Most of us will have had experience playing with some kind of building blocks as a child or with our own children, but maybe don’t know the extent children can benefit from this type of play. Today there are so many variations on the classic LEGO or Duplo blocks, the opportunities for play are endless! Not only can you have hours of fun creating everything from Fairy Castles to Dragon Forts, getting creative with your children can also provide them with some essential skills needed for brain growth and development.
As well as being fun, block toys also help children develop a capacity for creative and divergent thinking, whilst also improving their social and language skills when creating with others. Perhaps even more impressively block toys can aid motor skills, spatial skills and hand eye coordination.
LEGO understand the benefits their amazing product can have on the development of children as illustrated in this short film by the University of Cambridge and the LEGO foundation.
The film redefines the preconception that play has no real purpose and is just a phase that children go through and grow out of. Many of you may have realised that LEGO can have positive effects on children’s visual and social skills but as the film illustrates writing skills can also be vastly improved by practical play. The study found there was a lot of pressure on school children to start writing straight away and rush through ideas when working on a creative project. They felt the aim was to finish the piece of work rather than fully consider, play with and think through the idea to develop it fully. In the study children were compelled to do their models justice and write a good story so in terms of inspiring children’s creativity, making everything more motivating and engaging is going to be a big help!
The ability to tell stories also has many potential benefits for later life. These include communicating creative ideas, establishing an emotional connection with others and understanding others points of view.
We would love to hear about your most memorable LEGO creation!