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When my grandkids come over, there is one toy, in particular, that they bee-line for as soon as their feet hit the carpet: My vast collection of Legos! (Who can blame them?) Legos are fantastic for many reasons, and I love that I kept all of my kids’ and can share them with their kids – my grands!
If your grandkids also love building Legos, I invite you to turn it into an educational opportunity by working together to recreate world-famous landmarks:
Cognitive Benefits of Playing with Legos
- Spatial Reasoning: Playing with building blocks, such as LEGO, enhances spatial reasoning abilities, which is the capacity to understand and remember the spatial relations among objects.
- Fine Motor Skills: The act of picking up and placing these blocks in a particular manner aids in the development of fine motor skills.
- Creativity and Imagination: Building blocks foster creativity and imagination as children can construct their ideas into tangible objects, inventing their unique designs.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Figuring out how to build a certain structure or design encourages problem-solving skills. This is especially true when working with limited blocks or attempting a complex construction.
- Mathematical Skills: Blocks also teach basic mathematical concepts such as geometry, patterns, symmetry, balance, and fractions.
- Language Skills: When playing with others, kids have to communicate their ideas and plans, thus fostering their language skills.
Inspiration for Creating Original LEGO Designs or Recreating Famous Landmarks
- Designing Landscapes: You can recreate your backyard or local park, complete with greenery, people, and animals.
- Replicate Art: Try to build 3D models of famous paintings or sculptures.
- Build your Dream House: Use your imagination and create the house you’ve always wanted.
- Famous Landmarks: Recreate the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt, or the Statue of Liberty.
- Science Concepts: Create structures that represent molecules, the solar system, or the stages of the life cycle of a butterfly.
- Invent a Fantasy World: Build castles, dragons, wizards, and more from your favorite fantasy universe.
Tips for Organizing a Fun and Collaborative Building Session
- Planning: Start with a plan. It can be as simple as choosing a theme (like ‘pirates’ or ‘outer space’) or a more detailed plan involving diagrams or blueprints.
- Teamwork: Encourage collaborative working. Let the kids form teams and assign them different parts of the project.
- Variety of Blocks: Ensure you have a wide range of blocks in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
- Designate Roles: This can be very helpful in larger projects. For example, one child can be in charge of finding the necessary pieces, another can focus on building, and a third can review the construction for mistakes.
- Breaks: Regular breaks can help maintain focus and energy. You could also provide snacks and refreshments.
- Showcase: At the end of the session, let each team showcase their project and describe their design process, which helps them appreciate their work and that of others.
- Make it Fun: Lastly, keep the atmosphere light and fun. It’s not a competition but a learning and bonding activity. Encourage creativity and problem-solving rather than striving for perfection.
If you don’t already have a large collection of various pieces, this is a very smart and cost-effective way to add to your collection! (Note: These aren’t Lego brand, but are the same size and can be easily mixed and matched.)
LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline 21044 Collectible Model Building Kit with Eiffel Tower and The Louvre
If you and your grandkids are more advanced, Lego makes a special line dedicated to world-famous architecture, like this one with the Eiffel Tower and Louvre.
Can you use a little building inspiration? There’s A LOT where that came from in the pages of this fun and colorful book.
I hope this gives you tons of fun inspiration for building Legos with your grandkids! No matter your age, putting together these play bricks and creating something new is a fun activity that offers hours of entertainment. Enjoy!