I think Lego is the most genius thing ever invented for children. I have memories of spending hours building with Lego. I couldn’t wait to get Big Y his first bucket of Lego and in the first couple years he used Lego as part of free play and his imagination came up with various gadgets and gizmos. We have added a few model building sets in more recent years. Little M has been playing with Lego as well but her interest in Lego has been very fleeting. A recent trip to Legoland ended with us buying her, her very own pink model car to introduce her to model building and following 2D instructions.
Here you will see how easy and simple Lego has made the layout for instructions. The instructions are broken down into manageable chunks along with clear illustrations. Each step is introduced by illustrating the pieces required and how many of each is needed. I recommend that pieces are placed on a plain background to make it easier to spot.
Once the pieces are found the child needs to look at the 2D instruction and translate that into their 3D model.
Little M has really taken to the model building and she has taken them apart and rebuilt them several times. Glad her interest in Lego has grown. Lego is a great activity to get your child ready for handwriting and so much more. Check out how playing with Lego models can develop your child’s key areas for handwriting at the bottom of this post.
Key Areas developed:
Visual Figure Ground: Looking for pieces in the pile.
Visual Spatial Awareness: placing the pieces in the same position as seen in the instructions.
Visual Motor Integration: The information going in through the eyes needs to interpret the instructions (perceptual) and the output is the hands (motor) need to replicate this interpretation to match.
Hand Strength and Finger Dexterity: this is needed to fit the pieces strategically together
Following auditory instructions: As I sat next to her while she built the model I helped her through the process by sometimes describing what she needs to do. She therefore needed to interpret the auditory information and translate that into action. This also reinforces prepositions, i.e., understanding on top, under, next to, in front, behind, etc
The Lego storage brick you see in the background was a gift from a friend and is handy for storing Little M’s first Lego model. It would be great if you could share your ideas in the comments below on how you store your lego. I am currently using a large tub in the Ikea storage unit. Each model is stored in a separate ziplock bag but I find that pieces are still getting mixed up and it looks like one tub of mess.