Even the simple act of stacking can teach your kids about the world around them, says Lego MEA’s Urszula Bieganska
Let them break as well as build
Playing with building blocks such Lego and Duplo allows children to create their own models and structures, learning how to connect, stack and pull pieces. That said, it’s normal for small children experiencing bricks for the first time to throw them around and disassemble them before they start putting them together and creating. Encourage this early stage of exploration by building structures yourself that your child can disassemble. This process aids fine motor skills and encourages development, including sequencing, planning and problem solving.
Play with patterns
Repetition is a great way to make sure children are building lots of new skills and learning while playing. Creating patterns that they need to continue to build gives them the opportunity to think about what comes next in the sequence, the number of bricks and the colours needed. The patterns can change and develop as your child becomes more confident.
Use blocks as a learning support tool
Bricks can be a great tool to help your child learn about colours and numbers. Ask them to put the bricks into piles of different colours, or build towers of different height and ask how many bricks they use. Prompt brick and number connections by asking what they can build with four bricks. Build different constructions with four, then introduce a fifth brick and see how many different shapes they can then make.
Let them play copycat
One of the ways that children learn about the world around them is to copy other people. Before they can create things on their own, they take inspiration from the world around them. Encourage them by creating a model and asking them to copy it. While they may need some help at first, guide them and they’ll soon be making full use of their own imagination.