The magic of LEGO blocks captures the hearts of children and adults alike. Many new parents nowadays grew up playing with LEGO blocks and want to pass that joy onto their own children. With all the big, complicated sets featuring designs from popular comics, books, movies, and television series, plenty of adults still play with them on their own, and it’s easy to pick up used sets online.
The brightly coloured, durable little plastic blocks can be put together in endless combinations limited only by your imagination. LEGO first appeared on the market in the 1930s, with the plastic version debuting in 1947, and have expanded far beyond a simple toy manufacturer. LEGO has put on robotics competitions, built theme parks, and launched extremely successful film and video game franchises.
If that is not enough to sell you on the greatness of LEGO, read about the documented benefits playing with LEGOs has on you and your children.
The 7 Biggest Benefits of Playing with LEGOs
1. Improve Focus and Concentration
Learning how to settle down and focus for a long period of time, even when doing something fun, can be a difficult skill for children to master. They often feel pressured or frustrated during these moments because it has to do with school or a mundane chore. Playing with LEGOs offers them a great opportunity to learn how to concentrate on one specific task for an extended period of time and see immediate results. This creates a positive association in their minds between focus and success.
For adults, putting together a LEGO set or free playing with the bricks can help you forget about the worries and stresses occupying your mind. The complete focus and immersion become almost meditative, letting you relax and de-stress.
2. Increase Spatial Awareness
Playing with LEGOs from a young age instills a greater sense of spatial awareness as well as enforcing their understanding of sizes, shapes, balance, and symmetry. Following the directions to build a set can teach them how to translate a 2D image into real life.
Professional architects, artists, and engineers also benefit greatly from playing with LEGOs. Modern drafting and planning often use computer-generated 3D models that these professionals must build. So being able to think in 3D and honing your spatial intelligence skills can make this much easier.
3. Develop Fine Motor Skills
The most obvious benefit of LEGO is the development of fine motor skills in both children and adults. Connecting the pieces together properly requires small, very precise movements that increase dexterity and help teach control. An essential skill for children to learn, many adults find LEGOs a fun way to maintain dexterity as they get older or recover from a serious injury or stroke.
4. Encourage Lateral Thinking and Creative Problem Solving
Following the instructions that come with the LEGO set is as great a challenge for a young child as letting them come up with their own designs. They must concentrate on the directions and learn to follow them step-by-step while looking at how the piece they assemble now helps them assemble the next bit.
When you let them design their own creation, they need to plan how all the pieces will go together to make it. If they face a problem with their assembly, they then need to use lateral thinking by retracing their steps, finding the problem, and then figuring out how to fix it.
5. Inspire Experimentation and Adventure
Playing with LEGOs allows kids the opportunity to experiment and be creative in ways other toys do not allow. It also gives them a safe space to try something different, fail, and then try something else. Children learn to go from excitement to disappoint to perseverance to accomplishment in a low-pressure environment.
Many adults still have not mastered this skill and playing with LEGOs could help them learn this ability to carry on after failing as well.
6. Teach Organization Skills and Patience
Building with LEGO bricks requires planning, organizing, and follow through, which are vital skills that transfer to every goal-oriented action in an adult or child’s life. It exercises and tests these skills through the construction process.
LEGO also cultivates resilience and perseverance by creating a positive association between identifying when things are not working, re-thinking the original design, and successfully finishing the model.
7. Better Communication and Teamwork
Playing LEGOs with your children and encouraging your children to play them with others fosters better communication and teamwork skills in the long run. They learn to share, how to create a building strategy within a team, and the importance of delegating tasks and assigning roles.
A study released by the American Medical Association in 2007 showed that middle- and low-income kids whose parents regularly play LEGOs with them between the ages of 1.5-2.5 years saw momentous improvement in language development after 6 consecutive months.