Did you know that with LEGO, children (in addition to having fun) can learn various educational content? Let’s discover the LEGO Education line together!
Who does not know the famous LEGO pieces? We are referring to those coloured bricks with which all kinds of constructions can be made. What if we told you that many teachers today use them as an innovative educational resource for classroom learning? Let’s discover the benefits of the LEGO Education line for children and teenagers!
In an increasingly competitive world, it often happens that children are pushed to learn to count and read from kindergarten and that even in primary school, they are forced to sit at desks for long hours to learn in a non-interactive and stimulating way.
Something is changing, and many school projects provide more space for playful activity, intended as a stimulus for learning.
And Hanne Rasmussen, head of the Lego Foundation, also spoke about the importance of play as a tool for learning. In a recent article published in the Guardian, she illustrated the new challenges that the Foundation has decided to undertake to bring the most famous bricks of the world into schools and to transform them into tools for learning through play.
Rasmussen points out that too often, parents underestimate the importance of play for children, focusing more on when and how quickly their children learn multiplication tables or how to write correctly.
The little ones are introduced from the early years of childhood to a competitive and challenging approach that also transforms learning into a race to see who finishes first, with inevitable frustrations and difficulties for those with different times than others.
The LEGO Education line allows children to learn through active methodologies in which they become the main protagonists of the teaching-learning process. In this way, they can put the acquired knowledge into practice and express their ideas by using various pieces to build the most diverse objects.
Do you Want to know more about this type of teaching tool? You just have to read this article carefully.
LEGO Education, an Innovative Educational Resource
Based on what we have said so far, we can come to the conclusion that LEGO Education is an innovative educational resource that promotes the full development of children, adolescents and young people.
Many teachers have had the courage to use this teaching tool in the classroom, both in early childhood and primary and secondary schools and even at the University. Indeed, it allows for obtaining excellent results in all educational stages.
If you are a teacher and want to make your lessons more enjoyable and fun, you may want to consider using the LEGO Education line. Your students will be thrilled.
Furthermore, in this way, you will provide the new generations with a different educational offer, far from the traditional methods in which only pencils, books and notebooks are used. It is a more motivating way of teaching that motivates students and makes them happy and eager to learn.
Do you still have doubts? If you need more information, you can consult the official LEGO Education website, where there are more than 400 lesson plans that you can put into practice in the classroom.
Learning through Destructive Play
What is destructive play? And how can it be educational?
According to LEGO® experts, knocking down a tower of bricks or throwing food on the ground are “destructive play activities”. It may seem like a negative or rejective attitude to parents, but, in reality, it is an important moment from an educational point of view that must be carefully analyzed.
Here are, according to Lego, the learning that derives from destructive play:
1. Babies are learning about their senses: Knocking down a tower of bricks stimulates three senses at the same time:
Vision: “What a colourful tower in front of me!”
Touch: “How do these bricks feel to the touch?”
Hearing: “What noise will it make if I drop it?”
Playing together with your child can amplify these learnings, encouraging him, for example, to experiment more and more, building the tower first on a wooden floor and then on the carpet and testing the different noises and much more!
2. Self-confidence: It can be challenging for very young children to stack two bricks, and the fact that they try simple activities such as knocking down the tower and seeing the results certainly helps them to gain self-confidence and gradually carry out more and more challenging activities.
3. The concept of gravity: While the boy repeatedly throws the tower of bricks on the ground, he explores the concept of gravity over and over again, just like Newton with the apple.
Before building on his own, through destructive play, he is discovering many concepts that have to do with mathematics, physics and geometry. All of this comes from understanding concepts like the shape, weight, size, and stability of a brick.
4. The concept of cause and effect: In the act of knocking down a tower of bricks, the child is experiencing his power over the world around him, beginning to understand the concept of cause and effect: he is the cause, while the fall is the effect.
When the child is about 18 months old, this type of behaviour will become more and more frequent because it is testing his power even towards his own parent. This is the right time to teach your child to respect boundaries.
