LEGO : Fun Language Toys for Multilingual Child
There can’t be many people around the world who haven’t heard of LEGO; we have either seen it in the toy store, theme park, playdate’s house, shopping mall, or even on the TV. Literally, It has become part of our life.
Parents tend to explore all kinds of educational toys for children, and LEGO often comes on top of the parenting list. The core value of the company is a toy without conflict, and no gender division. Most parents love the branding image and idea offers behind.
The LEGO Group was founded in 1932 in Denmark by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. The colorful high-quality plastic building-blocks have become a massively popular game in the mid-20th century. The name ‘LEGO‘ means “leg godt” in Danish, which is translated as “play well”.
This colorful block game has become insanely popular for various reasons. The potential to create something on your own is infinite and never-ending. Undeniably, there are several benefits of playing with LEGOs, and experts suggest using this play-based learning toy at an early age.
Is LEGO the Best Toys for Young Children?
LEGO has proven to improve fine motor skills for little kids, but it does not guarantee strengthening them into a perfect sturdy pair of hands. Improving children’s motor skills should balance with other activities such as practicing scissors through art & craft, manipulating pencils through painting, age-appropriate household chores, cooking activities, etc.
Balance among all active plays for child development.
In the early days, LEGO was once a simple toy, and kids were stacking up just a few colorful blocks. They are usually in a square or rectangular shape. However, we see a big and tall tower of block constructions nowadays. Most of them are expensive and provide fans with step-by-step instructions; LEGO pieces can range from a few hundred different parts to a few thousand. It has also become a decoration item in modern days, and it is no longer just a few blocks of construction toys! I highly recommend less is more at an early age. The classic set is sufficient to begin with.
Keep it simple, don’t let the imagination disappear!
Last but not least, there are several LEGO® education available around the world nowadays, training children’s mathematics, engineering, and many more skills. However, outdoor activity and family travel trips with little kids are as important as indoor games. Bringing kids to the park, exercising regularly, and getting fresh air are all part of the outdoor movement essential for a happy and healthy kid.
It is not a one size fits all activities.
Benefits of Playing LEGO for Children
1. Improving fine motor skills
The block pieces allow little kids to use the smaller muscles in their hands and fingers, as well as eye-hand coordination to put the little bricks together.
2. Spending quality time
Encourage spending quality time with your children. Playing LEGO with little kids requires guidance; therefore, it is one of the best tools to spend quality time with your children.
3. Expanding creativity
Using color blocks to stack into the art piece that kids would like to create, the imagination can expand without limitations.
4. Develop problem-solving skills
Building blocks practice patience and persistence. LEGO tower may fall, or the block pieces do not fit, or any form of struggle in the process could help little kids to develop problem-solving skills.
5. Improving kids’ learning skills
Putting block pieces together or following instructions may be easy for most adults. However, it demands enormous efforts for little kids to digest what you have instructed, search for pieces, and assemble them step by step. Through LEGO, children can practice stress control, lateral thinking, and planning.
6. Build confidence and self-esteem
When little kids are given the opportunity to create something on their own. It helps them to build confidence and self-esteem for an apparent reason. It allows kids to believe in themselves and understand their abilities are also like LEGO, infinity, and unlimited.
7. Understanding the essential elements of life
Playing with LEGOs involves shapes, quantity, colors, figures, angles, and more. These little blocks work as a miniature version of all the elements in our daily life. Playing LEGO with kids requires communication, the languages can be used, and the vocabularies offered for multilingual children are extremely wide.
8. Enhancing concentration and attention span
LEGO needs patience, sometimes with planning and strategies. it will require concentration to complete the tasks. Eventually, improve little kids’ attention span, whether done consciously or not.
Using LEGO as a Language Learning Toy for Multilingual Children
There are several language learning tools available nowadays, from video games, bilingual musical toys, to sound books. As a multilingual family, we love the idea of creative play through communications.
Here are a few ideas of how to use LEGO as a language learning toy for your multilingual children
1. Story Telling board Method
The storytelling board has always been our favorite way of teaching our multilingual children languages, and we called this game “Hello Friends!” in our house; We painted on paper boards and reused those unwanted toys, created characters for them, and played out our own story. We used the same technique with LEGO as well.
LEGO comes in figures; we created characters and names for them. Build a freestyle castle, play in a playground, or walk in the jungle. Throughout the process, we are engaging with children through a language. Parents can choose the preferred language during that session, and I would recommend keeping the language without mixing with others just to make the learning process more structured.
When you are using the storyboard technique, your vocabulary can go above and beyond without the restriction. The communication is solidly based on the interaction between you and the children. And that’s what we love about it.
2. Building Instructions Method
During my session with kids, we will always share the guide book and look for pieces together. There are a few vocabulary and phrases we reused often.
- The name of all Colors: Yellow, blue, brown, red, purple, orange, pink and more
- Figures: boy, girl, dog, frogs, and more.
- Objects: swing, slides, door, window, camera, motorcycle, castle and more
- What would you like to build today?
- Let’s build a …
- Can you please find me a red color block?
- Let’s find this block (pointing on the guidebook) and describe the shapes and the character of those blocks.
- Can you please help me to find it…?
- Please help me to put the block here.
- Show me where this block should go? Is it here?
- What are you searching for? Let’s help you. Please tell me what color, shape, or number of pieces you need?
- Oh no! the yellow square LEGO dropped on the floor, can you pick it up for me please?
- We just built a teddy bear, what’s its name?
- Let’s find the flag! We need it for the castle.
- We just finished a camera! I’ll show you how to take pictures.
- It’s okay, be patient!
- Take your time.
- Be gentle. It will fall.
- Push it down, be strong!
- You are doing great.
- Wow! We just completed it. High Five!
If we think about LEGO is a play-based learning tool that demands time, patience and constructions. Learning a language for multilingual kids is also the same.