LEGO toys have been around since 1958 and are now sold in 140 different countries around the world. It’s clear that they’re loved by kids of all ages, but what are the benefits of LEGO toys and why should they be a part of your child’s playtime?
LEGO are sold in a number of different building kits as well as LEGO classics, which is normally a large box or brick looking container that contains bricks enabling complete free building of various projects based on an individual’s imagination.
LEGO also makes a variety of themed kits, including the following:
- Arts and Crafts
- Easy to Build
- LEGO Coding Kits
- STEM LEGO Kits
LEGO kits come with varying numbers of bricks. LEGO DUPLO is designed for kids that are 1.5 – 5 years old and the number of pieces in LEGO sets ranges from just 4 (DUPLO Vet) to over 7,500 (Star Wars Millennium Falcon).
LEGO sets can be combined to allow for the building of complete cities and other massive building projects.
There is little doubt that LEGO building blocks are fun, but these toys have benefits that range way beyond play and actually provide benefits for people of all ages.
Here’s a look at some of those benefits.
Benefits of LEGO Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers
LEGO makes building blocks kits for kids as young as 9 months of age. The LEGO DUPLO blocks are larger so that they don’t pose a choking hazard and they’re easier for small hands to handle.
However, most kids don’t develop any real interest in building with DUPLO or LEGO blocks until they’re toddlers.
Here are some of the benefits that toddlers and preschoolers gain from playing with LEGO:
- Color Recognition: LEGO bricks come in a variety of different colors which help young children with their color recognition skills. This is especially true when parents encourage the child to name the colors of different blocks
- Sorting: LEGO blocks are a great way to help kids develop their sorting skills. The blocks can be sorted by color, size, or shape
- Counting: Toddlers and preschoolers can improve their counting skills by counting the number of blocks to build a certain object, or of a certain color. In addition, some sets of DUPLO and LEGO blocks have numbers printed on them so they can also practice their number recognition skills
- Big/Little: Children also begin to identify and understand the concept of big and little by using these blocks
- Fine Motor Skills and Hand-Eye Coordination: As kids place blocks in a specific way to build something, they’re developing their fine motor skills and improving their hand-eye coordination
- Socialization Skills: Playing with LEGO blocks will help young children develop such socialization skills as sharing and cooperative play. Both of those skills become very important to toddlers and preschoolers once they enter their formal school years
- Development of Language Skills: Explaining what they’re making or talking to others about what they plan to make is a great way for young kids to develop their language skills
Benefits of LEGO Toys for Elementary School Age Children
The benefits of LEGO toys don’t just stop once your child begins school. School age children who continue to play with LEGO build on the benefits they received as toddlers from playing with these blocks.
They also gain additional benefits as well, and here are some of the benefits that LEGO toys can have for elementary school age children:
- Improved Reading Skills: Many LEGO kits come with written directions that a child needs to follow to complete a certain project. Reading the directions to build something that interest them can help improve any child’s reading skills
- Practice in Following Directions: Following written and verbal directions is an invaluable life skill. Working on LEGO models will help your child become adept at following written directions
- Development of Patience and Perseverance: Some of the more difficult building projects take a lot of patience and perseverance to complete. Working through the project helps school age kids develop patience, which they can then use in other school activities and daily life
- Cause and Effect: By completing various projects, kids can actually see the direct results of their actions. If they change something, the results will be different than if they change something else
- Improved Focus and Concentration: Building with LEGO requires a child to focus on what they are doing and concentrate on either written directions or their own plans. This focus enables them to complete the project in the way they envision
- Builds STEM Skills: LEGO makes kits that have moving and mechanical parts. They also make LEGO robot kits, and these types of kids help kids gain a basic understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math
- Increased Spatial Awareness: LEGO kits can increase a child’s spatial awareness which can help them become more proficient in math
- Improved Problem Solving Skills: When children tackle LEGO building projects, especially those projects they want to try on their own, things don’t always go according to plan. This helps them develop their problem solving skills as they have to make adjustments to their plan in order to complete the project
- Encourages Creativity: While children enjoy completing the projects that the kits are designed for, they also like to see what they can make on their own. And they love to see what they can do when they combine several sets together! This helps kids think outside of the box and expand their creativity
- Boosts Self Confidence: When kids accomplish a difficult task, it boosts their self-confidence. Many children who complete harder LEGO building sets will feel their self-confidence grow and that will encourage them to tackle even more difficult tasks
Benefits of LEGO for Tweens, Teens and Beyond
There are LEGO kits made for tweens, teens and even adults, and these kits have benefits for people in all of these various age groups as well.
Here’s a look at some of these benefits:
- Organizational Skills: In order to complete some of the larger more in-depth projects that LEGO has to offer, you need to be able to organize both your thought process and materials. Learning how to organize a project from start to finish is a great skill that is useful in many aspects of life
- Communication/Teamwork: Tweens who work with friends or family on a major LEGO project learn how to communicate better and the importance of teamwork
- Coding: Some LEGO sets introduce children of different ages to basic coding concepts, which may create an interest in computer programming and perhaps even robotics
- Stress Relief: Working with LEGO can help relieve stress in both teens and adults. When individuals who feel stressed from work, school or social relationships focus on and enjoyable hobby, it can greatly relieve stress. For many people, working with their hands allows them to relieve the tension they may be feeling from dealing with their career or other stress factors
- Interest in Architecture/History: LEGO has many sets of famous buildings and even parts of entire cities, such as Paris and Shanghai. These sets can create an interest in architecture and the history of iconic buildings around the world. With enough blocks and space, a person can plan and build an entire city, complete with green areas and a town square!
- Helps Maintain Mental Focus: As people age their mental focus tends to deteriorate. Working on LEGO can help many older people maintain their mental focus for longer periods of time
- Helps Seniors Keep Connected: Seniors who live alone and play with LEGO can connect with other adult LEGO fans. This helps them stay connected to others, either via the internet or through attending adult LEGO live events
- Helps Seniors Use Their Fine Motor Skills: Working with LEGO helps seniors maintain more of their fine motor skills and mental alertness. Even senior citizens with arthritis can use the larger DUPLO blocks to build
As you can see, LEGO is not just a childhood toy, but can also become a way of life for older kids and adults.
Introducing LEGO toys to your children at an early age has many benefits. Whether they’re aiding your younger child’s development or helping your older child develop important life skills, LEGO toys are wonderful for any age and stage!