Brick Building 101
Walter Foster Jr.
I’ve yet to come across a child who doesn’t enjoy using LEGO bricks or similar. This book capitalises on this enthusiasm presenting, as the cover says 20 activities to teach about STEAM.
What is STEAM you might be asking? In the UK teachers are familiar with STEM; STEAM adds arts and so comprises science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.
According to the introduction ‘STEAM learning is about giving children real-life problem-solving skills through exploration, play, and exciting learning experiences. STEAM engages kids to find their own solutions. … Kids learn by doing, failing, and trying again.’
Each activity has sections: ‘Parent Prep’ offers tips on things adults can do to help make the activity engaging and fun; STEAM Stats says which of the STEAM categories are incorporated in a project; STEAM Sparks offers further ideas and ways to extend a project.
Activities focus on using bricks (big and small), baseplates, and small figures, along with other materials you can easily find around the home or in a nursery setting or early years classroom, and are offered at different levels – easy, moderate or challenging.
Here’s one of the examples at the first level:
‘Super Symmetry’ is in the moderate category and could equally be done by pairs of children rather than adult and child – I’ve tried it and it works well with 4/5/6 year olds working together.
At the challenging level ‘Build a Bridge’ is great fun with a reception class working in pairs. And who can resist trying their hand at ‘Balloon Racer’.
This would fit in well under a movement, transport or any number of other topic headings.
Enjoyable and educative at the same time, and equally worthwhile to have and dip into at home or school.