Legos are messy. Legos are known for the pain their sharp edges cause when left on the floor. One tiny piece can go missing and ruin the completion of an entire set.
But, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Our youngest was referred for Occupational Therapy support because of his frustrations with writing. His pencil grip and fine motor skills in general were delayed. Because he was on grade level academically in reading and math, he did not qualify for additional support in writing. That did not slow me down from reading, researching, and speaking to our school zone OT. She gave us many ideas. Of all of the various suggestions, several things were used daily to help him gain strength and Legos were his favorite intervention. Each afternoon, he was encouraged to put pieces together and take them apart.
According to Parenting Science, building block play is linked to improvements in –
- fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- spatial reasoning
- cognitive flexibility
- language skills
- a capacity for creative, divergent thinking
- social competence
- engineering skills
- higher mathematical achievement
Not only are the benefits clear for therapeutic and developmental reasons, they are engaging as well. Legos can help promote kinesthetic learning in mathematics. I used this site when planning 1st grade Early Intervention lessons for my students: https://www.weareteachers.com/lego-math/ So many National Standards can be supported with Legos- number lines, patterning, decomposing, tens/ones, counting on, skip counting, number partners, and the list goes on and on.
We have a great partner at Kids Connected with Bricks4Kidz. They offer many great virtual classes in Lego building! Check out Ben Leblois’ story.