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Lego

Is LEGO good for your brain? Why does it cost so much? Is it good for anxiety?

Lego is a line of plastic construction toys that are manufactured by The Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. As of 2021, Lego world was the largest toy company in the world. The company’s flagship product consists of variously colored interlocking plastic bricks accompanying an array of gears, figurines called minifigures, and various other parts. Lego set pieces can be assembled and connected in many ways to construct objects, including vehicles, buildings, and working robots. Anything constructed can be taken apart again, and the pieces reused to make new things.

Is LEGO good for your brain?

One of the reasons why Lego sets are so good for the brain is that it builds concentration span. The more a child is immersed and “lost” in an activity, the more a child’s ability to focus develops.

Unlike screen time which is a passive activity, any playtime where a child is actively involved in thinking will have a positive impact on their developing attention span.

Planning
Learning to plan is a skill that needs to be practised like any other. You will notice poor planning skills in how a child at school lays out their work. For example, they run out of space on the page, begin without a clear direction and change course later, or ask to start again.

Ever seen a child’s drawing of their family, where the last person is squashed into the corner? This shows a child’s developing ability to plan before beginning a task, as well as their spatial skills when planning out their page or their task.

Lego world is a great tool for practising having a plan in your mind and then carrying out the plan. A toddler may start by experimenting with it, discovering that they connect and can be stacked into a tower. Later, as their brain develops, they start to build structures with an intention.

Colour and Shape Knowledge
Learning about colours and shapes in early childhood does not necessarily need to be taught with colour and shapes activities. Simply by exposing your child to activities, games and educational toys, they will learn these concepts incidentally. Getting lots of hands-on experiences, such as feeling the shapes of blocks and Lego instruction as they are played with, has a lot of value.

Social Skills
While learning with this game can occur while playing independently, one of the most educational things about it is the social skills building.

Why does Lego cost so much?

Research costs money, and LEGO is constantly developing new products. The company releases over 850 sets per year on average. According to the company’s Annual Report 2020, new products are 55% of the portfolio each year. Each of those products required research, testing, and in some cases, the development of specialist machine parts before it hit the market. The report also states that LEGO spends over $138 million per year on research and development.

The company isn’t just focusing on developing new sets; it is even redeveloping the bricks themselves. LEGO company developed an environmental focus after acknowledging that a high percentage of the billions of LEGO bricks around will still exist in hundreds of years. Since then, the company has developed bricks made from sustainable materials like sugar cane, bricks made from recycled plastic bottles and pledged to wave goodbye to single-use plastic packaging by 2025.

This game also pledged to invest over $400 million in three years into its “Learning Through Play” initiative, reducing carbon emissions and replacing plastic packaging with paper.

If your urge to build things overlaps with your passion for something like Lego Star Wars or Harry Potter, chances are you’ve encountered a licensed LEGO set at some point. The Danish toy company has acquired the rights to produce sets based on multiple film and TV franchises over the years, and those rights aren’t free.

Exact figures for each licensing deal will vary but will likely include a flat fee and a royalty on every licensed set sold. In 2020 LEGO spent around $500 million on “license and royalty expenses.” LEGO isn’t taking these expenses on the chin; they pass the costs on to the consumer.

Is LEGO good for anxiety?

Research has shown children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), anxiety and depression can significantly improve their social competence through this therapy (LeGoff, 2004).

By providing an effective and engaging learning environment, your child can develop and master social skills. These include:

Turn taking;
Sharing;
Problem-solving; and
Compromising.

It is totally awesome, because children learn in an authentic way. This is due to the natural play environment, which makes it easier for your child to generalise their new skills.

In particular, children with ASD have trouble taking what they’ve learnt and applying it to different situations. This is what we call “generalising”. So the beauty here is that they are engaged socially with peers, making it easier to use the same skills in other social encounters!

Is Playmobil better than Lego?

Playmobil and LEGO have their own customer group who have been following them for generations. While LEGO offers more customizing options with the figures being able to be changed in every possible way, Playmobil figurines are made with finest details and finishing to relate with real life figures.

Playmobil toys and sets are mainly targeting children. The figurines and related accessories are designed for children from 2 years old to play with by being imaginative and active in settling up the scenario. Even though toy collectors are also very interested in setting particular scenes and stories with Playmobil items, the number one fans of this brand remain children. Playmobil is a brand that focuses on delivering purely childhood-friendly toys which give them a pleasant view of the world they live in.

LEGO is on the other hand is a brand that is loved by the “bigger” children. Since they emphasize on the variety of customization rather than the precision of realistic appearance of the characters, children of 6+ years to even past teenage ones are the main fans for it.

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