The classic Lego building block utilizing the interlocking principle was launched in 1958 and now consists of more than 2200 elements. A reason why the little brightly colored blocks are well loved by kids and adults alike is the endless possibilities that Lego presents. As long as you can dream it, you can build it in Lego. The Lego line has vastly expanded over the years but the basic principle still remains – to explore, to imagine, to create.
Lego component with solar cells
Why Lego builds creativity
LEGO play is inherently creative. The sole interlocking principle of the Lego blocks can be expanded into many variations. The Lego play system includes rotational elements, clip on elements and other external interfaces like magnets, motors, computers and even solar cells.
Compared to electronic video games where the user is guided through a scripted plot on a 2-D screen , Lego offers free play where the creations are only limited by the imagination. It is at once both exploratory and creative. In the young mind of kids, the Lego play interface allows them to explore and examine possibilities within a simple system of building principles.
In fact, Frank Llyod Wright, the famous master architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum and Fallingwater, attributes his sense of aesthetics, three dimensional composition and geometry to his experiences playing with building blocks. This system of building block imaginative play would train the brain to approach problems from many angles.
LEGO Basic Bricks #6177
This special set contains 650 colorful Lego bricks you can use to build almost anything. The only limit is your imagination! Lego Basic Bricks Deluxe includes bricks in white, orange, red, blue, yellow, brown, black, dark green, and light green. This Lego Individual Bricks and Building Accessories set has 650 pieces. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Amazon Price: $34.99
List Price: $29.99
LEGO Pink Brick Box (5585)
Build a house, a pony, or anything else you can imagine with this special box filled with LEGO bricks in colors you love and elements like fences, windows, doors and flowers! 216 pieces.
Amazon Price: $43.66
List Price: $19.99
Clone Trooper (Clone Wars) – LEGO Star Wars 2 Figure”
Add this great minifigure to your LEGO collection!
Amazon Price: $7.95
LEGO Town Plan
Build a whole community with the Lego Town Plan 10184. Designed to commemorate the 50th-anniversary of the original Lego brick patent, this set featuring a 1950’s style gas station, town hall, movie theatre, and two automobiles crafted from modern, detailed bricks.
Amazon Price: $546.88
List Price: $149.99
Play Ritual of Lego
There are generally two methods of Lego Play. This would be what i’d like to term the “engineering approach” and the “creative approach”.
The Lego “engineering approach” is that the user has an image of what to build. For example, he/she would like to build a house from the blocks. Hence, using the various Lego blocks, a house is created, complete with windows and doors, an outdoor garden and even people. From such an exercise, it trains the mind to focus on the “How” of things. This is especially beneficial for young kids as they learn the “How”. Most Lego sets come with an illustrated manual of how to build from blocks a model, say a castle or ship. This is a step by step guide to the initial “how” approach.
The Lego “creative approach” is that from a pile of Lego bricks, the user explores what is possible to be built. Therefore, from a limited palette of component parts, it tests and trains the creativity, resourcefulness and imagination of the user. This is very similar to real world problem solving. In addition, with Lego minifigurines, the element of role play is inserted into this creative process.
LEGO Mindstorms NXT
Sure, Mindstorms NXT is a toy, but it is an important toy, like a piano or a chemistry set. It’s one of those items that engages an imagination and possibly opens doors to new interests.
Amazon Price: $549.99
List Price: $279.99
LEGO Star Wars Venator-class Republic Attack Cruiser (8039)
Engage in a galactic battle with the Star Wars Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser. This replica of Chancellor Palpatine’s personal flagship during the Clone Wars is crafted from 1,170 LEGO pieces. Designed for ages 9 to 14, but with the potential to keep adults entertained, this detailed LEGO set is sure to set off a blast of creativity in anyone who plays with it.
Amazon Price: $265.00
List Price: $119.99
LEGO Star Wars Clone Walker Battle Pack (8014)
Clone Walker Battle Pack includes 2 Clone Troopers, Clone Gunner, Clone Commander and ARC trooper gear.
Amazon Price: $27.00
List Price: $12.99
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle
Legos are perfect for social play, and this Hogwarts castle set provides loads of exploration and cooperative play with 943 pieces.
Amazon Price: $449.99
List Price: $89.99
LEGO Harry Potter: The Final Challenge (4702)
Designed for Harry Potter fans, this 60-piece book/movie tie-in is heavier on the classic LEGO interlocking construction than other sets in the Harry Potter series, but still features such novelties as a spider web catapult and orange plastic torch “flames.” Complete with a 16-page full-color instruction booklet.
Amazon Price: $77.88
Lego beyond Play
Lego has been utilized in areas beyond the playground of young children to extend into areas of Art, Business and Popular Culture.
The introduction of the minifigurines in Lego has also been an
unqualified success. It introduces an element of role play into Lego. For example, there are customized lego collectibles for Star Wars and Harry Potter to name a few. The classic castle and pirates and town model sets were also due to the development of the Lego minifig.
In art, lego sculpture is often amazing and delightful to look at. Legoland parks around the world also show the extreme possibilities of lego creations to replicate world famous places and buildings.
In business, Lego Serious Play, an official product from Lego, is used as a form of business consultancy for staff to visualize organizational relationships. The Mindstorms series of Lego incorporates computers and trains young programmers in robotics.
From a simple principle of interlocking blocks, imagination can really go places. What will you build today?
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