In celebration of the 2013 NAEYC conference, LEGO Education has offered two samples from the new LEGO Education preschool products for us to review. The LEGO Education products were sent to us free of charge; all opinions expressed below are our own (and those of our students).
LEGO Education is part of the LEGO Group which inspires kids to develop hands-on critical thinking skills through learning and play. As always with new preschool resources, we let our own students “put them to the test” to better understand if the products will accomplish what they are designed to do.
LEGO DUPLO Build! Explore! Learn!
The LEGO DUPLO activities from the new Build! Explore! Learn! Preschool Activity Pack offer great suggestions to repurpose (yes, REPURPOSE!) all of the DUPLO blocks sitting around at home or in the classroom! This activity packet is designed for children ages 3-5, contains 40+ hours of instructional material covering 16 themes, and will help students unleash creative problem-solving through playful learning!
We chose to introduce the LEGO Education “Alternate Ending” activity suggestion to our preschoolers. In this activity, students practice story comprehension by listening to different nursery rhymes/songs (not included) and using DUPLO bricks to create an alternative ending for the story.
Materials needed: Nursery Rhyme books/songs (our kids chose to read: JACK and JILL), the “Alternate Ending” Activity Sheet in the LEGO Education Build! Explore! Learn! Preschool Activity Packet, and LEGO DUPLO bricks.
Read the rhyme to your children several times. Explore the rhyme with your students and invite them to retell the rhyme and act out the parts of the main characters. Ask the children how they might change the ENDING to the rhyme. Instead of Jack falling down and Jill tumbling after, what if…Jack fell in, but didn’t swim; and Jill went in to save him! Brainstorm other possibilities for an alternate ending to the rhyme with the children.
Set out an assortment of DUPLO bricks on a table or a tray. Invite the children to CREATE a new ending to the rhyme with the bricks. Allow time for the children to demonstrate and verbally explain how their ending is different from the original rhyme!
Note – the children do not have to follow the rhyme scheme in sharing their own endings! It is amazing to watch young children compose, design, and retell stories using their own words and the LEGO DUPLO bricks.
According to one of our 4 yr. old students, This activity was “WAY FUN!” Your kids will LOVE it, too. The “alternate ending” activity is just one of the many activities included in the preschool pack that will keep your kids engaged in learning through play!
LEGO DUPLO Tech Machines Workshop Kits
The LEGO DUPLO Tech Machines are designed to help young children begin to explore science and technology. This set comes with activities to enhance problem-solving and communication skills as the children learn about machines and the various tools used to work on machines.
Our kids chose the airplane activity which was a great introduction to a broader transportation theme in our classroom. The activity kit comes with all necessary LEGO DUPLO bricks to assemble the airplane along with workshop flow instructions/suggestions.
The workshop instructions provide several opportunities for introducing young children to airplanes and jobs that are related to airplanes. We set up a center, complete with homemade costumes, for the children to act out the various jobs associated with airplanes. The PILOT was by far the most popular job choice!
The airplane machine set comes with a screwdriver and integrated screws that click into place for study airplane model creation. The screwdriver was also a very popular item; it challenged our fine motor skills, but the children did great!
The workshop instructions include “challenges” for the children: create the airplane (only 6 pieces and a nice photo for visual learners), story telling and higher thinking activities, and a challenge to change the airplane model by assembling the pieces in a different fashion.
The airplane workshop from LEGO Education is a fun way to extend curriculum for playful learning. Your children will garner new critical thinking skills from the suggested activities (and enhance fine motor skills, too). As overheard in our own classroom, “Let’s play pilot and build more planes today!” When the kids are excited and engaged in learning and play, LEGO Education has developed a successful product!
The LEGO preschool activities get our “thumbs up!” Please note that LEGO Education will introduce two new preschool curriculum and products that focus on literacy and math for early learning in 2014!
About LEGO Education: Since 1980, LEGO Education has delivered hands-on, curriculum-based resources for teachers and students worldwide. LEGO Education believes a hands-on, minds-on approach helps students actively take ownership of the learning process and develop 21st-century skills such as creative thinking and problem-solving through real-life, engaging experiences.
LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of the LEGO Group.