Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Netflix. As a Netflix #StreamTeam member, I receive discounted service and other Netflix-related products. However, all opinions expressed within this post are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
Walk around preschool and primary grade classrooms to explore the materials available to your child, and chances are that you will find the teacher has LEGOs or DUPLOs available for your child to use. Sometimes they are there for free play, other times for more structured math or science activities – either way, many teachers value LEGOs as a way to build your child’s brain.
How can plastic bricks contribute to your child’s smarts, you ask? Well…
- LEGOs require spatial awareness to put together models. Kids with good spatial awareness can look at the instruction manuals and will often be able to envision where to put the pieces. Children who have not developed adequate spatial awareness skills may struggle with LEGO sets at first, but with practice are likely to improve their ability to see how the pieces work together to make a larger object.
- LEGOs build fine motor skills. The more kids play, the more they build their ability to pinch, grasp, and place tiny pieces. My middle son has difficulty holding a pencil, so we have been encouraging him to practice pinching and grasping with small LEGO sets.
- LEGOs can bolster math, science, and language arts instruction – creating engaging ways to teach key concepts.
- LEGOs provide practice with patterns and colors.
- LEGOs provide experience with size relations.
- LEGOs can be used to stimulate creative play. I love that Netflix has LEGO-themed series such as Bionicle, LEGO Friends, Elves, City, and more to introduce possible storylines to children to encourage and enhance their own imaginative play.
- LEGOs can be used in pairs or small groups to promote teamwork.
- LEGOS encourage organization.
- LEGOs teach perseverance and patience, as building larger sets may take several days or weeks.
- LEGOs can promote understanding of physics concepts and cause and effect.
- LEGO stop motion technology promotes kid movie-making, brainstorming, and story line development – making future producers to whose movies may be screened on Netflix?
- LEGOs can be used for sentence building.
- LEGOs can be used to create settings and characters to facilitate retellings.
- LEGOs, because they are so loved by adults, often lead to parent-child time spent together in play.
- LEGOs allow children to explore robotics.
- LEGOs promote hands-on problem solving.
- LEGOs encourage kids to think in 3D.
- LEGOs build reading to perform a task skills (when using the instructions).