Legos on the Brain

Legos, we all know them, we all love them. To be honest, I still play with them even in my 30s. There is no better mindfulness activity for me then sitting on the couch on a Sunday morning building random things with Legos. I have built many a spaceship, musical instrument, and moving masterpiece with a morning cup of coffee by my side. There are thousands of possibilities with Legos which makes them a great creative tool, especially for education.

Through creative building with Legos students,

  • Work on creative thinking processes.
  • Build fine motor skills.
  • Work on critical thinking processes.
  • Build problem solving mindsets that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
  • Are introduced to STEAM skills and thought processes.
Photo by Polesie Toys on Pexels.com

Legos are such an easy toy to come by and are found in thousands of houses across the country which makes them a great resource to use for learning that can cross between the classroom and home. Some activities that could be useful and crossover from classroom to home are,

  • Provide parameters with a purpose. Maybe you need them to build something that holds at least 5 pounds or something that is over 3 feet. Let them figure out how to build it. This activity works on problem solving as well as unlocking their creative process.
  • Let them design. I had this activity that I loved to do with my students. I’d pour out the full recycling bin and say “I need you to design me a___” and let them get creative.
  • Give them a problem to solve and let students work through it. It might be building something to protect or creating a contraption to get an object from one part of the room to another. It might take several tries but that is what problem solving is all about trial and error. Give them space to figure it out and encourage to get back up again if they fail.

What are some ways that you encourage problem solving and critical thinking skills with your students?

Ways to keep safe

There have been some recent US cases involving anthrax and African drumming. I myself had a scare due to a recent gift of an Indonesian djembe I received for Christmas that has a goat skin head (the same type of head that has carried the anthrax spore in two other drums.) I’m safe so not to worry! But the spread of infectious through cultural instruments is always a concern when bringing them into a classroom. Keep an eye out for recent cases of disease, always look for treated materials especially TANNED hides. Tanned hides are treated and have a much lesser risk of caring spores and diseases! Also make sure you are buying from an accomplished distributor one who has sold more than one or two drums and knows what they are doing so they can sell you a proper drum. Also please buy from areas not known for carrying diseases in previous products (such as Haiti, that as an area notorious for carrying infected instruments). My recommendation is to NOT buy ethnic instruments for your entire class buy a few and have them tested before they enter your classroom. Then go synthetic, Remo is an amazing distributor known for quality and have discounted buys if you purchase more than one instrument! Synthetic instruments stay around longer, keep a better sound, most can be key tuned, AND they can take a beating and keep on playing!