If ever there was a quintessential childhood building activity, Lego would be it. My brother had an old suitcase under his bed full of the stuff, and I remember spending many hours happily bickering over who got to use the wheels or the long strips in our creations.
As an adult, I am equally sold on its value for my own children, even if I dislike having that much plastic in their toy collection (as a side note, you can now buy these gorgeous wooden building bricks instead if you share my feelings on this). Why should every child have Lego to play with?
1. Lego may just be the ultimate math and engineering learning toy.
Nothing else that I’ve ever encountered gives them hands-on learning practice on such a concrete way. Calculating rows, numbers of bricks needed, building a structure that won’t fall apart when a rampaging dragon appears in their Lego city…….you just can’t beat it for sneaky teaching of these vital skills. They have to be able to mentally visualize a 3-D creation and then pull it together. (How will I make that castle/forest/giant robot? What can I do to make this car actually move? )
2. It requires patience.
3. It encourages imagination.
With so many opportunities these days for kids to let a toy do all the thinking for them, Lego requires a sense of play and wonder that might otherwise be lost. This is probably my favorite thing about it.
4. It reinforces fine motor skills.
Every child needs constant practice in this area. It’s great for them all, but especially beneficial for kids with dyslexia and other challenges that may delay fine motor skills. If your child’s handwriting is big and messy, Lego building is going to help as much as, if not more than piles of copywork and they’ll enjoy it a whole lot more.
5. It’s fun!
Yes, there are lots of good reasons why Lego should be in every child’s life, but the main reason is that it is a ton of fun, for kids and parents alike. Just make sure it goes away at the end of the day because nothing is less fun that stepping on a Lego brick at 3am in the dark!
What’s your favorite thing about Lego?