5. The concept of collaboration: If the parent adopts the approach of building something and inviting their child to knock it down, demonstrating that he made it for this purpose, the game becomes collaborative.
Learning to play with others is something children learn gradually. This approach can be an introduction to the collaborative play: the parent builds, the child destroys, and, at the heart of all, this is collaborative construction. The relationship as a partner is in play.
Playing with LEGO in the classroom
There are several LEGO Education kits. Among these, we can find:
- Story Starters.
- Simple machines.
- Motorized machines.
- More to Math (for math).
- Learn to Learn.
- Build to Express.
Each is intended for an age group and has a specific purpose. But there is something all the kits have in common: they facilitate learning through play. Furthermore, they are fun, interactive games that stimulate the active participation of children.
LEGO created this line of products with the intention of providing support to teachers in achieving the curricular objectives of a given subject and allowing them to organize lessons making them more motivating, attractive and stimulating.
In this sense, it is important that the teacher who intends to use the LEGO Education line in the classroom must have the task of guiding and mediating the learning process. In this way, the students themselves will independently find the solutions to the various projects and the multiple challenges proposed.
The LEGO Education line can be used to work on all kinds of knowledge and skills. From social and communication skills to developing literacy or STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This term refers to those subjects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
What role does Lego play in the early stages of learning?
Lego is and has been, for many years, one of the most popular and valuable toy brands in the world. Lego has so many educational benefits that many people consider it the best game ever. It is an excellent tool for brain development in children.
According to some studies, children up to 8 years of age learn above all through play and construction. In particular, they help to stimulate creativity, imagination and problem-solving.
With Lego, every game is possible: no super-structures and full freedom when it comes to building, attention and analytical skills when it comes to assembling following the instructions. Handwork, imagination and fantasy do the rest!
But beyond the undeniable creative stimuli that Lego offer, there are also other reasons why Lego bricks shouldn’t be missing from children’s toys.
Let’s take a look at the skills that kids can learn from Lego games.
1-fine motor skills
Connecting Lego pieces requires precision, coordination and calmness, which helps develop and enhance fine motor skills in children. Lego Duplo is great for early skill development, but more complex Lego sets continue to challenge and teach precise techniques as your children grow.
2-Stimulate mathematical thinking
One of the reasons Lego is suitable for development is that it aids in the formation of early mathematical concepts such as shapes, number concepts, measurement, and so on. Children learn mathematical concepts and phrases while using small blocks, such as:
- Counting pieces, small numbers, large numbers…
- Shapes, zig-zag, straight lines, circular.
Building towers, bridges, platforms and various characters help the child to understand space, quantities, dimensions, proportions, and symmetry.
Playing with the bricks, children do balance exercises, experiment with shapes and learn to divide and split. This is why in many kindergartens; Lego is present not only as a game but also as a fun learning method.
The bricks make incredible mathematical manoeuvres. Whether kids are simply measuring how many bricks they’ll need to finish a wall or to learn more complex math concepts like place value, multiplication, and perimeter, it really is a great resource.
3 – Cooperation and communication with others
Playing with bricks, like most things, is always more fun with friends! From an early age, children who play with it together learn how to share with others.
When children work together to reach a similar goal, playing with Lego also teaches them basic cooperation and communication skills. So don’t forget to bring a large number of lego toys and include them in your child’s favourite games!
It can also be played in groups both at home and in kindergartens, and this teaches children to socialize with others. In fact, when working together to build something, children must agree on the idea of the game to be built, they must respect turns, they must learn to communicate, express themselves and share roles and responsibilities.
Only in this way will they understand that they will be able to arrive at a typical result and will be able to have a pleasant social experience.
4- Perseverance and persistence
Playing with bricks is not a game that can be done in a hurry. Children learn every time a beautifully designed Lego tower that falls or then gets destroyed by accident or when the finished object is not as it should be. And then we start over, with patience, trying to understand the mistake and doing everything possible not to repeat it.
