I’ve always said that I have ¨no spatial intelligence¨ – but, as a psychologist and a firm advocate for growth mindset – I know that just isn’t true. I know that it is a trainable skill that can improve over time. Which is why I’ve come to appreciate the magic of Lego so much.
I sometimes wonder what my spatial skills would be like if I had learned about STEAM in school. Would I have been more open to activities that require a hands-on approach? Would I have been more skillfully adept in the art of building and engineering? Would I have eagerly asked my parents for Lego sets for Christmas? Maybe.
Lego offers the freedom to literally build your inner world.
I love the versatility of Lego. They come with a handbook with instructions for building, perfect for those more into the nitty-gritty of engineering. But, also offer the flexibility for kids and adults (keep reading for the latter) to use the pieces and build as they wish.
I’ve seen children build towers as high as their dreams; fences strong enough to keep the monsters at bay; houses big enough to fit all their families; superheroes tall enough to vanquish their fears; and so much more.
While the instruction manual serves a purpose to help kids focus, gain attention and follow instructions. Nothing is more emotionally rewarding than seeing the masterpieces children create. Because it is through their creation that we are witnessing, firsthand, what their inner world looks like.
Lego is not only for children, adults can find them beneficial, too.
The magic of Lego is for people of all ages. Just ask the creators of Lego Serious Play, a methodology created for organizations to use with their workers.
According to their website, organizations have used this powerful workshop to help their employees ¨communicate more effectively, to engage their imagination more readily, and to approach their work with increased confidence, commitment, and insight.¨
The method consists of using the bricks to build metaphors to resemble their knowledge, thoughts, and feelings in regards to a series of prompts provided by the facilitator. It allows the opportunity for all team members to visually represent their thinking. But, also allows them to see different perspectives through their colleagues’ eyes.
Play therapist supervisors have even used this methodology while they work with their supervisees. This is a double-win, as it allows for employees to gain perspective, while at the same time bond with each other in a non-intrusive way. It serves as a skill and team building opportunity, which leads me to my next point.
Lego offers the flexibility to change your mind
The wonders of Lego is that its buildable bricks allow room for change. You can mount and demount as you please. You can build and take away at your own pace. You can change something you don’t like about your design and it won’t affect the entire creation.
This is why the Lego Movie offered such a positive message. If you haven’t seen the 2014 movie, the Lego world is a metaphor for what’s going on between a father and a son. The evil Lord Business, which represents the father, wants to ¨glue the Lego universe into eternal stasis.¨ When, in reality, all the son wanted to do was have the flexibility to construct and deconstruct his world at his own pace.
When playing with Lego, children have the advantage of using their old designs with their new. To reinvent their constructions – which can serve as a metaphor to reinvent themselves. The magic within those small building blocks is unlocked by what your child’s creativity decides to do with them.
It’s a timeless toy that you can use to your advantage to gain VIP access into your child’s psyche. Except for the small pieces finding their way into your bare feet, what’s not to love about Lego?
Please note that this blog post is in no way sponsored or affiliated with any Lego products or organizations. The thoughts provided in this post are solely of the author.