We’ve been delighted to partner with Lego’s Social Impact & Partnership Team to leverage the creative skills and playful mindsets of Lego employees to support EasyPeasy families. In a first workshop of its kind, we set Lego employees a ‘Create Challenge’ using the content creation functionality within the EasyPeasy app to generate activity ideas to support key school readiness skills for young children. The workshop took place at Lego’s London offices in Holborn but included a mix of employees from teams across other parts of the country where they also operate.
To help frame the challenge, the EasyPeasy team shared key information with Lego employees about school readiness, the importance of the early years for brain development, the role of parents and the home learning environment, and the impact that the pandemic has had on young children from different backgrounds. We shared an important set of findings about the increasing challenge that reception teachers are facing with children arriving to school lacking the following basic skills:
Once they had a full understanding of the challenge, Lego employees were motivated to get involved. We provided a range of materials that would be easily available at home, from pens and pencils to felt tips, post-it notes, paint, paper, scissors, and sticky tape and invited employees to get creative in small groups as they designed activities that could help build these school readiness skills. Once they sketched out their ideas on paper, they set about creating and sharing their ideas on the EasyPeasy app itself, under their own Profiles. We are so inspired by the ideas that our Lego friends generated during the workshop and we know that parents across the EasyPeasy community will be delighted to discover these ideas on the EasyPeasy app. We want to say a big thank you to our Lego employee volunteers and the Social Impact & Partnerships Team for all their support!
Without further ado, here is a showcase of some of our favourite ideas to come out of the workshop:
All parents need for this activity is some recycling paper, such as junk mail, This simple activity is a great way to not only develop children’s gross motor skills, but can cater to fun, destructive play as well as help with teaching about tidying up! The LEGO team also added a great way to learn basic number skills by adding the challenge of choosing a number and tearing the paper until you reach that number of pieces. Then, count the pieces of paper together.
Try out Paper Tearing on the EasyPeasy app!
Paper Scrunch Basketball 2533
Speaking of using recycled paper, this activity involves scrunching up paper into balls. Then, once the parent and child have made their “basketballs” together, the child can aim and throw them into a big bowl or bin. Parents can also play with multiple children, adding a rule where they must pass the ball between themselves before taking it in turns to shoot and score! This activity helps develop gross motor, cognitive, and concentration skills.
This is a very simple and creative activity where the whole family can make music together! Fill a can or bottle with rice or peas to make a shaker. To add more instruments, parents can fill up a glasses with different volumes of water. Then children can tap each glass to make a different sound. This activity is a very clever way to have children work together and helps them feel comfortable holding and interacting with objects such as spoons for tapping the glass.
The brilliantly named Palm Tree activity involves children creating a picture of a tree using only their hands, paper, paint, and any other creative asset they want to add. In the example here, we used paint and finger prints, LEGO bricks, and circle of orange peel to represent fruit. A fun group activity can be to make a big tree, and add more to it, building relationship with others and learning about sharing.
This activity also helps teach children sharing and creative thinking. In Picture Pals, parents can get a piece of paper for everyone that is playing, everyone draws something on their paper. Once the drawing is finished, everyone passes their piece of paper to the person next to them until each sheet is filled with multiple collaborative drawings.
Finally, Digit Dots teaches children to associate counting with the actual numbers they relate to in this fun, yet easy to pick up game! First parents or children should draw the number, word, and corresponding number of dots on pieces of paper. Then arrange those pieces of paper on the ground and ask the children to put the same number of objects, for example, sweets, toys, teddies on the piece of paper. This will help children understand that the number 3 equals three toys, etc. You can extend this game by asking children to match shapes or colours instead.
The display of creativity by the LEGO team was incredible to see and we have these brilliant activities to share with the EasyPeasy community to help increase school readiness. Try these out over the next few weeks and let us know which one is your favourite!