It’s a Saturday morning at home and the children are playing with toys on the floor. You step on something hard and feel the pain of a Lego brick come in contact with your foot, a painful way to start the day. Instead of scolding the kids, you remember how much fun you had playing with the bricks yourself and wonder how far Lego bricks have come.
Lego is one of the most popular childhood toys ever created, and has an interesting process on how the bricks are created. They also provide a list of educational benefits people may not know about.
The first Lego bricks were created by Ole Kirk Christiansen in the 1940s. In creating the bricks, he wanted to recreate the stacking ability of regular blocks, but add more creative possibilities. The name Lego came from the Danish phrase leg godt, which translates to “play well” in English.
Building the Blocks
Lego bricks rely on injection molding products in building mass quantities and different shapes. The process begins with small granules of ABS brought by factories. These granules are then placed into silos and molding machines, heated at 450 Â°F. The heat produces a plastic liquid that is then placed into part molds, giving the bricks their shape and form.
As for the pain you experience when stepping on the bricks, ABS is the reason for their hard nature and quality control. A standard 2×2 piece of Lego can withstand 430 kilograms of pressure, making them sturdy and painful to tread on.
True to Christiansen’s vision, Lego blocks allowed for many possibilities and creative freedom. The nature on how Lego bricks were designed gave children hours of materializing their imagination and motor skills. The skills developed through Lego play include problem-solving ability, teamwork, and thinking three dimensionally. Today, Lego’s cross branding with other brand names, including well-known movie franchises, have caused criticism for switching creative play with step-by-step guides. On the bright side, the classic colored bricks are still available for those who want to flex their creativity.
The popularity and possibilities of Lego bricks have reached many parts of the world. The toys are integrated with educational curricula and available for use inside classrooms. The following are how children can learn from playing with Lego bricks:
Learning in a Fun Environment
The colors and interlocking nature of Legos have made learning more enjoyable for children. It also improves their critical listening skills and ability to follow instructions.
Thinking Three Dimensionally
Thinking beyond two dimensions is an important skill in fields like science and physics. This also teaches children to think beyond the box and improve their creativity.
Lego bricks encourage children to pick up more pieces and experiment with their minds. The physical aspect of creating with the bricks also improves their handling and control of objects.
Planning, Problem Solving, and Communication
Kids can learn planning skills when attempting to build a structure out of Lego bricks. They can also develop problem solving when they are working together in creating a physical manifestation of their imaginations.
Brick by Brick
Lego bricks are more than just the obstacles you avoid stepping on, but are toys that can develop learning and creativity. Their infinite possibilities allow children to learn development skills and explore the possibilities of their imaginations.