Over time, children will learn that with patience and persistence, they can create more elaborate constructions and follow up on increasingly complex projects. This thought will help them be good students and better people.
5- Problem-solving abilities
We all know that building undertakings don’t always go according to plan, and building Lego structures is no exception! Playing with Lego encourages kids to anticipate problems and use their problem-solving skills to prevent Lego “disasters.”
Following the instructions and figuring out how to fix a loose Lego structure can be a great learning experience.
The brick strategy helps in learning the skill of problem-solving, the LEGO tower always keeps tipping over, or when you complete a project, you might miss an important piece, and a dollhouse needs a bed made to fit the ceiling.
Building with LEGO often presents challenges for children and adults, but they can always be overcome with a little experimentation and the determination to keep trying until the masterpiece is finished. It’s an essential life skill, and it seems to give kids the incentive not to give up.
6- Creative thinking
Kids can let their imagination run wild and develop their creativity without fear of failure when they play with Lego toys. When children are allowed to play freely, they will discover what they are capable of creating.
7 – Coordination of hands and eyes together
Playing with LEGO and other building toys helps children develop a variety of physical skills. Manipulating the pieces helps develop hand-eye coordination, which involves training the eyes and hands to work together, as well as bilateral integration, which involves learning to work together on both sides of the body (or hands).
8 – The extent of attention and focus
One of the benefits of Lego for the brain is that it improves concentration. A child’s ability to focus improves when he or she is engaged in an activity.
My child may only play for 5 minutes at a time, but as he gets older and more involved in play activities, The amount of time he devotes to each activity will increase. In contrast to passive screen time, any playtime in which a child is actively engaged in thinking will have a good effect on their developing attention span.
Learning to plan is a talent that, like any other talent, requires practice.
Lego games are an excellent tool for practising making a mental plan and then implementing it. A young child might start experimenting with Lego, discovering that they can be connected and stacked to form a tower. Later, as their brains mature, they begin to build purposeful structures.
10 – Learning colour and shape automatically
Colours and shapes do not always have to be learned in early childhood. Through colour and shape activities, these concepts will be discovered and understood by accident. If your child is exposed to educational activities and games, it is possible to benefit from a wide range of hands-on experiences, such as experimenting with block shapes and playing with lego games.
11 – Developing emotions
Playing with building toys is not only a relaxing and stress-relieving hobby, but it also stimulates symbolic play (or pretend play). When children engage in imaginative play with others, they are able to “play out” in a safe and healthy way. They pretend to be adults, role play and communicate in order to understand all areas of life through playing.
12-improve self-esteem and increase confidence
For a child, putting small pieces of Lego together to create something concrete can be difficult. Achieving this task is a great source of satisfaction for him, so much so that he will spontaneously smile and proudly show off his completed work. This has an extremely positive effect on a child’s self-esteem and boosts self-confidence. It’s not a trivial matter.
13-Teamwork and conflict resolution skills
Whether the kids are just playing with friends, the LEGO Education strategy helps create ideas for the preschool curriculum to teach social skills and conflict resolution.
Or if they step up and join an official LEGO team, like the FIRST LEGO League, kids can learn a lot about teamwork and sharing everything while playing with LEGO.
14-Sorting and counting skills
LEGO block activity teaches step-by-step block strategy and sorts in many core preschool skills. Toddler Approved.
A great way to play with LEGO blocks with younger children is not to build at all but to scatter a bunch of blocks on the floor and sort them by colour or size. This works well with DUPLO for toddlers.
15-The skill of following instructions
The Lego strategy helps children learn how to follow instructions. While free play is one of the primary benefits of LEGO, there is also the satisfaction that comes from following directions to create something specific.
This is where even the most avid builder learns the importance of opening the instruction manual and following the step-by-step directions if they want to have a successful build; plus, the game instructions are always illustrated, so even those who can’t read can follow along.
