LEGO and DUPLO products - synonymous with theory and praxis concerning strategic and system constructions.
Texts of play with the toys
- Most boys’ playis determined by the model or models.
- Before they can play, the children have to build the model - without it, there is no play - and that is sometimes irritating.
- I build all kinds of things, sometimes something imaginary, and then I smash the whole thing as if there was an earthquake. It’s fun.
- I get annoyed when a little tiny piece is missing because it means I can’t build the model properly. So I have to borrow it from my best friend.
- I build houses and spacestations with my LEGO which I play with together with Action Man.
- Build aeroplanes, cars, all kinds of things, which I take apart when I need the bricks for something else.
- Ordinary supplementary toys:
Other LEGO/DUPLO toys, cars, Action Force, soldiers, cowboys, teddy bear, castle, station fort
Doll, guardian doll, farmyard/animals, transport, machinery, road track, farming, aeroplane/helicopter, train, dressing up, worthless items, Playmobil
- 4-5 year old boys’ playwith LEGO products and supplementary toys:
Cars, castle, fort, station, road track, train, farmyard/animals, teddy bear.
- 6-10 year olds and supplementary toys:
LEGO/DUPLO toys, cars, farmyard/animals, transport, machinery, road track, farming, castle, station, fort, aeroplane/helicopter, train, dressing up, worthless items, Playmobil, Action Force, soldiers, cowboy, guardian doll.
About the toy
Today’s modern LEGO brick is an “automatic binding brick”, produced in a highly technological manufacturing process. The LEGO brick is very durable.
An 8-stud LEGO brick is 4.9152 cubic centimetres in volume and measures 9.6 x 32 x 16 millimetres. The size varies by only one five thousandth of a millimetre. On the inside, the bricks have pipes which ensure “clutch power”. Six 8-stud bricks of the same colour can be built together in approximately 103 million different ways.
The LEGO brick is often copied and can be found in a variety of versions - although the copies apparently lack some of the qualities of the original LEGO brick.
The original LEGO brick revolution has spread all across the globe and has given millions of children and adults incredible pleasure through play. Today the basic idea behind the brick continues to appear in the many kinds of elements which are part of the LEGO Group’s system, construction and technical toys. The motivation for all the products is that the building process is an integrated part of play with the system and with construction with the elements. Many of the individual products include small dolls, figures and animals but these are not the primary factors in the play concept. The primary factor is always construction play and the construction process!
Control is a very important factor in many of the flexible, moving (as opposed to stationary) construction models. Through control and manipulation of an object (a model) the child experiences and senses. Naturally, the variety of different control forms increases the opportunities for play and learning. However, the principles governing the control mechanism itself can be interesting and complicated.
This is why it is important to graduate the degree of difficulty of the different control forms in line with children’s development.
The following six control forms appear in LEGO models:
MANUAL CONTROL, a motor activity - pure motor skills with hands on the toy - children use this from the age of about 12 months.
MOTOR CONTROL, a motor activity - where there is a motor connection between the child’s hand and the toy. Children can use motor control to control slow models from about the age of two years.
MECHANICAL CONTROL, a motor activity - where there is a mechanical connection between the child’s hand and the toy. Children are often 4-5 years old before they completely understand the causal connection involved.
REMOTE CONTROL, a motor activity - where there is a physical distance between the hand and the toy. As with motor control, children can steer slow models by remote control from the age of two.
DELAYED CONTROL, both motor and mental activity - with the aid of a personal computer which is a planning medium between the hand and the toy. Planning control in time is something children can understand from the age of 6-7 years.
INTERACTIVE CONTROL, both more and mental activity - a sensor and a PC interact between hand and toy. It is a complex process which children often don’t understand before they are 10-12 years old. Many adults have trouble understandng it too.
The child’s mental processes involved in controlling a model as they appear in the more complex examples include:
LOGICAL CONTROL, where control is calculated logically in advance and
STRATEGIC CONTROL, where control is calculated accurately and strategically in advance.
Simple mechanical control with the model increases play opportunities but very soon becomes childish. The advanced forms of control are interesting and appeal to the children’s curiosity but they are difficult for small children to handle. Furthermore, advanced control is often used in complicated models which are difficult to build. Finding the right form of control and combining it at the right time for the right age group is a very tricky business!