Playing with toys: the benefits of Lego
by James Lamont
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To explore the value of play.
Preparation and materials
- Have available images of Lego and the means to show them as the students come in and sit down (check copyright), though this is optional.
- You could begin the assembly by giving a couple of students a pile of Lego and asking them to build something as the assembly progresses, referring back to them at the end to see what they’ve created.
- Playing with toys is a fond childhood memory for many people. Everyone can remember their favourite toy, game or pastime. One of the most popular toys in the world today is Lego. Seven Lego toys are sold every second and Lego’s popular model cars make it the world’s largest manufacturer of tyres – over 400 million a year!
- The Danish company was founded by Ole Kirk Kristiansen in 1932, making wooden toys. The name came from the Danish words ‘Leg godt’, which mean ‘play well’. In the 1950s, Kristiansen began to produce the locking plastic bricks that have become the company’s iconic product. New designs of bricks and models were released throughout the 1960s and 1970s to create the adaptable and versatile toy that is still popular today.
- It is popular with many diverse groups of people. As well as being a perennial children’s favourite, many adults, including David Beckham and Britney Spears, claim to be fans. Beckham says it helps him to relax.
- For many people, even adults, playing helps us stay focused on what is really important in our lives. Sports, games and imagination allow us to rebuild friendships and personal relationships outside of work and study. Although Lego is generally a single-player experience, the creativity and imagination it excites help us see the more important things in life.
- Although many people give away their toys when they get older, using one’s imagination is an important part of a happy and creative life. It is important that we do not let our creativity fade as we age.
Time for reflection
When was the last time you sat down, possibly on your own, and played with something like Lego? It might have been a jigsaw puzzle or a train set, with your grandparents.
Maybe you love to go into the kitchen and cook or to design on your computer or on paper . . .
Maybe you get on your bike and head off to clear your head . . .
Playing, relaxation, ‘r and r’ are very important for our headspace as well as our bodies.
Take a few moments now to consider how you have downtime and how you could use it to refresh yourself effectively.
‘Lord of all hopefulness’ (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 467, 2008 edition)