Lego-style blocks have been an enjoyable pastime for daycare children (and adults alike!) for decades. And even though they are a game-like experience, the mathematics behind Legos makes them a very effective educational tool in the process. They can be used to illustrate most aspects of early math, and include benefits for other critical developmental skills as well.
Counting and Sorting
As soon as daycare children learn to manipulate objects with their hands, they can be introduced to the concept of sorting the blocks by color, size, and shape. Counting each block as it is moved into a group gives children a visual activity for counting. Moving the blocks around helps develop fine motor skills, and the sorting and counting activities encourage critical thinking.
Dimensions and Volume
Lego-style blocks take daycare students into the 3-dimensional world of mathematics. Activities as simple as building a tower introduce dimensions such as height, length, width, and depth. Learning to calculate how many blocks are needed to fill a frame or box teaches children to work with volume, and introduces concepts like multiplication and division.
Multiplication and Division
From the number of pegs to a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes, Lego-style blocks have an almost endless variety of ways to use mathematics. Multiplication, division, and complex comparisons are learned through hands-on play and teach abstract thinking skills through visualization and personal interaction with the medium.
Associated Lego Skills
Montessori education address the whole child, combining everything from coordination activities to practical life skills. In the same way, Lego-style blocks use play-based activities to teach children how to manipulate objects, identify likenesses and differences in objects, and language skills. As they grow and learn, the same game-like tools can be used in other ways to perform more complex operations.
Because they are extremely versatile and designed with specific dimensions and number arrangements, Lego-style blocks are an excellent way to teach daycare children how to use math, and how math pertains to the order of the world they live in.