Very few hands-on math resources are as useful and versatile as the humble LEGO brick.
The familiar LEGO is an awesome tool for making abstract math concepts tangible for your kids, inspiring teamwork, encouraging perseverance, and promoting a positive attitude towards solving a variety of math problems.
You could argue that simply playing with LEGOs is a mathematical practice. Studies have shown that playing with LEGOs at a young age correlates with spatial development.
When you use LEGOs as a hands-on resource in your math lessons, your kids will feel engaged, comfortable, and motivated to take on challenging problems.
So, if you're looking to have your kids explore math concepts using LEGOs, here are 5 ideas for getting started:
1.) Teaching Fractions
Math concepts can be difficult for young children to grasp, and they often struggle to make sense of abstract topics like fractions.
Using LEGOs as a hands-on tool enables your kids to develop an understanding of fractions in an effective and engaging way.
With LEGOs, kids can learn fractions through exploration rather than simply memorizing facts and procedures.
2.) LEGO Education's MoreToMath
Succeed in math through problem-solving with LEGO's MoreToMath program.
Currently for grades 1 and 2, LEGO's hands-on math curriculum provides you with guided lessons, student worksheets, interactive whiteboard lessons, and assessments.
The lessons come with built-in ideas for differentiation ensuring that all students needs are met while enabling educators to deliver key content and offer opportunities for advanced learning.
3.) Area Models and Arrays
LEGOs are an incredibly flexible educational tool and they are incredibly useful for exploring multiplication.
Your kids can use blocks to explore area models, multiplicative properties, square numbers, and factoring.
You can learn more about using LEGOs to teach multiplication concepts in this blog by Scholastic Education.
Looking for fun ways to get your kids WRITING about math?
4.) LEGO Mindstorms: Robotics
One of the best ways to get your kids interested in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) fields is through engaging in robot-building projects.
LEGO Mindstorms NXT are self-contained robotics kits that allow students to create their own simple or advanced robots and drones.
And as automation continues to become a staple of modern society, kids who understand robotics will have tremendous career opportunities in the future.
5.) LEGO Geometry
Geometry and LEGOs go together like—well, you know where this is going.
While there may not be a single perfect example of how to use LEGOs to teach a particular geometry topic, you can surely use them to supplement almost any lesson.
Try letting your kids use LEGOs to explore concepts like area and perimeter, volume, composite figures, the Pythagorean Theorem, surface area, and modeling real-world scenarios.
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Have more ideas for teaching math using Legos? Join the conversation and share yours in the comments section below.
By Anthony Persico
Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.