right shapes and sizes fosters lateral thinking and encourages problem –solving.
Adventure and Exploration: LEGO’s are the best for nurturing the carefree ideas of a creative mind leading to innovative inventions. They create space for imagination and experimentation. Children experience the excitement of initiation alongside the disappointment of failure if the plan doesn’t work, creating a space to experiment with newer methods that work.
Fine Motor Skills: The precision and coordinated movements for constructing just the right building, character or machines are a perfect opportunity for sharpening fine motor skills. LEGO pieces of different sizes and shapes are an excellent muscle building exercise for little fingers and improve dexterity in children. Children apply different amounts of pressure to connect the blocks, which also helps while learning to write.
Spatial awareness and creativity: Children imagine the 3D structure of the building to be constructed which fosters their spatial intelligence, a critical engineering skill. Children become more creative when there is a limitless opportunity for creating intricate designs, be it an adventure hero, animals or an aeroplane. Every LEGO creation is the imagination masterpiece, a form of art of the budding young mind.
Psychological Benefits: LEGO teaches children the power of persistence in accomplishing a task. The final product of imagination instills a sense of satisfaction and self-esteem in children and has a positive effect on their mind. The thought of executing an idea successfully develops self-confidence and encourages them to take up more complex challenges. However, it sometimes causes a heartbreak when the tower of efforts comes down crumbling. Children may initially get frustrated, but eventually, they learn the art of rebuilding their masterpiece.
Science and Math:Generating an idea and proving it practically, the basis of science is naturally imbibed in children while they imagine a structure and construct it. When given access to a limited number of bricks, children learn the importance of each block and ration their supply to complete their structure. From quarter to half to a whole, symmetry to volume to patterns, children learn the basic Math concepts without even realising it.
Open-ended free play is an excellent means for out of the box thinking and fosters creativity and imagination; there is no right or wrong; the sky is the limit to ideas.
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