16-Spatial thinking skill
An excellent activity for teaching spatial reasoning skills is when kids thought big to build a house out of their LEGO bricks, so they could have a party inside; they were developing their spatial logic skills.
Just like an architect might approach the design of a new home, being able to visualize spaces is an important skill which can help enhance their abilities in math, science, art and design.
17-Organization and storage skills
Kids learn the idea of storing Lego bricks very quickly, that they shouldn’t leave their bricks scattered around the room because, well, they might get hurt when standing on them, and because looking under furniture for a much-needed brick isn’t fun, so organization is the key Best for making playtime more fun.
18-Basic coding skill
Although LEGO bricks are one of my favourites, they have long been a great tool for teaching kids the basics of coding and are ideal for kids who are computer savvy or even video game enthusiasts.
If kids love to code and make robots with LEGO, there are so many great options that continue to grow with kids, from kindergartners just starting out to teens who can get a little more advanced.
19-Advanced coding skill
The combination of LEGO Mindstorms, one of the kids’ favourite tech gifts, and robotics technology mean that even advanced programmers can learn a lot from LEGO, which is increasingly becoming a highly sought-after skill in today’s job market.
20-Design and architecture skill
LEGO architecture kits allow even the most advanced builders to create models of famous landmarks around the world.
How many of the greatest architects of our time got their start by playing with LEGO bricks and building fantastic shapes?
Ten ideas for playing with Lego in an alternative way
Lego bricks are not only fun but also very, very educational (we’ve already told you about how important it is to play construction). However, even if this game is already very stimulating in itself, we can also use Lego for activities other than the usual creative or architectural constructions, inventing new fun tools to learn many new things.
Ten ideas for playing with Lego in an alternative way: how to use the construction game to learn a language, mathematics and many new things
Learn the letters
Recreating the letters together with the children is one of the first activities we can do with them to teach them. After gaining confidence and having tried to write them, to strengthen their knowledge of the shape of the letters, we can have him recreate them with Lego.
Learn to write
After learning the alphabet, children begin to understand how words are constructed, letter by letter. If we label each brick with a letter, we can then teach them to write their first words, placing the letters side by side as they form them.
Learn the numbers
As with language, mathematics can also benefit from the Lego game. First of all, this simple activity provides a card on which to write the numbers and boxes alongside. The child will have to place the number of bricks used to form it next to the number.
Learn the tens
As for the previous activity, also in this case, we use Lego to learn quantities. After the children have understood the numbers from 1 to 10, we can show them how the tens are formed, joining ten bricks to create a column (10), gradually up to larger tens.
Here you will find an entire article dedicated to teaching fractions with Lego. In fact, due to their shape and their nature, bricks lend themselves great to fractions!
After having built small towers of various sizes (therefore multiple numbers), the children will simply have to understand which is the most significant number and which is the smallest number, comparing them visually, then applying the more significant/minor sign based on what they find in the front.
Recreate the solar system
Take a map of the solar system: with the various pieces of various colours, shapes and sizes (they don’t need to be perfect or circular, it can be done in broad terms!), we can recreate the planets that revolve around the Sun, learning about them concretely and making sure that they remain impressed much more effectively.
Build a marble maze
Here the imagination can run wild because we can build it in various colours and sizes, with many different angles. In the end, the result will be a labyrinth from which to try to get a marble out.
Building precise shapes
A game that is also useful for the little ones to stimulate dexterity, hand-eye coordination and shape recognition: on some sheets, we draw random shapes to be recreated with Lego so that the children have fun looking for the various pieces and recreating exactly the proposed forms.
LEGO WEDO 2.0
What is Lego Wedo 2.0 ?
the LEGO ® Education WeDo 2.0 package has been developed to support a different and competitive teaching strategy, it allows the students to deal with problems and scientific subjects in a more creative and practical manner.
Students learn through problem solving and critical thinking, as it provides them with the tools that will enable them to find answers, they can investigate and explore what they need to understand about real-world problems.
The tool teaches the basics of building robotics, which will increase and stimulate the kid’s creativity and improves his logical and critical thinking.
