Legos are especially great for young children to work with.
Handling the different shapes and sizes of the bricks allows
them to practice their dexterity. As they work with their fingers
and learn the different types of pressure they need to apply
to different pieces, they’re building and strengthening the
muscles in their hands and becoming more coordinated.
This helps prepare them for other skills like writing.
The Lego Juniors collection provides a great, safe first
experience for children ages four to seven. The pieces are
rounded and designed for tiny hands, so they get the benefit
of working with Legos without any frustration.
Cooperative Play and Communication Skills
It’s easy for kids to share and bounce ideas off of each other,
and while they’re engaging in these cooperative construction
projects, they are learning how to be friendlier and more
socially adept. As they comment on one another’s Lego
creations and build on each other’s imaginations, they
strengthen their ability to articulate their ideas, describe their
work, and express challenges they encounter. Some research
has shown that cooperative block play even led to improve-
ments in vocabulary, grammar, and verbal comprehension.
There are going to be moments when your child builds a
mighty tower only to have in come crashing down with one
Continued on page 62
To You By:
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN
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with Go Kids, Inc. For information, please email
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o Ki s, I
Building structures, especially from a model or a blueprint,
encourages kids to test spatial relationships and mentally
rotate objects in the mind’s eye. The more they practice and
engage in this type of play, the stronger they get at spatial
visualization, mental rotation, and block building. In fact,
studies have shown that there’s a correlation between children
who show an interest in construction and higher scoring
in spatial intelligence tests. A group of eight kids who
participated in structured block play for five half hour sessions
improved their ability to analyze 3D shapes in their mind’s
eye. Furthermore, MRI scans of these kids showed increased
activity in the region of the brain tied to spatial processing.
While there still needs to be more research in this field, it’s
clear that block play rewires children’s brains to allow them
to better solve rotation problems in new ways.
The various shapes, sizes, and colors of Legos provide end-
less possibilities for a child’s imagination. As the Lego Movie
teaches us, there really are no limitations to what kids can
create. They can make a building entirely of Lego people
and attach wheels and props wherever. When there is no
right or wrong, their sense of creativity soars. This creative
freedom strengthens a very particular kind of problem solving
known by psychologists as divergent problem solving. In our
daily lives we encounter two types of problems: convergent
problems, where there is only one solution, and divergent
problems, where there are multiple solutions. Children who
regularly play with blocks show a greater ability to solve
divergent problems, and do so using more creative solutions
than children who don’t engage in block play. Since we are
more likely to encounter divergent problems in our day to day
lives than convergent ones, fostering your children’s love of
Legos is actually better preparing them to succeed in life.
Fine Motor Skills
Creativity and Divergent Problem Solving
hances are you’ve come across a Lego or two in your
day. Shelves are lined with them and kids are crazy
about them. You may have even played with them your-
self when you were a kid. While it’s no question that
Legos provide loads of entertainment, those simple, colorful
bricks also have a lot of teaching power. They may even
change the way your child thinks! Here are just a few ways
Legos enrich your child’s development:
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