Lego's Can Teach Many Academic, Behavioral, Social, and general IEP Goals
Lego's For Adults Too?
Confessions Of An Adult
Admittedly, I had never played Lego's until I became a special ed. teacher. I didn't play with them as a child, nor did I play with them with my son. But, one day, there was a boy, age 5, with extremely low academic skills, spatial awareness, and cognitive abilities. He could not label a "square, rectangle, height, or size". Those are a lot of concepts to start teaching in the middle of the school year! Partially due to his inability to complete any classwork or even successfully play, he would run around the room or go from Center to Center, not staying any one place for more than 2 minutes.
At a loss as to how to even begin helping him, my son playing with Lego's flashed in my mind. Borrowing a bag full from my son, I sat with this boy and began making 3 story squares and labeling them as a garage, a house, etc. Quickly, Mateo asked to play and sat still and engaged for a long length of time. And so it began, his learning academic and behavioral concepts, and my learning the power of Lego's for adults. As a girl, it was dolls all the way. As an adult, sitting and building practical and crazy structures is relaxing, rewarding, challenging, and therapeutic in ways I can't yet fully explain. Suffice it to say, I would look forward to my sessions with this young boy who equally sat chomping at the bit until I arrived to his school.
Through the motivation of Lego's, I was able to encourage him to sit and read, listen to instruction, count, label colors, and identify shapes, and list community buildings and workers. While these achievements may sound simple, for a child with major cognitive and awareness delays, no small feat in a short period of time. Then came the "eye contact", the full sentences, the requests, proper responses on cue. I became motivated as well; I made promises to myself, "If I can do this....., I can buy some more speciality Lego pieces at the end of the week."
Not quite sure yet if the Lego's working was a fluke, I tried it again with another boy, Kevin, who frequently had aggressive outbursts. One day while he yelled and screamed while banging on the table. I quietly took out my Lego's and began to build. His outbursts subsided as he looked over. Soon he asked if he could have it. Gently telling him know, I offered to help him build something of his own. He went back to yelling and banging on the table while I started building yet another structure. This routine went on for another five minutes then suddenly he sat and said "ok". He too began to benefit from the Lego Motivation, as well found an activity where he could calm himself independently.
Does it work for girls you may ask? Yes, I've used Lego's with both boys and girls, however, I will confess, that it has been more successful with the boys (and female teachers). It meets many of the criteria for thinking, analyzing, problem solving, predicting, creating, scientific premises of gravity. To say that playing with Lego's is relaxing is an understatement. I become transported, fully connecting to the parts and places within my own mind. There's a sense of accomplishment, pride, and the need to challenge myself with "what's next?" While playing, the stress level lowers, the hands are active, and the mind-body connection is revitalized.
Now in the Innovations Studio when I dare ask any adult if they are interested - I, of course, get the "strange quizzical looks", however, I make the challenge to all adults reading this Confession - Come Join the Lego Club for Adults. Then next the Robotics Club. Forget the fact that Lego's are thought of as "toys", depending on your skill level and imagination, you will find that Lego's have been used by architects, designers, NASA, engineers, and many other technical and creative folk as "small models" of large ideas.
Call 917-387-8311 to join the Adult Lego Builders
and see what your made of
198-20 Linden Blvd., St.
Albans, NY 11412
What Our Clients Are Saying
With Classes for both Children & Adults, Innovations has indeed "Innovated" opportunities to learn, explore, and develop creative skills. They also feature a lot of workshops, programs, and rent space to other teachers, organizations, and the community. Perfect for our area!"