14 Mar “Building Up” your Child’s Communication
Is your child a “Master Builder”?
Do they love creating their own buildings, worlds and playsets?
Lego®, Duplo®, Meccano, Zoobs, Nanoblocks, Stickle Bricks, or even good old-fashioned wooden blocks, offer not only hours of entertainment, but stacks of ways to build your child’s communication skills.
Here are 6 skills to target using your child’s favourite building blocks…
Red, green, yellow and blue are all popular brick colours! Have your child find a specific coloured brick, to help them learn more about colours. For example, “let’s find all the green bricks”, or “what colour do you want to make the tower?”
Tip: this might be more motivating when linked to a realistic representation. For example, “I want to build a swimming pool! Can you pass me a blue brick?”
How many bricks do you need? Have your child practice their counting skills whilst building. This is a great one to practice when building multiple towers. For example, “ooh let’s build another tower like yours! How many bricks do I need?”
This is a great one when working on a larger project. Often, kits come with their own step-by-step instructions, so children can practice following written and visual instructions. For example, “I need a red, long thin brick” or “find the square blue brick”.
Don’t have instructions? Make up your own! Take turns telling each other which brick to find, and where it needs to go.
On top of, under, next to, left, right, between, besides, in front, behind – all great location words. Have your child tell you where the brick needs to go, or where to find that pesky brick that you just can’t see (and is probably sitting right in front of you!) For example, “put the blue brick on top of the red brick”
Practice joining sounds together to make words, by using each block to represent a sound. Join the blocks together to signify joining the sounds together, or “blending” them to make a word. This will help your child when sounding out words for reading. For example, “what word do these sounds make? f…u….n”
Addition and subtraction
Remember those wooden blocks from math lessons? With the single blocks, lines of 10 and blocks of 100? Make your own using your own blocks at home to make math homework more engaging and “hands on”. For example, when learning about 3 times tables, you can build stacks that are 3 blocks high. To work out 3 x 5, make up 5 stacks with 3 bricks in each stack. Your child can count the total number of bricks to help them find the correct answer!
But wait, there’s more!
Building activities are also a motivating way to “build up” your child’s social skills!
I know, I know! I can hear you ask “Social skills? Are you serious? My child doesn’t even know I exist when they play with their Lego®!”
Whilst it is true that some children can be so motivated by building that they enter “their own world”, this motivation can be tapped into to provide valuable social opportunities, through “Building Clubs”.
These groups go by many different names, but use building activities to provide opportunities to learn about:
Shared attention and enjoyment
Interested in harnessing the power of building to build your child’s social skills? We are currently taking expressions of interest to run “Building Clubs” in the July school holidays, with our Certified Lego(R)-Based Therapy Training Facilitator. Contact our office to register your interest