Closeup photo of lots of 2x4 tan LEGO bricks

11 Ways to Encourage Your LEGO® Enthusiast

I have heard it from many parents, “My kid’s LEGO® skills are already very advanced, I’m looking for something to challenge her (him).”  So how can you meet their needs and keep them moving forward?  Below are 10 suggestions to get you started.

  • Keep them building. The old adage practice makes perfect rings true here.
  • Have them take apart the buildings of others. I am always able to learn something from taking apart my son’s buildings.  He is 14 and I believe that he is an engineer in his soul.  He consistently uses pieces used in non-traditional ways and thinks outside the box.
  • Provide open-ended challenges. A kid can build a skyscraper or a castle more than once and end up with two completely different creations.
  • Encourage them to ask questions. One of the main components of the Engineering Design Process is Problem Identification.  Asking a lot of questions allows them to flush out the details of what is expected of them and gives them information to complete the task appropriately.
  • Use the LEGO Ideas-type books. There are many of these books floating around today Kids can use them as a springboard to get their imaginations going.
  • Encourage them to synthesize what they are learning or events going on in their lives using LEGO bricks. If they play baseball, for example, encourage them to build a baseball field with dugouts and players.  It will give you a bit of insight into their perspective when you see what aspects they highlight and what parts are important to them (e.g. do they focus on the dugouts, the seating, the perimeter, or the uniforms, etc.).
  • Name the pieces. All of the pieces have names, encourage the kids to find out the proper names and begin using them.  This helps in communicating with others when talking about their builds, a key engineering skill.
  • Sort their LEGO bricks. I discovered early on, that if our LEGO® bricks were sorted, that my son would spend more time building.  If he could find pieces easily, he built quickly, if not, he would get frustrated and bored much sooner and abandon the build. 
    • Please do not sort only by color (personal pet peeve).  If you are looking for a piece, it is easy to find a red piece in a bin of 2×4 bricks than to find a 2×4 brick in a bin of red bricks.
  • Provide opportunities to build with friends. Many kids enjoy the back and forth of learning from each other. If they are more advanced than their friends, explaining themselves or how they accomplished things leads to a cementation of concepts and allows them to begin learning the art of articulation.
  • Encourage a learning mentality. Have them look at others’ creations and identify aspects that they can incorporate into their own building, whether it be building technique, use of color, etc.
  • Enroll them in our camps and classes and let us help to push them forward.