Let’s Look at Toys in a New Light – The Benefits of LEGO and Other Educational Toys
“Play is the highest form of research.” -Albert Einstein
It seems odd at first that one of the most brilliant minds to walk this Earth gave play such a significant role.
The CDC gives play an equivalent role, stating it is a basic piece of child development.
When you really take the time to think about it, it’s evident that we should be doing the same.
When our kids play, they’re learning through every little action they take. You might have a baby discovering object permanence, a toddler learning about gravity as he stacks blocks just to knock them down, or an older child building STEM skills while they dig through a pile of LEGO bricks. No matter what toy your child is playing with, however, it’s important to recognize the growth that is taking place before your very eyes.
The Benefits of LEGO (and Other Educational Toys)
Let’s use LEGO as our example; these little bricks are a favorite for so many kids across the globe, and there’s no question as to why this is. LEGO bricks and kits are fun because they challenge our kids in a multitude of ways, just a few of which are listed below:
With all of these benefits, it’s just about impossible to play with a stack of LEGO bricks without learning something or building on at least one skill.
Growing Minds Are Drawn to the Benefits Educational Toys
Let’s go back to our quote from Albert Einstein, “Play is the highest form of research.”
What are our kids researching while they play?
No matter what type of toy they take out, they’re learning about and getting better at the very skills they want to master.
Kids may be drawn to LEGOS or other building toys as they begin to gain interest in math, creativity, or other related fields. They may be interested in dress-up clothes and dolls while they attempt to make sense of the social-emotional world around them.
Toys give children the ability to practice skills they will use in real life, and educational toys provide the most high quality experiences when it comes to learning through play.
What Qualities Set An Educational Toy Apart?
When you look at certain toys, especially items like LEGO sets or alphabet blocks, you know right away that they’re filled with educational benefits.
However, almost any toy can be educational when given the chance.
It’s important to focus less on which toys are labeled educational, and more on the educational side that every toy seems to have.
That play kitchen your kids could “cook” at for hours on end? It’s teaching them social-emotional skills, aiding their fine motor development, and expanding their vocabulary. Their pile of stuffed animals likely help them process the world around them (and their relationships with the people they love). Toy cars teach about STEM skills through momentum and mechanical features, and outdoor toys build gross motor skills at an exceptional rate.
Let’s not forget LEGO bricks and the never-ending list of benefits we mentioned above.
Shine an Educational Light On All Toys Your Child Plays With
Next time you see your child playing with their toys, take a moment to observe what they’re doing. What used to look like meaningless play may have a list of benefits as long as LEGO sets. You’re sure to be surprised by all of the learning that you see taking place.