LEGO is an incredibly popular toy both in and beyond classrooms – you may have heard there’s a movie? Many children can play with LEGO all day, sometimes every day. What should Kindergarten teachers do about this? Remove the LEGOs? Insist that children visit other centres on a rotation-based schedule? Pull children into small groups and away from LEGO?
I’m going to suggest something radical. Do nothing. Just watch.
I’ve been asking myself the following: Why is it, when children are engrossed in a material over a long period of time, do we perceive that as a negative? Maybe we need to ask ourselves a different question: What are they trying to learn?
What is it about this material that has them so interested? What are they working so hard to figure out? Take a breath, take some time, and put on your detective cap.
We noticed last week that the children were building LEGO structures that very closely resembled architectural drawings. This week the children were using flat pieces to make roofs in new ways and using the shutters to create tree-like structures. As a response to these observations, we’ve since brought in a real architectural drawing and are planning a field trip to the local School of Architecture. Who knows where it will lead? If it leads to more LEGO, I’m okay with that.