Popular building blocks have plenty of fans in this area
On January 28, 1958, a patent was filed that would change the way children would play all over the world.
On that fateful day, the Lego brick was born.
The classic Lego brick was designed by a Danish carpenter named Ole Kirk Kristiansen. He named his product “Lego” after the Danish phrase “leg godt” or “play well.” The Lego company passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder. How about that for keeping the business in the family.
Beyond the fun factor, the brightly colored pieces and easy interlocking combinations provide many hours of patterning practice and fine-motor development. Children of all ages develop creativity, problem solving and teamwork through playing with Lego.
Since the invention of this toy, more than 400 billion Lego blocks have been made. That is an unbelievable 62 blocks for every person on the planet.
Every second, seven Lego sets are sold in the world. Bricks made today have the same bumps and holes and can interlock with the bricks made 50 years ago.
Playing with Lego bricks promotes fine motor skills and develops co-ordination and dexterity which are skills that young children need for handwriting, crafts and independent dressing. Building with Lego blocks also go a long way in developing creativity. It just ignites their imagination and opens the door to a million possibilities for young children.
Scores of architects and engineers have translated a love of Legos into a career in building and design. Something as simple as making sure kids have exposure to blocks could set them up for a future career.
When children play, they are constantly learning new skills. Play is the single, most important activity for children to engage in, each and every day. The research evidence is overwhelming in documenting the power of play for emotional well-being, social development and academic achievement of our children.
It can be difficult to find toys that are engaging for children yet stimulate creativity as well as promoting intellectual and physical development. Lego just seems to be perfect!
My own children are many years away from Lego play but some recent posts on Facebook have renewed my interest in this timeless toy.
The parent group at John Bernard Croak School in Glace Bay have a very active site on Facebook to keep the parents up-todate on what is going on in this elementary school. I have a fondness in my heart for this school since I taught there many years ago and I still run into some of my former students. Besides the usual posts about milk money and pizza events, I started to notice that there was a very active Lego club.
This peaked my curiosity so I visited Principal Ron Muller to get some information for this column.
The John Bernard Croak Lego Club is run by Millie Detchervery and Chris MacAulay. They started this club because many extra-curricular activities are often geared to students who play sports. This club allows every student to participate and feel successful. The club operates every Thursday evening and is open to students from primary to grade two.
The program allows both parents and children to socialize with their peers and to use their imagination and creativity. It also teaches them how to share and work collaboratively and build a sense of community outside of the regular school hours.
“It is so nice to see children and parents working together to create something out of nothing,” says Muller. “Students are so proud when their work is displayed in the showcase in the front foyer. Visitors to the school can view and admire their creativity. This program really brings families together and teaches them the lifelong skill of problem solving. It is amazing to watch our future architects, engineers and builders working together in a collaborative student-centered environment.”
The excitement in this school about the Lego club made me dream about the possibility of some of our readers helping to enlarge this program.
Perhaps, there are long-forgotten boxes of Lego blocks in our attics or basements that our own children have long outgrown. I can’t think of a better place to donate these blocks so that young minds can be stimulated.
If you feel a bit more generous, you could consider going to a local toy department to purchase a Lego kit for the JBC Lego Club. Can you just imagine the look of joy on the faces of these young children as they tear the plastic off a brand new box of Legos.
Who knew that little Lego bricks could mean so much to our young students in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board.