“Learning through play is how children naturally go about things. You don’t need to teach a three-year-old how to play. That’s what they do,” explains Per Havgaard from the LEGO® Foundation.
LEGO Bricks have been a popular toy worldwide for decades. Most adults have memories of what they built, brick by brick as a child. While building with LEGO bricks is fun, the LEGO Foundation explains their goal is to be more than a toy.
“We have a vision where we want to give children the opportunity to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners,” says Per.
At the heart of their mission is the task of redefining play. We often separate play from learning, but Per and the LEGO Foundation say we shouldn’t. “Play is still widely misunderstood. It’s still seen as something childish. We need to understand that when we are playful in our state of mind, that’s often when we are able to be innovative. That’s when we are able to be creative and actively exercise and massage all those skills we need for our future.”
The LEGO Foundation has the goal of helping children become adults who are constantly curious, and innovative thinkers. Watching a child play with LEGO Bricks, it’s easy to see the learning through play philosophy in practice. Whether they follow a plan, or set out to create their own design, there is a constant process of searching for the right piece, problem-solving, and searching for creative solutions until their masterpiece is created.
The creation of LEGO Braille Bricks ensures that even more young people will have the opportunity to learn through playing with LEGO Bricks.
Stine Storm, the Project Manager for LEGO Braille Bricks says they have the goal of reaching as many children as possible. “We also work within the area of other special needs, such as autism and ADHD. We’re working on ways to create similar kinds of concepts to ensure these children have access to learning through play,” she says. “If we can help children who are visually impaired to learn braille in a more fun and engaging way, I think we’ve come a long way. We want to inspire them, and ensure they have equal opportunities in life.”
Want to learn more about learning through play? APH is hosting a week of webinars all about LEGO Braille Bricks. On Tuesday, August 18th, Per Havgaard will show you how to facilitate learning through play principles while introducing you to the pedagogical framework used by the LEGO Foundation. Learn more or sign up today.
LEGO Braille Bricks are now being distributed in the United States. Learn more about how they are getting into the hands of students.