Legos: An incredible option for the education of your children

LEGO

Lego System A/S, better known as LEGO, is a Danish toy company. Its best known product is building blocks but it also has its own series (Bionicle, Ninjago); a line of preschool products (Lego Duplo) and a line of robotic toys (Lego Mindstorms) among other assets. It also lends its brand to the Legoland theme park chain.

It was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, and has been controlled by his family ever since. Although it was originally a woodworking company, since 1949 it has specialised in construction toys made from plastic. The company maintains its headquarters in Billund, has 7800 employees and is present in more than 130 countries.

History

The origins of Lego go back to a family carpentry shop in Billund, Denmark, founded in 1918 by Ole Kirk Christiansen. When the business was hit by the Great Depression, it began making smaller furniture, and from 1932 it focused exclusively on wooden toys. Two years later it renamed the new company “Lego”, an acronym for the Danish term leg godt (“to play well”), and the brand became very popular with the local population because wooden toys were more accessible than imported metal toys, which were harder to acquire during World War II.

Following a series of problems in timber production, Ole Kirk switched to producing plastic toys in the 1940s with injection moulding machines. Inspired by the building blocks of the British company Kiddicraft, the Christiansen family marketed their own plastic bricks (Lego Mürsten) from 1949, with bright colours inspired by Piet Mondrian’s paintings. The system relied on the creativity of the child, so at first no instruction manuals were included. The key to Lego came in 1958; that year they patented a “hook system” with tubes under the brick that allowed them to be stably assembled, adopting all kinds of combinations. Such was their success that Ole’s son and successor, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (1957-1979), discontinued all wooden collections to focus exclusively on plastic. He was later succeeded by his son Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen (1979-2004).

The bricks were originally made of cellulose acetate. From 1964 onwards, ABS plastic was adopted, which is non-toxic and better able to withstand both heat and discolouration. This material is used to this day because there is no equivalent in bioplastics.

The company established itself on the European market at the beginning of the 1960s. Its presence in the United States was initially limited by a failed partnership with Samsonite, but when the contract expired in 1973 the Danes took control through a subsidiary, Lego Systems Inc, which in less than two years would exceed $100 million in sales.1 In 1968, the “Legoland” theme park in Billund was opened, with 625,000 visitors in the first year, and branches were soon opened in other countries. Together these operations represented 1 per cent of Denmark’s gross domestic product in the 1970s. The most notable contributions to the industry were the theme collections, the Lego Duplo pre-school line, and the introduction of the mini-figure in 1978.

In 1981 Lego’s building block patent had expired, leading other toy companies to imitate its model with cheaper options, such as Super Blocks (Tyco), the Spanish TENTE (Exin) or the Argentinean Rasti. For this reason, Kjeld Kirk bet on the research and development of new models, among them the adult line Lego Creator Expert, the robotic toys Lego Mindstorms and the Bionicle series, which allowed him to endure the type until the mid 1990s, when he could no longer cope with the changes in the toy industry and the emerging competition from video games.

After recording the first losses in its history in 1998, Lego launched new collections and official licenses without commercial success, leading to an overdraft of 287 million euros in 2004.

In the same year, the Kristiansens entrusted the presidency to Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, the first Lego CEO not to belong to the founding family. The new manager improved the accounts by relocating part of the production, selling all Legoland parks to the Merlin Entertainments group, and recovering the most profitable building collections with titles aimed at an adult audience.1 6 In addition, an agreement was reached with Warner Bros to launch films and television series based on the brand’s products, including The Lego Movie and Lego Ninjago, which were well received at the box office. In 2015, Lego surpassed Mattel as the world’s largest toy company in terms of sales.

Design

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Dimensions of a Lego block

The various Lego pieces make up a universal system. Despite the variation in design and purpose of the blocks over the years, they are all still compatible to a greater or lesser degree. The 1958 Lego blocks can still be matched with today’s blocks, and sets made for children are also compatible with those made for teenagers. Six 2×4 blocks can be combined in 915,103,765 different ways.

Each Lego part must be manufactured with a certain level of precision. When two pieces are fitted together, they must be kept connected while being easy to dismantle. Machines that make Lego blocks have tolerances as small as 10 micrometers.

The main design and development work is carried out at their headquarters in Billund. This is where the company employs 120 designers. The company also has smaller design offices in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and Japan. These are responsible for designing products specifically for their respective markets. The average duration of new product development is usually 12 months and is divided into 3 phases. In the first phase, they identify the market trends, their development and meet with some of their clients. In the second phase, they design and prototype the product. Since September 2008, the design teams use 3D modeling tools to generate CAD designs based on the initial sketches. These designs are then prototyped using the company’s own stereolithography machine. These prototypes are then presented to the rest of the team for feedback and suggestions and are then validated by parents and children during the “validation” process. The designs may be altered in line with the results obtained with the focus groups. Finally, a virtual model of the finished product is made at the same time as the assembly instructions are written. The virtual models are then used for packaging and marketing.

