Skill building, one block at a time

Aruma's ECI customers in Forbes are learning new skills and having a ball!

The first rule of LEGO Club? Everyone has fun at LEGO Club, naturally! The second rule? Teamwork is so important, and as you can see by this excited hug, the mini-LEGO masters are always so proud when their teamwork pays off!

What’s LEGO Club?

It’s a group therapy program run by Aruma’s Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) service in the NSW town of Forbes. During the school term, LEGO Club takes place the Parkes Shire Library and is open to Aruma customers (sorry LEGO fans, kids only!).

In each session of LEGO Club, the mini masters are put into groups of two and are told what they will need to build that day – a truck, a tiger, or a sky-scraper – the sky’s the limit really! One member of the duo is the Architect and the other is the Builder and together they race time – and their peers – to create their LEGO masterpiece.

Two young boys smiling, holding up LEGO

Kylie Bell, Educator, Children’s Services says, “Each role is responsible for different things. So, the Engineer’s responsibility is to read the step-by-step instructions and find the specific blocks needed. They then give them to the Builder who puts those blocks together.”

So… why LEGO?

In the early noughties, US clinical neuropsychologist Dan LeGoff (is it a coincidence that his last name contains LEGO?!) noticed that many children with autism were more likely to play and collaborate with each other if they were playing with LEGO. And so, LEGO therapy was born!

“LEGO therapy works on so many different developmental areas,” says Kylie. “It helps build social interaction skills, language skills, fine motor skills – not to mention concepts like counting and colours. It just kicks so many goals for children on NDIS plans!”

It’s educational and skill building for sure, but what’s the best part about LEGO Club? “My gosh, it’s that they absolutely love it!” says Kylie. “One little boy said to me, ‘I wish LEGO group could be 10 hours!’”

A young boy holds up a LEGO with an excited smile

Not only do the mini masters have loads of fun, but it gives them a real sense of achievement, too. “I had one little one girl jump across the table and give her partner a big hug because she was just so proud of what they had achieved [yup, captured above, awwwww!].

“Another boy shouted, ‘High five, we did it!’. They are so proud of what they accomplished, it’s amazing.”

And it’s not just the children who are big fans. “The parents love it, too!” says Kylie.

LEGO club is in its pilot stages at the moment, but Kylie says the response has been so overwhelmingly positive that they will definitely be running it again next term.

To learn more about Aruma’s Early Childhood Early Intervention service, visit our website.