Learning with Lego

Lego blocks have long been a fun, educational, and engaging toy. The educational potential from Legos includes learning colors, building gross and fine motor skills, following directions, free play and use of imagination, and concepts of engineering (involving math and science) to develop different Lego environments.  However, if you walk down the Lego aisle at the toy store, you will find toys that they are mainly marketed to boys.  This stereotype of Lego blocks being for boys only is not always adhered to even though the toys are more marketed towards boys. As an adult, I am definitely interested that Lego is taking a new spin and is changing this January by introducing Lego sets specifically for girls.


Lego Friends – Positive Addition

After extensive research from the company, they are launching this month Lego Friends.  The launch of this product starts with five building sets that are developed around new female minifigures characters, called “Ladyfigs”.  Mia, Emma, Andrea, Stephanie, and Olivia each have their own building sets and companion stories.  For example, Mia is a veterinarian and she has a vet office, a stable, a puppy house, and a dog show.  The themes, colors of the building blocks, Ladyfigs, and stories will attract even more girls to play with Lego.  It is also great that all of the new sets are also interchangeable with all of the other Lego sets.  The Ladyfig can even work with other sets and has the same grasp as the minifigs so they can hold tools, wands, and other accessories from other kits.  This means that the learning potential has increased double for girls.

Lego Friends – Questioning Stereotypes

While it seems great that Lego is putting out a product with the girl consumer in mind, there are a few drawbacks to the product thus far.  All of the new Lego Friends sets seem to include stereotypical “girl” themes, except for Olivia.  Not every girl goes through the “Princess Phase” and wants to play with purple and pink building blocks that help to build a restaurant or a party planning business.  Also, the sets are far less complex to build than the ‘boy’ counter-part Lego.  This in turn means that the girls are not getting the same challenge from the Lego Friends sets as they would with traditional Lego sets like Lego City or Lego Star Wars.

Lego Friends can be a great method to get girls interested in Lego to then choose some of the other sets to combine in with their Lego Friends sets.  It will provide girls with an additional opportunity to gain the many skills that can be learned from building and playing with Lego blocks.

Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont

Picture By mrsdkrebs

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