When kids play with Lego, it is easy to see that they open up a world of creativity, imagination, and fun! But there's actually more than just play that is happening. They are also working on improving their patience, spatial awareness, emotional intelligence, and more! Let's dive into the world of Lego and look at some of the obvious and not-so-obvious benefits of Lego.
Creativity and Experimentation
This may be the most common benefit that people think of when thinking of Lego. No matter whether you are a child, teenager, adult, or elder, the moment you pick up a Lego, you unlock a vast and endless opportunity to build whatever your imagination will come up with. A fire-breathing dragon stuck inside an eerie dungeon? A beautiful and magical mermaid swimming in the ocean beside enchanted clams hiding precious pearls? The coolest skyscraper with windows highlighting the many levels filled with people, objects, and stories? Yes... Yes... and Yes! How about a fire-breathing dragon having lunch with a beautiful and magical mermaid on top of the coolest skyscraper?! Yeeeeeessss! No matter what age you are or where you live, playing with Lego allows you the opportunity to be creative, use your imagination, and experiment with all types of builds.
Patience, Focus, and Concentration
Finding the right Lego for a project takes a lot of patience, focus, and concentration. Sometimes, you have to dig through a pile of Lego and sometimes you have to take apart one build to use the piece for another. No matter what the situation may be, working on improving your patience, focus, and concentration will benefit you tremendously in all future work. Many kids have trouble sitting still and focusing for long (or even short) amounts of time. Playing with Lego can help kids practice this. Even though there is some movement involved when playing with Lego, like reaching for pieces or moving from one area of the build to another area, the majority of playing with Lego requires you to stay in relatively one area and sit still in order to place the pieces together without breaking what you have already built. According to Children's Wellness Center, "In a world where children often want instant gratification, the building process can help children understand that in order to get good results, it can take time and hard work can pay off!" Also according to Kiddiwinks, "The ability to plan, organise and then execute are all critical skills that can be applied to any goal orientated actions in life. With Lego bricks and models, these skills can be tested and exercised using the construction process as a tool. Moreover, when things aren’t going as planned, it’s the positive action of going back to the drawing board and re-thinking the original plan that helps to teach kids perseverance and resilience."
Spatial Awareness, Science, and Math
Building with Lego helps kids improve their spatial awareness, which refers to being aware of your surroundings and your position relative to them. According to Healthline, spatial awareness is important for a number of reasons, including knowing about location, distance, and personal space. By allowing kids to have fun while improving their spatial awareness, you are allowing them to build a strong foundation for their day-to-day life as well as for their future education and career. According to John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, "Spatial ability is also important for success in many fields of study. Mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, economic forecasting, meteorology and architecture all involve the use of spatial skills: For instance, an astronomer must visualize the structure of a solar system and the motions of the objects in it. An engineer visualizes the interactions of the parts of a machine. Radiologists must be able to interpret the image on a medical X-ray. Chemical sum formulas can be viewed as abstract models of molecules with most of the spatial information deleted; spatial skills are important in restoring that information when more detailed mental models of the molecules are needed." How great is it that a simple and fun activity can lead to such great value and opportunity?!
Emotional Intelligence, Teamwork, and Communication
One of my favorite things about Lego is how it creates the opportunity for kids (and adults) to play and build with one another. In a world that is full of high-speed everything and self-gratification, Lego encourages teamwork and communication as well as helps improve emotional intelligence. When playing and building with one another, kids must talk, listen, and share. These are invaluable skills that are necessary throughout the rest of their lives and are often seen as highly-valued character traits when applying for a job or starting their own company later in their lives. According to Harvard Business School, "Emotional intelligence...accounts for nearly 90 percent of what sets high performers apart from peers with similar technical skills and knowledge. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you." Emotional intelligence can be broken down into four core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management. When kids play Lego together, they are working on building and improving all four core competencies of emotional intelligence, and they will have fun while doing it!
Kids' favorite activity. Parents' favorite educational resource.
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