“The World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report places creative problem solving in the top three skills the job market will require from 2020. Imaginative play helps children learn how to innovate, problem solve and think critically throughout their lives.” It’s not important for parents to just provide children with the opportunity to learn these skills but also with the opportunity to utilise them in the longer term, as practice makes perfect. LEGO games are perfect example of a tool to implement these skills.
LEGOs, coloured pieces of plastic bricks, join like pieces of a puzzle to create modules. The modules then join to form whole space shuttles, buildings from the Tower Bridge to the Taj Mahal. It is a popular saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither can Lego be learnt in a span of seconds. Joining the blocks to develop ideas into themes is a step-by-step process. The brick-by-brick model building can be used to teach different concepts in mathematics such as area and perimeter or computational thinking for learning coding for children as they grow older, turning play into passion.
LEGO games can inspire learning of lifelong skills. The Guardian, a British newspaper, details the public disclosure of David Beckham’s love for LEGO games. LEGO games enable the footballer to combat stress as well spend time with his family, teaching them to Build it like Beckham. He’s not the only celebrity to vouch for the skills learnt from LEGO. In the U.S, actor Brad Pitt co-produces “LEGO Masters”, a reality TV show where twelve teams battle it out through building LEGO. Music producer and seven-time Grammy Award Winner Mark Ronson has also launched a campaign called ‘Rebuild the World’ to promote creativity in the next generation.
According to a study, building LEGO games or “construction play is related specifically to math skills, and that visuospatial memory is involved in the relationship between construction play and math skills, not explained by general intelligence.” LEGO games are a powerful creative and technical learning tool for children. There is no right or wrong answer or method in it. Initially only a roadmap of instructions to be followed with various shapes and colours that help and lead to intuitive learning of concepts such as dimensions, shapes, symmetry and balance in the formation of designs. The limitations of every piece of LEGO joined together in a modular fashion innately assists in understanding mathematical concepts of area (the surface covered by a shape) and perimeter (the length of the outline of the shape). The understanding of such modular pieces aid in forming the neural connections, fundamental to any science, joining to form an emerging and more complex building block, be it of ideas, concepts learnt in computational thinking, or simply a part of the LEGO game.
LEGO’s official blog states, “results from a new Confidence in Learning Poll, fielded by Harris Insights & Analytics and released today, hands-on learning builds confidence. Eighty seven percent of students say they learn and remember topics more when the learning involved hands-on projects, and 93 percent of parents say hands-on learning helps children retain knowledge for the future. Additionally, while the importance of hands-on learning is clear, only 40 percent of teachers say their students usually or always get substantial time during the school day for hands-on lessons.” Thus, we can see the limitations of academic education in schools and need to prevent these limitations from having consequences on the development of our children’s thinking and learning skills.
Coding is a language, much like a set of instructions given to a computer to carry out a command or function. Mathematics is the universal language between computers and humans, aiding in the comprehension of advanced programming concepts. When kids learn to code, they develop key skills like problem solving and practice algorithmic and computational thinking – and when they learn to code, they have fun at the same time, so they’re more likely to stay engaged with the material. These broad skill sets and ways of breaking down and analysing problems are particularly helpful when it comes to mathematics.
Learning the building blocks of coding and the sequences in which they can take shape, to why and how technology around children in this digital age operates will be better for shaping children’s understanding by learning to code and speaking to the technology around them. Today’s consumerism has bought advanced technologies like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home under our roofs and self-driven cars being developed by Google out on the roads using deep learning (subfield of machine learning which in turn is layered algorithms). So, let’s give our children the opportunity to take inspiration from their own world, to create their own games. This is already happening! It is being taught online as part of WhiteHat Jr’s curriculum. There are countless projects a child can take up for recreation, turning play into passion for computer coding and understanding how it all works. All of it is just a click away with WhiteHat Jr. Kids learn best in their formative years, before they are schooled into standard thinking practices. Hence, it is best to encourage lateral learning and logical thinking, at the age of 6-14 which WhiteHat Jr targets, to promote maximum creativity in their early learning years.
WhiteHat Jr offers one-on-one coding classes, giving children to the opportunity to ask their questions and learn with undivided attention, for complete growth and development in the comfort of their own home. Only the top 99.9th percentile of qualified and certified teachers are employed to bring you and your child the best outcomes in generating their customised app and animations.
LEGO games have laid the foundations for creative, cognitive and communication skills in children for decades. The colourful blocks have built countless imaginative projects that have contributed to the success of learning multiple interpersonal skills in playgroups as well as laying the foundations for learning mathematical, motor and machine learning skills. In addition, LEGO games also make children confident problem solvers and enable them to persevere until a project is completed. LEGO games provide the building blocks for the emerging bigger picture of when it all fits together, whether by joining colourful bricks into a large structure or coding a gaming programme. LEGO games enhance a child’s ability to learn as they follow instructions to build, developing problem-solving, organisation and planning by construction. It is possible to teach a child coding through LEGO games.
Concepts such as data structure (sequence of data in a particular format), traversal (operation on these data structures or iterating) and deep learning can be easily taught using these colourful building blocks whilst holding the child’s attention and forming a personal relationship with the child through its play, engaging the child’s long-term memory. Afterall, learning should be fun and although coding seems to be daunting from a layman’s perspective, for children with colourful LEGO games its child’s play into discovering a whole new world of boundless possibilities.