Play and work are considered to be opposites, but for children play is serious business; kids play hard and play requires lots of brain power. Making sure kids have time to play is one of the best ways that we can support their learning, development, and kindergarten readiness. It would be so interesting if these pictures of kids playing with Lego and Duplo showed what was happening in their minds because their brains are building as they build with their hands.
One of the thinking strategies that kids practice is problem-solving. For this boy with Duplo, as he continues to build the single tower, which is already leaning, it will fall over earlier than the one with the double tower. You can see that the double one is linked with wider blocks. At some point, the child will figure out how to solve the problem of towers falling over and then he can make a tower which is more stable.
For the older child, there are lots of questions about how to make the vehicles move, where to put the wheels, how to build up without making the vehicles top heavy. He’s had to find many solutions. Sometimes, kids ask for help but often they rely on their own trial and error to help them with answers.
Moving and stability are just 2 of the challenges. Think of other questions and answers that kids might need: how to create a window and build above it, making a part that sticks out in mid-air, not blocking a wheel so that it can’t move, how to go around a corner without leaving a space, and more.
This is only 1 thinking skill or strategy that kids practice when they play with Lego and Duplo. There are many more. No wonder it’s such a good work-out for brains. Part 2 will be the strategy of decision making and to be fair, the pictures will be from 2 girls. Will your child’s day have some time for fun, play, and brain exercise with Lego or Duplo?