By creating various robot models, Children can learn subjects other than robotics through the stories and tales of Lego WeDo, such as history, language, and others. It also promotes teamwork because the activities it provides can be completed in pairs or groups.
Lego Wedo 2.0 Projects
Different projects are developed according to the standards of Wedo 2.0 curriculum ,the projects are guided by detailed instructions.
A more advanced projects which provides more open ideas that can be presented to more experienced kids.
All the projects are divided into phases:
the exploration phase in which the students are assigned to tasks ;
The creation phase in which students start building and coding;
Documentation of the project.
Lego WEDO can be used in different contexts such as:
- Scientific context
- Engineering Context
- Computational Context
All we need in science is to observe, analyze, collect evidence, and test.
Students can build a model with Lego as a representation of reality for example to simulate natural phenomena, all they need to do is to collect evidence or provide a simulation.
Such models enhance understanding and explanation of natural phenomena.
Carrying out a modeling project will encourage students to focus their creativity on representing reality as closely as possible.
In doing so, they need to identify and explain the limitations of their models.
Examples of directed project modeling include:
- Frog transformation
- Plants and pollinators
Any science project can be applied through a defined framework which is Planning and research.
The students will start their own research, collecting data, making their predictions, running tests and then reach to conclusions.
Fair testing will be one of the important skills that they will learn.
The educator must guide them to look for the cause and the effect in their tests by changing variables.
Examples of directed project research include:
- the speed
Engineering is concerned with the idea of Design, so what Wedo offers is to let the child design his own solution for the problem.
The solution design is not a one-shot task, it needs to be modified and adjusted many times to meet the standards and the underlying constraints.
While designing the solution, the student must understand that “failure” in engineering is a sign of cognitive maturity so he will be encouraged to the concept of “Trial and Error”; such concepts of “Failure” will improve the student’s self-esteem which will also be reflected on his cognitive process.
If you are the teacher/educator, then you have to encourage the students to focus their creativity on designing several solutions for the problem and ask them to select the prototype that they think is the best according to the criteria you set
They are asked to.
Examples of directed project design include:
- Flood prevention
- Landing and rescue
WeDo 2.0 helps apply computational thinking through its projects.
Computational thinking is a set of problem-solving skills that have characteristics like:
1- Formulating problems in a way that enables the use of computers and other tools to help solve them.
2- Logical organization and analysis of data.
3- Data representation through abstractions such as models and simulations.
4- Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking to sequence actions.
5- Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions to reach the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources.
6- Generalizing and benefiting from the process of solving the problem that the individual deals with, benefiting from it, and applying it to a wide range of problems.
Applying computational thinking to the projects enables students to use powerful tools to implement their research, builds, and program models that would otherwise be difficult to implement.
Examples can be as :
Students can use software to implement a function for their prototypes such as motors, lights, sounds, and displays, or to interact with sounds.
The best Lego to buy online
The hectic life of today’s families often does not allow you to go around to get an idea of what you have to buy, so now that we have explained to you why blocks are a great toy for your children, here are some tips for buying the best bricks online.
Constructions for children 1-2 years
Obviously, classic bricks are not for everyone, so it is good to proceed step by step and buy a product suitable for your child’s age. The little ones, starting from one year, have various constructions available with which to have fun and develop fine motor skills.
Mega Bloks – starting from one year
The Mega Bloks are similar to Lego, but in this version, they are perfect for children from one year old as long as you see that they have fun. This bag contains 60 and allows you to give free rein to your imagination!
Building blocks for children 3-6 years old
As children grow, their skills increase, not only in holding objects firmly but also in following patterns and building.
The Duplos are perfect for small children but are ideal for the kindergarten age group because of a size suitable for small hands and, above all, without the risk of suffocation.
Buildings for older children
Not only small children love to play with building blocks, on the contrary! At all ages, bricks remain a much-loved game (even by us adults!), but obviously, we are looking for something more complex.
