You guys, I think I’ve mentioned a few (or a hundred) times that I’m not so good at the consistent blogging thing. I’ll get in a good swing where I’m posting every few weeks, and that usually lasts oh, I don’t know….a few weeks, maybe?
My inconsistent posting is not for lack of wanting to share great stuff with y’all, nor is it due to a lack of great stuff to share. It’s just that this blog isn’t staring me in the face quite like the pile of books I’ve been dying to read or my almost-full DVR or my never-ending list of silly errands. (Cross one off. Write two more. Story of my life.)
But today, after WAY too long, I’m finally making time to tell you about some totally fabulous products that Lego Education sent me last year. (Yes. An actual year ago. Those errands are never ending, man!)
I have to first brag about the great staff at the Lego Education offices. (I don’t know if they sit in cubicles made of Duplo bricks or if their desks are grown-up Lego tables just waiting for creations, but I kind of hope it’s both.) They reached out to me so long ago and have been nothing but kind and patient as I’ve spent a year trying out the products they sent me with various groups of children (and more than a few adults) for a solid year. Thank you for all of your help, Lego Education friends!
Also, I feel like now is a good time to mention a few disclaimers:
1. I’ve been approached about a few product plugs in the last couple of years, but none of them has made me as excited as an opportunity to partner with Lego. I grew up with mountains of Lego bricks at my disposal, the bulk of which are still seeing playtime at my mom’s house.
2. I’m kind of an old-school Lego fan. These teeny tiny things that come with specific directions for building the Death Star are cool in their own right, but I’m a purist who doesn’t like to be told what to do. Classic Lego bricks are my jam. No directions necessary. You want a tower? You got it. A corral for all of your Lego farm animals? Coming right up!
All of that being said, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the products that I received. Lego Education sent me two sets designed for preschool students. (By the way, I’ve seen these sets fully engage students as old as third grade.)
The Playground Set
This set is designed for a small group or partners in centers. This is to encourage collaboration and language skills as they build, and boy do they collaborate! There are pictures to guide them, but there are tons of ways to set the playground up, and the majority of kiddos I worked with didn’t consult the pictures at all.
There are so many opportunities for cross-curricular discussion here. The hopscotch pieces support number recognition and counting. The mini-figures brought out so many discussions of who might go to a playground and whether any of them were grown-ups. (They are all the same size.) This set also encourages some hands-on problem solving. How will you build your dream playground? Why did you put those structures together? The possibilities are truly endless!
The Creative Builder Set:
Remember how I said I’m a Lego purist who doesn’t like to be bound by directions? Well, this set proved me wrong. It comes with two-sided picture cards that snap into a special tray with building mats on either side. Students can work on either side of the tray to try to recreate the picture before them. I can’t even tell you what a favorite this was with the kids! Just a few learning opportunities I noticed were number and counting skills, pattern identification/repetition, and use of position words (on top of, next to, etc.) in conversation. You could even have older students use the picture cards to guide each other to build a design blind – you know they’d love that!
I just absolutely love these products, friends, and so do the kids that have learned with them this year. But don’t take my word for it – check out the Lego Education site for yourself. They are constantly coming up with new ideas (probably because those cubicles made from Duplo bricks inspire them so much). You won’t regret it!
Hope you’re having the most wonderful summer!