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Legos for Learning & Play!

Updated on November 28, 2014

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

Lego Education

Take a look at these websites for some incredible learning activities to do using legos! They would be fantastic for home or class!

Lego Crazy Action Contraptions: A LEGO Inventions Book (Klutz)
Lego Crazy Action Contraptions: A LEGO Inventions Book (Klutz)

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.

LEGO Basic Bricks Big Bulk Set - 576 Pieces (9251)
LEGO Basic Bricks Big Bulk Set - 576 Pieces (9251)

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?

Social Studies

  • 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!

Art

  • 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.

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!

LEGO Balloon Car

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

LEGO Learning for your Homeschool

LEGO Learning: Ultimate Homeschool Resource List!!!

How do your kids like to use legos? How do you feel about Lego toys?

Please share your thoughts about legos. :D

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    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      I love Legos! It's really fun to watch my kids use them for educational purposes (like when they made bridges out of them when we were studying bridges and when they mass produced Lego cars when we were studying Michigan and Henry Ford).

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @anonymous: I couldn't find the page, but you may want to check at http://education.lego.com/en-gb/preschool-and-scho... - maybe you'll have more luck than me. I don't think it was a specific LEGO set for genetics, but rather ideas to tie basic bricks into a lesson. It was something to do with building models of cells and gene structures using specific colors to represent the different genetic traits. Hope that helps! Please share any links or ideas that you have. =D

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @anonymous: Hi, Tony - the link used to be under "Lego Education Activities" but is apparently no longer an active link. I'll try to look around and find it from the main Lego site if it still exists.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Help!

      Trying to buy Lego used to teach genetics> Cannot find indicatedlink.

    • profile image

      glowchick 6 years ago

      Love this lens so many great ways to use Legos to teach :)

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @hayleylou lm: Thank you, Hayley! =D

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      **Blessed** by the Squidoo Angel for Lego and featured on my Squidoo Angel for Lego lens

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 7 years ago

      Even David in his 30's has got his own set of Lego, bundling space stations while I cook dinner. It's a very versatile and fun toy.

      Loved your lens, a lot of good info and resources. Thanks for sharing!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 7 years ago

      Hey, I just figured out how to link this page to my lego birthday party idea page. It's in the "Legos on Amazon" section! I'm getting geekier!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Both my son and I love legos. If I had a dollar for every lego toy and game I'd bought him over the years...I'd be on vacation today typing this from some exotic beach.

      Seriously though, I have as much fun as he does when we build things together, and I do love toys that don't require electricity or batteries. Thanks for a great lens.

    • profile image

      marsha32 7 years ago

      thanks for featuring my lens....came here to check yours out and have added it to the featured on my lens already :)

      Lego are great! My son's are all here right now.....all 6 boxes of them! He's been allowing my grandchildren to play with them as long as I am supervising that nothing gets lost.

    • profile image

      Tarra99 7 years ago

      like legos?...my 2 are addicted to them...right now we're going through a Star Wars and Space Police phase...they are a great imagination toy...we're big fans!...thanks for sharin...and thank you for visiting & commenting on my Scrabble Tile Pendant lens recently...I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      When my 2 sons were little, they loved playing with their Legos.

      I have no experience with all the new stuff coming out these days, but I would think they must be also a lot of fun.

      Poutine

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      legos truly are a great toy

    • VSP profile image

      VSP 7 years ago

      We love legos too, but ours are packed away waiting for grand Kids. I loved that you put the educational value. There were days when legos counted as school in our house. Adding you do my week 5 lens.

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 7 years ago

      We love all kinds of Legos! Big and small, sets and bricks. Our current favorite is the Lego City Advent Calendar! Thanks for the link to my page Pamela! Great lens! I discovery'd your page to mine.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      When my kids were small, leggos were their favorite. There are so many different things you can build with them.

      Great lens.

      Lizzy

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I have a large box of combined sets of Legos, some of which go back more than 30 years when my children were young. Others have been added over the years and now comprise the favorite toy/activity in my "grandma" toy box. It's where the grandkids head first thing every visit.

      Recently asked my son for some Christmas gift ideas for the kids, and top of the list is still LEGOS! Jake is building a whole army!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      We love legos. Great ideas for building with legos.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I never have thought of Legos as particularly educational, but you've certainly changed my mind!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      I like how you tied Legos into Learning:-) Nice lens, rolling into toys for nature lovers and 5stars of course. Have a nice Thanksgiving and Christmas

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for listing all the educational ideas to use with legos.

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 7 years ago

      Great work, lensrolling to my Lego Building Block lens! My boys spend hours with lego when they were young... kind of miss those days! :-)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Legos must be the in thing. Fun lens!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 7 years ago

      My kids LOVE legos. That's an understatement around here!