Lego Classic sets
The classic of classics is the Lego set, which is then declined in a thousand different types, but if you want to keep your children entertained endlessly, go on the safe side with a set that contains as many bricks as possible!
5 Lego games to build:
Construction case: a great classic that brings the little ones closer to lego bricks to build all kinds of houses, vehicles, animals, and objects.
LEGO Disney – Disney’s fairy tale castle: a classic Lego Disney that has conquered girls all over the world. With the Sleeping Beauty castle, many extraordinary adventures can be recreated together with Princess Aurora, the Maleficent witch, and Prince Philip.
LEGO Batman – Batmobile: a unique set to build the famous batmobile and experience many fantastic and exciting challenges against the forces of evil together with the DC Comics superhero and the inseparable Robin.
LEGO Friends – The Tree House: a beautiful house in a tree built for Mia, Daniel, and their friends from the forest, with a ladder, climbing net, and many other accessories.
LEGO Creator – Dinosaur: a set of 174 bricks to build a 3-in-1 Tyrannosaurus, complete with bright orange eyes, giant claws, pointed teeth and features posable joints and a head. And you can even rebuild it into a triceratops or pterodactyl!
Lego City games to build
LEGO City is a series suitable for children aged six and up that adds a new dimension of realism to the famous brick game. His motto? “Real action, real fun”. In fact, with these bricks, children will be able to develop their imagination by building captivating stories very close to real everyday life. From toy trains to the fire station, from heavy transport vehicles to the police helicopter, there are so many different settings, vehicles and characters that live in this exciting city that you can build brick by brick with lots of imagination and fun.
5 Lego City games for kids:
Lego City – Passenger train: a set to have fun building and piloting this beautiful radio-controlled train just like a real train driver, thanks to the 10-speed Bluetooth remote control.
Lego City- Command Center: A fantastically detailed police command centre perfect for engaging in challenging chases between cops and robbers.
Lego City – Off-Road Chase: a fun set to launch yourself on a motocross bike, all to be built with bricks, in search of the thief’s secret hiding place and recover the stolen loot.
Lego City – Fun on the beach: a very fun construction set to recreate a beach made entirely of bricks, complete with bathers, sand castles, surfboards and deck chairs.
Lego City – Fire Station: Every self-respecting city needs a fire station, and this LEGO City set contains everything you need to put out small and big fires and make the city safe.
Why is Lego educational?
Because it develops the following abilities:
- In a fun atmosphere, Lego provides tools that encourage lateral thinking.
- Instill in children the ability to think in three dimensions.
- As children work with the instructions, their reading and writing skills improve.
- The building encourages problem-solving, organization, and planning.
What makes LEGO so unique?
Building toys, in general, have evolved tremendously over the years, but the original LEGO brick is still the Foundation. In 1958, the fixtures were introduced in their current form. The interlocking tubes make for an even more unique design and give them limitless building options.
What attracts adults to Lego?
Nostalgia for the past. Of course, Lego has been an important part of many adults’ childhoods, and there is a strong sense of nostalgia associated with it. People are eager to recreate their childhood memories more and more, and nostalgia has become a major source of income for adults today as they try to relive a bygone era.
Is it true that Lego help with cognitive development?
You can build increasingly complex structures, and your brain will be trained in the process. Lego games are a great way to reactivate your cognitive thinking and creativity. It’s a fun and productive way to pass the time. Today is the day to immerse yourself in LEGO for brain development and power.
Why are Lego games good for the brain?
One of the benefits of Lego for the brain is that it improves concentration.
The more a child’s ability to focus improves, the more he will be busy in an activity beneficial to him in the future.
What are some ways that LEGO games help you become more intelligent?
“When youngsters build with blocks and LEGO, they are engaging spatial reasoning skills,” explains Amy Shelton, director of research at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gifted Youth.
- Lego Education: Phonics and Literacy Fun
- Lego Ideas: Learning Through Play
- Lego Math: Enjoy Learning with Lego
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