Lego Bricks: 12 Reasons Why They Are Beneficial To Children
The Lego Group is celebrated worldwide for its beautifully designed plastic interlocking blocks which come in different shapes and colors. By the year 2015, the company has produced over 600 billion blocks.
The founder of the company, the late Ole Kirk Christiansen was born in 1891 and died in 1958. Ole Kirk was a carpenter. He began building wooden blocks in his carpentry workshop in 1934. As of 1949 the group began building plastic blocks. At first, they didn’t sell a lot as people were used to wooden blocks but in time people began buying the plastic ones.
A private-owned company situated in Billund, Denmark, the company surpasses other companies in the manufacturing of interlocking plastic blocks. It is very easy to assemble the blocks which hold firmly once you intertwine them, and easy to disassemble them.
The word ‘Lego’ comes from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt’ which means ‘play well.’ As far as it goes, it is fun and engaging playing with the blocks as you assemble the blocks to construct something. In addition, it is safe playing with Lego blocks. The motto of the company is: ‘Only the best is the best.’ No substandard but the highest quality attainable. Ole Kirk emphasized to his employees the importance of ensuring they manufacture or make the best quality blocks because the best never becomes the worst.
Having looked at the brief history of Lego Group the manufacturers of Lego plastic Lego blocks, let’s find out the benefits it affords children when they play with the blocks.
Benefits of Playing Lego Blocks
“The activities that are the easiest, cheapest, and most fun to do – such as singing, playing games, reading, storytelling, and just talking and listening – are also the best for child development.” (Jerome Singer)
- The child learns the worth of patience. It takes a considerable length of time to build something big such as a castle. The child will have to learn to be serene and patient in order to accomplish the task of building for instance, a castle.
- If a child is stressed or angry, playing with the blocks will enable the child to calm down if he is angry or to loosen up, that is, relax. Playing acts as a stress reliever the reason why even adults engage in some form of sport or games such video games or playing football.
- It aids in enhancing social skills or enables the child to interact with other children and/or adults. The child knows how to communicate properly with another child – sibling or a different child – or adult if as an adult you’re also playing with your child in building something using the blocks. The child learns how to feel sorry for and identify with another child, the importance of cooperation and sharing things.
- The child improves in terms of language such as learning how to ask questions, learns new vocabulary words, how to answer questions and in giving instructions or directions.
- It improves the imaginative aspect of the child. It improves his creativeness as he builds different things using the blocks. Whatever he imagines he puts it into reality by building the thing he imagined using the blocks such as a vehicle, a house, a chair or any other thing.
“It’s not so much what children learn through play, but what they won’t learn if we don’t give them the chance to play. Many functional skills like literacy and arithmetic can be learned either through play or through instruction – the issue is the amount of stress on the child. However, many coping skills like compassion, self-regulation, self-confidence, the habit of active engagement, and the motivation to learn and be literate cannot be instructed. They can only be learned through self-directed experience (i.e. play). (Susan J. Oliver)
- The child learns how to put into practice what he has thought. The child learns how to put into reality the ideas that are spinning in his mind. This will enable the child to become more of a practical person than a theoretical one. You know, Actions speak louder than words.
- It improves the thinking capacity of the child. The child learns how to think critically. The child learns to question what he doesn’t understand, to find out why something is lacking and what to do in order to resolve it. This signifies,
- The child learns problem solving skills. By engaging his mind in thinking, he comes up with reasons as to why this problem has arisen and how to rectify it even if it means disassembling all the parts and starting from the start.
- The child will concentrate his mind and energy (effort) into building what he has imagined or following the steps outlined in the guide on how to build something. The child becomes focused in what he is doing. This is very important for a child will learn to focus on what he has set out to do or the task he has been assigned, for example, homework and concentrating in ensuring he completes the task.
- The child will learn mathematical skills such as counting, differentiating different shapes such as rectangle and square, solving mathematical calculations such as addition and subtraction and arranging and rearranging different things such as shapes.
“Play permits the child to resolve in symbolic form unsolved problems of the past and to cope directly or symbolically with present concerns. It is also his most significant tool for preparing himself for the future and its tasks.” (Bruno Bettelheim)
Top 12 Benefits of Playing With Blocks. ( Hint: Blocks Make Kids Smart.)
- It improves the fine motor skills of a child which involves the small muscles such as those found in the fingers. As explained by Tracey le Roux in her website, ‘OT Mom Learning Activities,’ she states: “Fine motor skills generally refer to one’s ability to control the small movements of the hands and fingers, as well as the small muscles of the face and mouth (tongue) and feet.” Thereby, playing with the blocks helps in the strengthening the smaller muscles as indicated by Parents in the article, ‘Developing Motor Skills.’ It is noted, “Just as gross motor skills enable your child to perform important everyday tasks, such as getting out of bed and going downstairs for breakfast, fine motor abilities allow for increasing independence in smaller but equally significant matters: opening doors, zipping zippers, brushing teeth, washing hands, and so on.
- The child learns the value of following instructions. When the child follows the instructions provided in the instructional guide, in time he learns the benefits associated with following an adult’s instruction.
- Above all, play is enjoyable, entertaining, self-fulfilling and is voluntary – it is never forced.
Using Legos or Mega Blocks with ToddlerS
“Children engage in (free) play because they enjoy it – it’s self-directed. They do not play for rewards; they enjoy the doing, not the end result. Once they get bored, they go on to do something else – and continue to learn and grow.” (Sheila G. Flaxman)
© 2017 Benny Njuguna