Lego Digital Designer is an official Lego computer program that allows users to create their own Lego designs. Until 2012 customers could buy the design they had made in this application.

Importance of blocks to children

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The blocks are very important because they encourage social and cognitive development, while at the same time working on the child’s gross and fine motor skills and coordination. Children learn to use their imagination and develop their creative skills as they work with other children. They learn to share space and materials, to collaborate and to negotiate. When children play with blocks, they practice their ability to classify objects based on their attributes of color, shape, and size.

Blocks help children develop their fine and gross motor skills, as well as help them with coordination. They also become aware of space and their relationship to other objects.

A block area is essential because blocks help children practice and progress in different areas of development. Blocks encourage social, emotional, and cognitive sufficiency. An area for blocks should be well organized and separate from other objects.

A block area is indispensable because blocks help children practice and progress in different areas of development. Blocks encourage social, emotional, and cognitive sufficiency. A block area should be well organized and separated according to size so that children can easily access what they want, and it also makes cleanup afterwards easier for children.

There is a wide selection of blocks, they come in different sizes, made of different materials (cardboard, sponge, wood). Cardboard and sponge blocks are more appropriate for younger children. Wooden blocks are an excellent investment because they are durable and ideal for preschoolers.

Blocks are one of the most creative and imaginative toys. With them children can build towers, paths, castles, farms, etc. When children play with blocks they use their creativity to generate plans that will represent their ideas.

Parents can buy or make their own blocks using wood or sturdy cardboard. Any type of material that helps children create a symbolic representation is an essential toy to have in children’s toy repertoire. There are many objects in the house that can be used as blocks (cereal boxes, milk or juice, baking powder, etc.).

The block area is great for teaching children to play with other children. It teaches them math and sequence, problem solving, and creativity. Children can make houses, buildings, castles-even this can lead to dramatic play. Children take pride in their creations. At the end of the day the children do not want to take apart what they have made, so we take pictures of their creation so they can remember it and take it home.

Psychological benefits of LEGO

Have you ever noticed the psychological benefits of LEGO? This popular and entertaining game has managed to position itself as one of the favourites as it allows you to explore the vast territories of imagination and leisure.

LEGO refers to a brand and company of Danish origin, which is known for producing plastic toys that can be interconnected. Founded in 1932, until 1949 the company produced wooden toys. Later, it started to produce plastic toys.

The name LEGO is an abbreviation of two Danish words: Leg and Godt. The meaning of these words is to play well. Over the years, the LEGO company has produced several lines of toys; such as LEGO Hero Factory, Bionicle and Exo-Force. In addition, it has numerous agreements with the franchises of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Star Wars.

Psychological benefits of LEGO for children

The psychological benefits of LEGO on children can be derived from relating children to the lay world, focusing primarily on the following: The generation of ideas. In fact, according to psychiatrist Maria Teresa Mata; the free construction of various objects through the layperson has very positive effects. One of them is that it allows the development of emotional intelligence.

In addition, it contributes to psychotherapy. On the other hand, playing through legos can influence the externalization of beliefs and emotions. Many children today enjoy putting together interconnected pieces (LEGOS) to form various objects. But what are the psychological benefits of LEGO? The psychological benefits of LEGO on children are undeniably incredible, as they are more interesting than you might think.

Psychological benefits of LEGO on children from different perspectives

The psychological benefits of LEGO on children can be addressed from different points of view:

LEGO as a working tool

LEGO is a well known trademark and is being used by several companies and psychologists; since excellent benefits are derived from its use. When used as a work tool, in fact, we are working with a dynamic representation of ideas that shows a very efficient free construction, which generates a lot of information.

LEGO Serious Play Method

LEGO has established the LEGO Serious Play method, which offers many benefits in relation to solving everyday problems.

Develops emotional intelligence

This is an outsourcing technique that promotes, among other things, the following: Ability to achieve goals, projection of challenges, imagination and expression.

Helps to make connections with other levels

According to the same psychiatrist mentioned above, playing with LEGOS allows connections to other levels. What does this mean? When pieces are put together, creativity and imagination are combined with manual work. This facilitates various mental processes that are related to communication.

Because the observer can gain a deeper understanding of the individual who creates an object from legos. When the technique of building from legos is transferred to a work team or family, it is possible to visualize the way in which the individual perceives the world. Thus, a greater dialogue is achieved.

