Lego World might seem like just another specialty toy store, but it can be so much more than that if you use your imagination and turn it into an educational resources.
This week, my son and I took a trip to Chicago. It was what I like to call an educational vacation. Lego World was just one of the many places we visited. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised by all that Lego World had to offer. Not only were there life size characters built completely of Legos, but there were also activities for the children to do there and ones to purchase and do at home.
I used it for a fun economics lesson. My son had a set amount of money he had access to and he had to figure out what he could do with it. He also got to use his own imagination to create his characters that he could buy.
One of the best aspects of Lego World was the “Mini-Figure” table. Children get to create their own Lego characters using 5 pieces. They got a head, torso, legs, hair or hat and one additional accessory, such as a cup, sword, wrench or whatever else they chose out of the bin. One of the best parts of this experience was watching the different children get advice and ideas from each other as they all created their own people.
After the people were created, there was a package that the children put their 3 people in. The Lego people were assembled, put into packages, then brought to the counter and paid for. You can see where this could be educational as children learn about assembly, packaging and paying. They can create themes within their packages, or just make random characters. This makes Lego World a science and math experience as children learn to group like items into themes, deal with money and do it all using their imagination!
Another advantage is that children learn to look at Legos in a different way. They get to see them as tools rather than toys. Entire city blocks, animals and fantasy worlds are on display in Lego World. As a matter of fact, the people there are actually building Lego creations as you walk in the door. That in itself shows children a profession they probably never even thought of as grown men are laughing and having fun while they work with Legos.
My son personally doesn’t like automated toys. He prefers to use his own imagination to create sounds and movements from his characters. This is just one of the many advantages that Legos offer children. With the simple tools of small plastic blocks, they have the opportunity to let their imaginations roam free as they learn math and science skills that they don’t even know they are using. When education is fun, it’s more effective and desired! I’d take my son back to Lego World for another educational experience any day!