But fun aside, Lego and Duplo are perhaps the essential toys for toddlers and babies. Your child can develop key skills from playing with Lego. Here we take a closer look at the science behind this, and the surprising reasons why these toys are widely understood to benefit a growing child’s development.
1. Develop fine motor skills
We’ve all heard of motor skills. Gross motor skills refer to the ability to control larger body movements. Jumping, nodding, standing and walking are just some examples of these skills.
Fine motor skills, however, refer to more refined bodily actions like hand to eye coordination. An example of this could be the grasping of a carer’s hand.
Fine motor skills usually begin developing very early on in life, around 0-6 months. When a child reaches 1 to 2 years of age the development of fine motor skills really starts to develop.
Playing with blocks like Lego and Duplo encourages a strong focus on these skills. This type of play builds the tiny muscles in their hands and the ability to control the smaller dextrous movements with their fingers. These skills are highly important, and benefit a child in many other areas from getting dressed to eating with cutlery.
2. Encourages cooperative play
At around age 2, children reach a milestone when they begin to engage in cooperative rather than parallel play. Up until this age they are so busy learning and focusing on their own hands and their own minds. The use of lego and blocks acts as a bridge to playing together with other children.
A child might be attempting to figure out how a pair of blocks fit together. They then look up at another child and see the same scene being mirrored across from them, and naturally, the inquisitive and inclusive mind is encouraged to ‘join forces’.
3. Mirrors technology of the adult world
Many children are obsessed with all things construction based, from diggers to Bob the Builder. This is because the desire to do, create, and construct is in our nature.
Lego and Duplo create an opportunity for your little ones to mirror what they see the adult world on a smaller scale, hence giving them a sense of inclusivity and achievement which is great for building confidence!
4. Encourages a sense of accomplishment
Playing with Lego and Duplo encourages a strong sense of accomplishment. Realising they can put two blocks together to form a larger block, or that they can match colours, gives them the same sense of accomplishment that we get when we achieve something in the physical world.
As the child grows and continues to learn via play, the sense of accomplishment continues to grow. When they started they could put two or three blocks together, but with a little persistence and growth, soon enough they’re able to build a small house for his teddy.