Since LEGO building blocks came on the scene some 70 years ago, educators and parents have increasingly been recognizing the value they offer in helping children develop the cognitive skills important to mastering science, math, engineering and technology.
“If you want to build future STEM enthusiasts, you need to start with fundamental skills and they need to come early,” confirms Amy Shelton, a cognitive psychologist who is director of research at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. “Something as simple as making sure kids have exposure to block play would set them up for a future where they can build the right kinds of skills for whatever field they want to go into, and they won’t be restricted because of lack of early experience.”
These days, ideas for productive and challenging STEM-based LEGO projects are all over the web. Next time you’re seeking a fun, educational building project for your child, check out the following resources.
- Pinterest offers numerous ideas for (and photos of) creative STEM project ideas for all skill levels.
- Bricks 4 Kidz franchises across Ireland conduct extracurricular classes, camps and parties and in-school workshops focused on leading kids through creative building.
- Amazon sells all kinds of guidebooks featuring imaginative LEGO concepts.
- LegoEngineering.com maps out multiple ideas for engineering design challenges, some with complete lesson plans.
- Disney fans post pics of Disney Parks-themed projects they’ve completed on the site Forums.WDWmagic.com.
- Spectacular art projects completed from LEGOs are posted on Creativebloq.com.
- The site Twentytwowords.com suggests LEGO projects for kids such as coasters, racks and frames that can serve practical household purposes.
- The organization First LEGO League stages annual team competitions through which children research and find solutions for a different real-world problem each year, then design, build and program a themed robot.
- Preschool-level LEGO learning lesson plans and kits are for sale on Education.lego.com. Elementary-age resources are here and secondary school resources are here.
- Multiple resources for LEGO lessons focusing on STEM are available at Encouragingmomsathome.com.
- More than 70 LEGO learning activities as well as free LEGO printables are featured on Livingmontessorinow.com.
- Thestemlaboratory.com offers free downloads of a set of flashcards featuring different STEM challenges for children.
- Lego.com describes several LEGO Technic Toys that can be purchased to teach kids about engines, hydraulics, suspension, steering and other mechanical principles. The kits come with interconnecting plastic rods and parts that can be built into advanced models with more complex technical functions than standard LEGOs.
- Gadgetreview.com recently reviewed 10 challenging building sets built by LEGO.
Bricks 4 Kidz is celebrating its 10th anniversary and its decade-long history of contributing to STEM education. For more information on building your child’s STEM background through LEGO challenges, contact us!