As your child grows they start to explore the world through play, which believe it or not, is actually a fun and relaxed way of learning.
Educator Seymour Papert, who spent much of his time teaching at M.I.T said that when we create things we care about, our capacity for learning is increased. Therefore, the more we enjoy doing something, the more we learn from that particular activity.
Lego Duplo play expert Hanne Boutrup says that this way of learning is essential for our kids and is why our children play – because they want to learn, they want to develop competencies, knowledge and skills.
Building block sets like Lego Duplo are great for learning through play, as the bricks are larger than your smaller lego bricks, making it easy for little hands to hold, pull apart and build.
A whopping 80% of our brain is connected to our hands – so if hands are involved, learning becomes a lot more efficient, said Hanne at a recent workshop.
From the age of 2, as your child’s fine motor skills develop, you’ll see them go through many stages of brick building and playing – from basic brick pulling apart and stacking, to building a tower, only to knock it over – just in order to build it again. (Building a tower and knocking it over is one of the favourite activities for children all over the world!)
This is natural play progression as they become more inquisitive about the world around them. They then start to introduce elements of role-play as a means of mimicking what they observe on a daily basis. Gradually, brick tower building will then be replaced by creative building, as your child becomes better at recognising shapes and colours.
So what skills are they learning?
· Building language
· Spatial intelligence
· Beginning to build mathematical skills
· Understanding patterns in this world
· Concentration skills
By introducing toys that fuel your child’s imagination, you encourage open-ended play which helps build creativity, and becomes a part of your little ones wonderful new perspective on things.