Students need to be engaged as they learn. To that end, the after-school bricks4kidz program at Lake Forrest Prep places a tremendous amount of emphasis on the critical thinking, engineering, and creativity that go into LEGO® building. How can playing with LEGO bricks help your child? In many ways! Read on to learn more.
LEGO creations foster creativity
Give a child a selection of LEGO bricks, and watch a concrete representation of their thoughts appear. If your child has a fascination with animals, a LEGO cat may grace the table in a few moments. A young car aficionado might create a ‘showroom-quality’ vehicle. The science behind observation becoming a concrete, created structure shows a strong appreciation of critical thinking and design.
Even with square bricks, it is possible to build a sinewy structure with curves. Grass, mountains, lions, and tigers are all possible with LEGO bricks and imagination. The ability to create curves out of straight bricks uses a decided amount of mathematics: what size brick will allow the arched back of a scared cat?
Reinforces math concepts
Look at how LEGO bricks are created: one long brick is equivalent to 2 shorter bricks or 4 little bricks. This gives younger learners a concrete representation of fractions. Challenge students to build a structure half the size of the given instructions, or go big and double the size. Even very young learners can sort bricks into sizes, categorize them by shape, or count each brick as they are sorted and stacked.
Following the LEGO building instructions sometimes includes “x4” or “x2” commands, visibly showing how a particular portion of the overall structure must be repeated multiple times. Learning to double or quadruple a step is an easy way to introduce multiplication.
Explores engineering fundamentals
Students can transform LEGO Technic parts into moving structures, from bridges to vehicles. Students learn how to connect gears in a vehicle to stimulate movement and build a foundation for a bridge worthy of that vehicle to traverse. Structural engineering and scale both take center stage in these instances, allowing students to experiment as they experience these concepts. As they try and fail, critical thinking allows students to rethink how to create their projects better.
Imagine building a structure to withstand an earthquake. Students take that concept and race to complete the ultimate structure as a small group or class project. Working with others, students create sturdy structures with interesting internal concepts to keep them upright when a table shakes beneath the structure.
Many students find they can think only so far into a concept before they reach a point where their thinking becomes stagnant. Rather than giving up, bricks4kidz allows struggling students to ask for help either from their peers or from the advising adults in the club. This little bit of help allows students to see through their problems and reach for a good solution. Collaboration is a key concept to introduce in a play format that will last the rest of these students’ lives.
Help your children thrive by signing them up for any of Lake Forrest Prep’s after-school programs, including the bricks4kidz LEGO building program. For more information, call 407 331-5144. We look forward to helping your child thrive through play.