Messages are perceived a priori
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That is, messages are received through the association of ideas and creativity, things that cannot be observed if other methods are used. Thanks to this, information can be obtained from the individual that, in other cases, goes unnoticed. In fact, it is thanks to these messages that effective solutions can be found.

Unconscious barriers are broken down. Unconscious barriers are shields that unintentionally appear to be related to the individual’s social interaction. But thanks to the psychological benefits of LEGO, these barriers are gradually being broken down; because a greater expression of knowledge about oneself and others is achieved.

The ability to resolve is developed. Sometimes a person may feel unable to solve a problem. However, if from a young age individuals are associated with lay people, the psychological benefits of LEGO will act on their own, enabling the person to find the necessary information within themselves. In this way, the person can obtain information, order it, expose it and validate it, thus expanding his or her framework of skills.

The abstract can be expressed. This means that information related to thoughts of the imagination can be brought into the real world, which can improve the efficiency of actions, which in turn improves processes.

These are just some of the psychological benefits of LEGO in children. It should be noted that the use of legos does not necessarily cover the development of children’s emotional intelligence; if many companies today recognise the benefits of legos in their work, then adults can also benefit from these plastic figures.

LEGO today

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Since its inception, LEGO has been revolutionizing the way we see things from a young age. And although it is of Danish origin, it has now expanded so much that a toy factory was opened in Mexico. This has allowed it to expand throughout Latin America, allowing many children to develop their emotional intelligence.

At the time of training intelligence through free construction, the psychological benefits of LEGO flow into the individual, enabling it to complement creative scenarios with problem solving by gradually building Lego figures.

Its solidity, demonstrated by more than 80 years of experience in the infantile scope thanks to the toys that it produces; it grants seriousness to him in its work. For this reason, we must not overlook the role it has played, in relation to the psychological benefits of LEGO for so many children and adults over the decades, since it is wisely used to get to know each other better.

Some of us remember playing with LEGO pieces at one time or another. Many of us continue to buy and assemble these pieces and you can’t deny that sometimes time flies and we have a lot of fun with these toys. LEGOs are more than just a game; they’re a tool that can help you improve your motor and mental skills.

The benefits of playing with these blocks are many, and they have become a necessary resource in early childhood classrooms. But while they have long been considered suitable for children, young people and adults can also benefit from them.

Here’s a list of all the advantages that LEGO play can bring, according to the psychoeducators:

If you’re looking to increase your mental and manual skills, they’re sure to be an excellent option that can also be fun. You can also share with your friends or family, and thus improve your personal relationships.

We challenge you to explore your imagination, get a few LEGOs and make the most of the opportunity to exploit all those areas we mentioned. Don’t forget that education is not only about knowledge and information, but also about exercising your mind and skills, because you’ll need the mental tools to work with that information, and what better idea than to do it with LEGOs?

GUIDE TO BUYING LEGO, SAVING.

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Lego is a toy that many people like (small and not so small) and is quite (very) expensive.

Did you know that if you plan to buy a Lego you can save between 20% and 40%? Yes, and it’s not that complicated. There are two ways to buy Lego…

a) Thinking that it is very expensive, but not thinking that it can be obtained at a better price. We can call this type of purchase traditional purchase.

b) Planning the purchase, and knowing at every moment where and what to buy. This would be the smart buy.

If you are one of the first ones, you are interested in knowing what you have to do to be one of the second ones and save a few euros in each purchase. If you are already one of the second, look at this guide to ensure that you are optimizing your purchases to the maximum.

Step 1: The key to everything, in almost any product, but in Lego in particular, is in planning your purchases. That is, you don’t buy when you need to (it’s someone’s birthday or you have a whim), but when the manufacturer/store needs to (it’s at the best price). Therefore, the first thing to do is to identify in advance which sets might be of interest to your friends and family, to whom you already know you are going to give a Lego gift this year (children, couple, nephews,…).

Step 2: If the gift could not be planned, for example is a birthday of a child in the class, it is best to go to the offers of elcatalejo or the international offerometer to see if any of the sets you ask can be found in any online store at a good price. Also, look in elcatalejo if there is any offer on those days. In elcatalejo, we work especially with online offers, but it is not uncommon to find some good offers in big stores like Carrefour or Alcampo, it depends on the center and the moment, normally you will not find what you want, when you want it and at the price you would like.

Step 3: Install the elcatalejo app. Follow the Telegram channel of elcatalejo or the web of elcatalejo frequently, so you don’t miss any interesting offers. You also have the option to create alerts that will let you know when a set arrives at an optimal price. The robots of elcatalejo are working for you all day long!

Step 4: In the Lego online shop, if you are a VIP you always get a 5% discount. You can become a vip before any purchase. Take advantage when there is a promotion (gift set) or double or triple points (10% or 15% discount).

Important considerations…