January 28 is International LEGO® Day—a day to celebrate the popular interlocking building blocks from Denmark. Since its invention in 1949, the iconic toy has grown to become one of the most popular playthings in the world, beloved by both children and adults alike.
It may seem surprising, but LEGO isn’t just for fun – it’s also an educational tool. The small blocks can be assembled and manipulated to create structures, models and even machines, teaching children principles of design and problem solving. Institutions around the world have discovered ways to use LEGO to engage their students and promote learning.
The LEGO Learning Institute, part of the LEGO Group, is the world’s foremost authority on leveraging the potential of LEGO activities in education. Founded in 2005, the Institute is dedicated to promoting safe, meaningful and innovative learning experiences through the use of LEGO bricks. This is achieved by collaborating with international experts in areas such as research, curriculum design, development, and teacher training.
The LEGO Learning Institute’s research suggests that students who take part in LEGO activities show higher levels of concentration, creativity and verbal articulation than those who do not. There are a number of other benefits reported from taking part in these activities, including an increased sense of imagination and an appreciation for problem-solving.
Moreover, within the educational system, engaging with LEGO activities has been proven to help diversity—especially gender diversity. Recent studies have demonstrated that girls are often less self-confident than boys in STEM settings; however, when playing with LEGO, girls show higher levels of interest. Research suggests that this is because building with LEGO allows girls to become directly involved in the process of problem solving and, as a result, they feel more competent, confident, and motivated.
In addition to the educational benefits, LEGO can also be used to spark conversations and help students build social connections. For instance, during free-build sessions, students have the freedom to collaborate and express themselves. This encourages children to think critically and work together, both necessary skills for the future job market.
To mark the occasion of International LEGO Day, LEGO is challenging people across the world to join its mission to help nurture the world’s leaders of tomorrow. Individuals, schools, and organizations are invited to help make a difference by taking part in activities and programs run with LEGO, such as the “Infinite Ideas Challenge”, where students can submit something they have built with LEGO and be rewarded with a prize. The campaign ties in with the company’s mission of inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow.
What better way to celebrate International LEGO Day than by showing support for the company’s mission? Doing so won’t only give you a sense of pride, but it will also benefit children and young adults around the world by providing a creative, educational, and stimulating environment in which to learn and grow. So, grab your LEGO bricks and get building!