We know from first-hand experience in our little safe Haven in the Caribbean, that Lego® is a versatile and fun toy that can be enjoyed by children of all ages and abilities, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Lego® is particularly useful for children with autism as it can help them develop important skills, such as fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social communication skills.
We have put together some of the ideas which we offer the children (including those with ASD and special needs). You can try some of these fun Lego® activities at home!
Build a maze – Using Lego® bricks, children can build a maze and then navigate a small ball or toy car through the maze. This activity can help children develop their problem-solving skills and fine motor skills.
Make a Lego® movie😊 – Children can use their creativity to make their own stop-motion Lego® movie using a smartphone or tablet. This activity can help children develop their communication and storytelling skills. At our Safe Haven we always support children to be creative with technology, so this fits really well into our values.
Build a Lego® tower – Children can challenge themselves to build the tallest tower they can, using Lego® or Duplo bricks (the bigger bricks). This activity can help children develop their fine motor skills and problem-solving skills. It is also good for children who might not want to think about design concepts and so is inclusive of all abilities. We might show our children images of some towers in the surrounding area, to inspire their ideas, and make connections with their environment through play.
Make a Lego® sculpture – Children can use their imagination to create a unique sculpture using Lego® bricks. This activity can help children develop their creativity and fine motor skills. Some of our children use this activity as a medium to access art.
Sort Lego® bricks – Children can sort Lego® bricks by colour, size, or shape. This activity can help children develop their organisational skills and attention to detail. This activity also helps you (the grown up), keep the bricks out of the way, and encourages the child how they might tidy up for themselves. The last part is more of a secondary objective though.😉
Create a Lego® city – Children can use their imagination to create their own Lego® city, complete with buildings, cars, and people. This activity can help children develop their social communication skills and creativity. This activity is also a ‘start and come back to later’ activity which will be fun for them throughout the day! This activity may suit children who don’t like sitting down for long periods of time. Remembering that what we deem as ‘long’, won’t be the same for every child, especially for some children with ASD. Some will hyper focus, and enjoy creating for hours on end and it will be hard to pull them away! But others, may only want to sit down for a few seconds or a minute. Each child is different, and it doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying themselves if they choose to ‘leave and come back’.😊
Design a Lego® game – Children can design their own game using Lego® bricks, complete with rules and instructions. This activity can help children develop their communication and critical thinking skills.
Overall, there are countless fun and creative ways that children with (and without) ASD can use Lego® at home, school or in Clubs. By providing a safe and supportive environment for play and learning, parents, educators and caregivers can help children develop important skills and explore their creativity. Lego® is a wonderful tool that can help children with autism build confidence, develop social communication skills, and have fun!
To find out how you can make these activities more structured, and get the most therapeutic effects for your child(ren), get your copy of the Lego® Therapy Workbook today!