We are introducing the concepts of planning and reflection into our construction processes in the Frenchville Kindy group. We kicked off proceedings by watching a time-lapsed building project from the TV show, LEGO Masters.
As we watched the video, we discussed the various components of the construction process that we observed and the different techniques the builders used. At the end of the video all the children were very keen to try out the new techniques.
We set up a planning station, and the children planned their LEGO masterpieces on paper before beginning to build them.
The children enjoyed a wonderful morning constructing their creations. After morning tea, Miss Nicole joined small groups as they came close to finishing, and began the reflection process with the aid of questioning. The children discussed the sections of their creations that they liked, which areas were difficult to build, and improvements they could make on the finished product.
It is no coincidence that one of the most educational toys available also happens to be one of the most inviting! The skills children learn from LEGO are important and incredible! Let’s take a closer look at the science behind construction play, and the amazing benefits it offers:
Develops Fine Motor Skills & Coordination – manipulating the blocks is good for the muscles in their hands and improves muscular control and coordination.
Develops Spatial Awareness – construction play builds their ability to think in 3D, an essential skill and the foundation for many careers in construction, engineering and design.
Enhances Problem Solving Skills – the planning and construction process involves solving puzzles, combining logic and creativity, and lateral thinking. It’s like a work-out for the brain.
Introduced Science, Engineering & Technology – construction activities involve using new techniques and materials to accomplish a task. It teaches the children about cause and effect, and even the fundamental laws of physics. It also allows them a safe space for adventure and experimentation.
Builds the Foundation for Mathematics – construction play with blocks, such as LEGO or Duplo, teaches the concepts of volume, quantity, ratio, symmetry and patterns. It also teaches addition and subtraction as the children have to work out how to achieve their desired results with the number of blocks they have.
Teaches Cooperative Play, Teamwork and Communication – the children had to collaborate and share materials to achieve their construction goals. Discussing their plans and working together also improves their language skills.
Develops Creativity – their imaginations are the only limit when playing with construction materials such as LEGO. The construction process also becomes a form of storytelling, about a boy or a girl having a construction adventure and overcoming challenges to build the house they want.
Teaches Persistence, Patience & Organisational skills – the ability to plan, organise and execute are all critical life skills. Patience and perseverance are developed when things don’t work out and they have to re-think the original plan and keep working to achieve their goal.
Builds Focus and Concentration – in order to complete their projects, the children must settle down and concentrate. These skills develop with practice and are valuable in our modern world of distractions and information overload. Immersing themselves in a LEGO project can also be relaxing and therapeutic for many children
Affords a Sense of Accomplishment – the children took great pride in their creations, and enjoyed the rewarding experience of having accomplished a complex task.
At Skippy’s, we are huge fans of the rich learning experience offered by construction play, and as we continue to develop our interest in construction the children will have many opportunities to further investigate the construction process and building techniques.