One of the things that I especially admire about LEGO® is its uncanny ability to translate an abstract concept into something that kids can easily relate to and understand. Take math concepts, for example. Simply by grouping a bunch of random bricks, you can teach your child how to add (5 bricks plus 5 bricks equals 10); subtract (10 bricks take away 5 bricks equals 5); multiply (2 groups of 5 bricks, or 2 times 5, equals 10); and divide (10 bricks grouped into 2 separate groups, or 10 divided by 2, equals 5).
We have put this methodology into play when instructing children on the concept of place value, by using small base plates to represent “hundreds”, using towers made of 10 bricks each to represent “tens”, and using individual bricks to represent “ones”. This tactile way of teaching math is an invaluable resource, and makes lessons a breeze.
But, quite honestly, LEGO®’s ability to help in explaining mathematical concepts is nearly endless, and extends to as far as your imagination will take you. Colour blocking, patterning and sorting are some of the easiest ways to introduce your young child to math in a playful and engaging way. LEGO® is the quintessential embodiment of the “learn through play movement” which has become a staple in Ontario’s kindergarten programs. This type of play is a concentrated, directed play, aimed at achieving identified learning objectives in a manner that kids enjoy.
Best of all, “LEGO® learning”, as I like to call it, fuses all learning styles – visual, audio, and kinesthetic – meaning that no child is left out of the lesson simply because the lesson doesn’t fit with his or her ideal learning style. For audio learners, you explain the concept. For visual learners, you show the concept in action. And for kinesthetic learners, their ability to touch and manipulate the bricks allows them to connect with the concept in a tangible and concrete way.
LEGO® is the great equalizer, ensuring that no child is left behind in learning!
Stay tuned for our next blog, where we explore the ability of LEGO® to help children develop the skills required for effective oral presentation and public speaking.
Until then, leg godt – play well!