In my house, we're big fans of Lego. And I mean BIG! These days, there are more 'projects' than when I grew up in the 70s with just a big box of primary coloured bricks for us to unleash our creativity. 

Now, our Lego seems to be different shades of grey, as most of our kids' Lego revolves around Star Wars. Which is flippin expensive but has involved hours and hours of play over several years. Plus we lived on a boat for 3 years so it was - hands down - the best investment we made as it ticked all the boxes:

 

waterproof (sometimes things got wet on board!)
Kids loved playing together with it (especially my daughter who is a huge Star Wars fan!)
 It was a good ice-breaker for meeting new children, even if English wasn't their first language.
We could break it back down whilst we were on passage at sea and then get it all out again once back at anchor. (OK, so there was one down-side - it slipped off the table when we had the sails up!) 

But I digress! Therapy using Lego? Well this is getting big, especially for children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders)  but I've found it to be fantastic for all children with language and communication disorders too. This is how it works:


You have 3 people, ideally: the architect, the supplier and the builder.

The architect gives directions, the supplier has to listen and give the builder the pieces he needs and the builder must follow the instructions. It's as simple as that!


The instructions can be as complicated or as simple as you like. Older children might like the Lego architect like this Eiffel Tower or you could use more simple diagrams such as this one:

 Tips for getting started:

Use visuals; either the instructions from the manual or a picture you've made yourself.
Encourage eye contact, by holding the pieces closer to your face when handing them on.
Support the children in negotiation when a breakdown in communication occurs.

Skills you are encouraging:

Joint attention

Listening to instructions

Turn taking

Sharing

Communicating ideas 


For a great 5-minute youtube video, watch Hannah Coles, an SLT explains how she uses Lego here.

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