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Lego Building Blocks | Creative Play with Lego & Lego Minifigurines!

Updated on April 6, 2013

Lego Blocks

The classic Lego building block utilizing the interlocking principle was launched in 1958 and now consists of more than 2200 elements. A reason why the little brightly colored blocks are well loved by kids and adults alike is the endless possibilities that Lego presents. As long as you can dream it, you can build it in Lego. The Lego line has vastly expanded over the years but the basic principle still remains - to explore, to imagine, to create.

Lego component with solar cells
Lego component with solar cells

Why Lego builds creativity

LEGO play is inherently creative. The sole interlocking principle of the Lego blocks can be expanded into many variations. The Lego play system includes rotational elements, clip on elements and other external interfaces like magnets, motors, computers and even solar cells.

Compared to electronic video games where the user is guided through a scripted plot on a 2-D screen , Lego offers free play where the creations are only limited by the imagination. It is at once both exploratory and creative. In the young mind of kids, the Lego play interface allows them to explore and examine possibilities within a simple system of building principles.

In fact, Frank Llyod Wright, the famous master architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum and Fallingwater, attributes his sense of aesthetics, three dimensional composition and geometry to his experiences playing with building blocks. This system of building block imaginative play would train the brain to approach problems from many angles.


LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585)
LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585)

Build a house, a pony, or anything else you can imagine with this special box filled with LEGO bricks in colors you love and elements like fences, windows, doors and flowers! 216 pieces.

 

Play Ritual of Lego

There are generally two methods of Lego Play. This would be what i'd like to term the "engineering approach" and the "creative approach".

The Lego "engineering approach" is that the user has an image of what to build. For example, he/she would like to build a house from the blocks. Hence, using the various Lego blocks, a house is created, complete with windows and doors, an outdoor garden and even people. From such an exercise, it trains the mind to focus on the "How" of things. This is especially beneficial for young kids as they learn the "How". Most Lego sets come with an illustrated manual of how to build from blocks a model, say a castle or ship. This is a step by step guide to the initial "how" approach.

The Lego "creative approach" is that from a pile of Lego bricks, the user explores what is possible to be built. Therefore, from a limited palette of component parts, it tests and trains the creativity, resourcefulness and imagination of the user. This is very similar to real world problem solving. In addition, with Lego minifigurines, the element of role play is inserted into this creative process.



LEGO Mindstorms NXT
LEGO Mindstorms NXT

Sure, Mindstorms NXT is a toy, but it is an important toy, like a piano or a chemistry set. It's one of those items that engages an imagination and possibly opens doors to new interests.

 
Lego Art
Lego Art
Lego Mindstorms
Lego Mindstorms

Lego beyond Play

Lego has been utilized in areas beyond the playground of young children to extend into areas of Art, Business and Popular Culture.

The introduction of the minifigurines in Lego has also been an unqualified success. It introduces an element of role play into Lego. For example, there are customized lego collectibles for Star Wars and Harry Potter to name a few. The classic castle and pirates and town model sets were also due to the development of the Lego minifig.

In art, lego sculpture is often amazing and delightful to look at. Legoland parks around the world also show the extreme possibilities of lego creations to replicate world famous places and buildings.

In business, Lego Serious Play, an official product from Lego, is used as a form of business consultancy for staff to visualize organizational relationships. The Mindstorms series of Lego incorporates computers and trains young programmers in robotics.

From a simple principle of interlocking blocks, imagination can really go places. What will you build today?

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    • peanutroaster profile image

      peanutroaster 

      7 years ago from New England

      I teach logical thinking and creativity with children using Legos and Mindstorms. With Legos the possibilities are endless.

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