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How to Use Legos to Teach Kids

Updated on April 6, 2012

As a mom of two children, I love to find ways to teach my kids while having fun! From creativity to storytelling to math skills, there are many ways to teach kids using Lego and Duplo blocks. Here are four activities for kids of all ages that involve learning and fun.

Lego and Duplo blocks combine learning and fun!
Lego and Duplo blocks combine learning and fun! | Source

Build and Tell a Story

Challenge your child to build a creation of any type - a building, a vehicle, a creature, whatever they want to build. Then, after building it, ask them to tell you a story about the creation.

For example, if he builds a train, ask him to tell a story about the train. Who is riding on it? Where is it going? Is it in a hurry? What might it encounter along the way? Something dangerous, or maybe something funny? What is the craziest thing that could happen today to the train?

This activity not only inspires creativity, but it also teaches the art of writing stories. The imagination grows as the art takes shape. And don't be surprised if you both end up laughing by the end of the story!



One of our recent monsters!
One of our recent monsters!

How to Build a Monster!

Teaching how to write and follow directions can be fun for older kids with this fun activity!

First, ask your child to build a monster out of Legos. The monster can be any shape or design - be creative!

Next, have him explain to you how to build the monster yourself. For younger children, let them tell you verbally how to build it. For older kids, try having them write instructions (Monster Building 101!). Follow the instructions exactly, and see how close your monster is to his. This can bring a lot of laughs, and also some lessons about attention to detail and following and writing instructions.

Once your monster is built, feel free to destroy them both and start over!

Sorting Colors, Shapes and Sizes

Lego and Duplo blocks some in an assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes. They can be used to teach children to identify these attributes through a sorting game.

First, gather a large group of Lego or Duplo blocks. Make sure you have a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. I like to just dump our tub of blocks out onto the floor - the mess is part of the fun!

Next, get something that they can put the sorted blocks into. This can be anything from an empty egg carton, to a group of empty shoe boxes or plastic cups.

Determine the criteria for what goes into each container based on what you want to teach. If you are working on identifying colors, then have him place blocks of the same color into each container (orange blocks here, red blocks there, etc.). If you are working on shapes, sort by squares, rectangles or circles. If counting is the objective, sort by the number of pegs on the top of the blocks. It's fun to see how many different shaped blocks have the same number of pegs!

Get creative!
Get creative! | Source

Scavenger Hunt

Encourage problem solving with a scavenger hunt! First, build 5-10 small structures out of Lego blocks. Make sure they are easy to hide - no more than ten blocks each.

Next, hide the structures around your house. For younger children, hide them in plain sight (on a shelf, on the floor, etc.). For older kids, try hiding them in closets and under beds - make it a challenge!

Make a list of the structures so that you can check them off when you find them. You can even take pictures of them after they are built, and print the pictures. Have him check off each structure as he finds it. Build problem solving skills by making them harder each time you play.

Remember to let the kids hide the structures and challenge you to find them also. They'll be thrilled when they stump you with a difficult hiding place!

It all starts with a box of bricks!

Share Your Story!

Legos are a great tool to teach kids important skills while having fun. Leave a comment below, and share your fun Lego stories!

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    • profile image

      caojing 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this, i can feel the love in your family.

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks, Pringoooals! I have had lots of fun with tutoring students using Legos, and now I use these lessons with my own kids. Thanks for the read and vote!

    • pringoooals profile image

      Karina 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh

      That is really nice lesson. I actually never thought about it. And probably having a nice time they will easily remember everything what is said and such a quality time with kids. Very useful advice. Voted up!

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks, jsasson! I developed these tips while tutoring, and have since used them a lot with my son. I think you are definitely on the right track! Thanks for reading.

    • jsasson profile image

      jsasson 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Amy, great job. My little guys really learn how to follow directions, and work creatively. I'm trying to ge tthem excited researching the buildings in Lego-miniland

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks for reading, Simone! Please check out some of my other creative teaching ideas too. Anything can be used to teach, and the more fun it is, the more memorable it will be!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Great tips! I loved playing with legos as a kid- especially using them to create huge, sprawling alternate realities. Hahaa, now I want to play with them again! They certainly are cooler today than they've ever been before, and they can be used to teach some really advanced things!

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      I love this story, adjkp25! It's amazing what kids can do when we let their imaginations go wild!

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      When our son was little he used to let his imagination run wild with Legos. He would usually combine a few different sets together to make his own custom creations. On more than one occasion we would have to interrupt his mad scientist adventure to come eat something. Loved the ideas you shared.

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Angelo52! I hope she can use some of these ideas. They are really fun!

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Great article. My creative grand-daughter would love this. Voted up and useful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks so much, Michael! I have some other Lego themed hubs if you'd like to take a look. Thanks for reading!

    • Michael J Rapp profile image

      Michael J Rapp 

      6 years ago from United States

      Awesome! I loved Legos when I was a kid and I do think back on them as a very creative outlet. I can really see the potential uses for bringing out the best in kids. Great Hub!

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks alliemacb! My son inspires a lot of my teachable moments, including a couple of these!

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Horatio! I will definitely look up that house! My son would love it!

    • Horatio Plot profile image

      Horatio Plot 

      6 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      Ha! Love the monster. Really great hub. Very interesting. What a learning tool. I never really "got" Lego when I was a kid.

      Did you know that an English TV presenter called James May made a programme where he made a full size house of Lego? He used 3.3 million Lego bricks! Everything way made of Lego and worked, included the basin and taps in the bathroom. He ever slept in it. On a Lego bed!

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 

      6 years ago from Scotland

      Great hub, Amy. I loved Lego when I was a kid but my own daughter never really liked it. Wish I'd thought of these cretive ways to get her to play and learn with Lego. Voted up and awesome!

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks, poowool5! The monster building activity is probably my favorite of this list. Stay tuned for more fun with Legos!

    • Amy Gillie profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Gillie 

      6 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks so much, lovedoctor926 (and awesome screen name, by the way!). I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the vote!

    • poowool5 profile image

      poowool5 

      6 years ago from here in my house

      Great hub, Amy! I am sadly past the Legos-with-kids stage (teens...) but have many happy memories!

      Especially like your "monster building activity" because this teaches such great communications skills, both explaining, and listening. Important in every walk and age of life!

      Voted up and useful!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 

      6 years ago

      This is a very creative article. This is one of the best hubs that I've read so far. vote up awesome!

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