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Legos for Learning & Play!
Legos are the best toys ever!
We love Legos! I think we have more Lego and Lego related toys than all the other toys combined! Sure they are fun, cool, and trendy yet classic, but have you ever thought about how much children may learn from playing with them? Why do I like my kids to have legos? How we use them in our homeschool? Legos have excellent educational value!!
I couldn't recommend a product or toy unless I felt it was something that we value highly. Besides all the children's reasons for liking legos, I have to feel like there will be something beneficial to my children before spending hard earned money on toys they want. I'm sure you are the same. My teacher brain thought about it awhile and came up with many educational ideas that we have used in the past, and ones we want use in the future.
I hope my brainstorming will help other teachers, homeschool families, and parents enjoy playtimes and learning times with children! Have fun with them! :D
Take a look at these websites for some incredible learning activities to do using legos! They would be fantastic for home or class!
- Lego Education Activities
The Lego Education website contains a search engine to find learning activities for your child or class in the categories of machine mechanisms and robotics. Just enter age, category, and product to find free interesting lessons and activities.
- O Look, Lego Lessons!
Over 60 multi-curricular lesson plans and activities for legos are on this page!
- Lego Projects for Math & Science
Try some fun activities to encourage technology learning.
- LEGO Unit & Lapbook by Walking by the Way
Find a fabulous mini unit to learn about LEGOs that includes research, videos, building projects, vocabulary, history, and mini books that could be used to create a notebook or lapbook!l
- LEGO Homeschool!
Find more educational ideas for using LEGOs in the classroom!
I gave my son this set when he was younger. It contains pieces and plans for several cool working machines that only require a few extra basic LEGO building pieces! My favorite is the candy dispenser!
Mathematics - Legos make wonderful math manipulatives!
- Shapes ~ use legos to learn squares, rectangles, circles, triangles, cubes, rectangular solids, and more depending on the sets you have.
- Counitng Skills ~ How many blocks did you use to make your building? How many square pieces are there?
- Addition & Subtraction Skills ~ If you made a tower with 3 green legos and 5 red legos, how many legos did you use altogether? If you take two blocks away, how many blocks are in your tower now?
- Skip Counting & Multiplication ~ Let's make 4 stacks of legos with 6 legos in each. How many total legos have been used?
- Geometry ~ Create shapes to study perimeter, area, and volume.
- Graphing ~ Create 3-D bar graphs, "plot" lego x and y coordinates on a huge cardboard graph, etc.
- Critical Thinking Skills ~ Measuring and designing their creations, choosing shapes and colors for building.
Have fun building with this set of 576 bricks in a range of different sizes and colors!
Science - Use Legos to Learn about Science!
- Engineering ~ so many possibilities to study engineering concepts ~ designing, estimating, making creations work the way they want them to.
- Simple & Compound Machines ~ study gears, pulleys, inclines, wheels, axels, and more with regular sets and fancier ones from Lego Education. Build cars, planes, helicopters, trucks, and other movable or functional things.
- Robotics ~ check out Lego Education & Lego Mind Storms to view a wide variety of activities. It's amazing what kids can do!
- Chemistry ~ build chemical compounds (H2O - connect 2 green legos and 1 blue). A study of plastic productions and changing liquid plastics into solid bricks would also be interesting!
- Genetics ~ see the "Genetics Lesson" link above.
- Geology ~ study types of rocks, layers, and minerals of geological items. (After reading about sedimentary rocks to my 8 year old a few days ago, he started - on his own - putting together colored layers of his Legos to represent the layers of rocks. Then he "created" other types of rocks by placing different colored "minerals" together and labeling them quartz, diamonds, and gold, etcetera!)
How do they create those?
- Architectural Design Throughout History ~ The kids enjoyed creating their own versions of historic buildings as we studied history. Try making the Tower of Babel, Egyptian Pyramids, Greek Acropolis, Roman Collusium, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal of India, Jamestown or Plymouth Settlements, and innumerous other places in history. Sometimes we had to use our imaginations a bit, but a few of their creations made fabulous props in dioramas, reports, and in roll playing events!
- Geography ~ Map Skills ~ Create a 3-D map of places in your town or a place you are studying! Or, on a flat lego board, outline a state or country and place blocks where certain cities or locations would be.
- Communities & Occupations ~ You can study just about any career and aspect of communities with legos, especially with the "Lego City" sets.
Lego Games on Wii!
12/2009 ~ We bit the bullet and got the Wii for Christmas 2009. The kids first choices were the Batman Lego and Star Wars Lego games that they have been enjoying!
6/2010 ~ The kids (and the big kid at heart - Dad) are still enjoying the Wii. Hubby and sons are playing Lego Indiana Jones now!
8/2011 ~ Still playing their Lego Wii Games, but now Lego Harry Potter seems to be the game of choice lately!
3/2012 ~ New favorite! LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean!
Lego Star Wars - The Complete Saga Game Review (Wii)
This was on my children's Christmas wish list!
- Color Concepts ~ choosing colors that are complementary to each other in their creations.
- Patterns ~ create designs, patterns, or pictures with the variety of colors and shapes. The "Mosaic" sets are specially designed for this.
- Symmetry ~ create all sorts of symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes and colors.
Lego Fun Online
- Lego Games
Play several cool games at the Lego homesite!
- Lego Party Ideas
Paper products, games, decorations, etc. are easy with these directions.
- Lego Indiana Jones
Lucas Arts created an awesome online adventure game to play!
- Lego Fever Game
Choose either the free download game or the one for purchase.
- Lego Creator Games
Gallery, Lego Design School, and World Builder are games for creating.
Why we love legos!
Here are the exact answers that my kiddos gave when I ask them why legos are so great.
- You can build fun stuff!
- They have moving parts.
- You can play with vehicles and characters that you build.
- They are fun to collect!
- Collectable pieces raise in value when certain sets are discontinued.
- They are compatible with mega blocks.
- Legos are made of fine quality plastic that are quite durable.
- You can act out your favorite movies with the sets like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, Harry Potter, and others.
- Play your favorite songs on Lego Rock Band!
- They have matching video games that have the same parts that you can collect. You can play them with your friends.
- Some pieces have flexible plastic like the K-nex sets.
- They make great gifts to give and get!
Fun (and Educational) LEGO Activities to Try!
Teacher's Guide for LEGO Atoms and Molecules: Chemical Reactions
LEGO Chemical Reactions Students Pages: A science experiment on chemical bonding. So cool!
More Science Activities Using Legos from How to Smile Science and Math Activities
Instructions to Building Kits from Let's Build It Again
How do your kids like to use legos? How do you feel about Lego toys?