I have always loved legos. I didn’t have any as a kid, but now that I am an adult I love to collect the sets. I fully admit to buying the castle set long before any of my kids were old enough to build it on their own, and I may or may not have put together the pirate ship while they weren’t home.
Now that they ARE old enough to get creative with the bricks, we always have a pile close by. I love LEGO® Classic sets for homeschooling because they really can be anything you want them to be.
Use them during read-aloud time
We have a lot of kids. (Yes, you can totally laugh here, because I am well aware that in the homeschool world we really don’t have many kids at all. Give me a couple more years!).
Anyways- it feels like we have a lot of kids, and as much as I love working together, it isn’t always easy. We homeschool with a classical bent, which means we try to do a lot of read-aloud time for history. The easiest way for me to do this is to gather the kids around on the floor or at the table with a big box of LEGOs and let them build as I read.
Sometimes, they just make tower after tower while listening to the stories. Sometimes, reading about ancient Egypt leads to pyramids and scenes from the books.
Creative play helps the kids absorb the stories. They’re able to play out the stories and better understand why and how things happen. They remember.
Use them for creative play
Doodle has been recently diagnosed with autism, and one of the things he struggles with is communicating clearly. His therapists have recommended story-telling activities to help him make connections between cause and effect, to add details to his stories and to help make connections between people, places, and things.
Legos are perfect for this kind of exploratory play. We’ve been able to continue working with him at home using only a pile of legos and time together. He starts to play and build and creates wonderful scenes. As he is building I can sit next to him, and build my own creations. While he is building, it’s like the floodgates open for him. He tells me all about the aliens invading, or the knights fighting battles or the puppy he’s playing with. I can ask questions, and as he builds, he is able to find the answers.
Sometimes, it takes a little work to get him building- but that’s okay. Pro-Tip: You can always play a game, and let the bricks tell the story. I can ask him questions, and even if he doesn’t have the energy or desire to talk, he can let the bricks tell the story. He can build his answers- for example, I can ask him to tell me about his favorite animal, and he can build it. I can ask him how he is feeling, and he can build it. LEGO bricks take the pressure off!
When his hands are busy and his imagination is running, I see less stuttering or awkward pauses in his conversations. I see a child who is perfectly at home with what he is doing- and that is a powerful thing.
Use them for extension activities
Every once in a while I’ll give the kids directions while using their LEGOs in school. This year, the kids will be doing a year long geography study and will be learning about the countries, cultures and landscapes around the world. I had out their curriculum for next year (being the planner that I am) and the kids decided to start building flags from some of the countries they found in the atlas.
I didn’t give them instructions, or tell them to use a specific type of brick. We ended up with lovely patchwork flags that were unique to each child.
I love when the kids find creative ways to get interested in school. While building the flags, we were able to talk about where the countries were located, if we had visited the countries and what our favorite things were about them. Since we lived in Europe for a few years, the kids were able to reminisce about Belgium waffles and german chocolate and the swiss alps.
I have a feeling these little bricks will come in handy this school year! LEGO Classics are an awesome addition to your homeschool- there are no instructions needed and each set comes with a variety of bricks and wheels and specialty pieces to make any creation possible.
Doubt that LEGO really is for any age? Check out this video by the Upright Citizens Brigade and see how LEGO can be used for improv! (Homeschooling highschoolers? This could be inspiration for an awesome co-op class!)
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