Play Assembly Required

A Psychologist at The University of Derby, Dr Miles Richardson, is conducting experiments that study children as they build a series of models using LEGO play bricks.  Factors such as number of bricks needed, the shape of each brick, and spare bricks can be related to the same effects that adults feel with assembling furniture, such as lockers.   Dr Richardson’s work aims at improving math and science development in children through construction tasks and will publishing his study in an upcoming edition of Applied Cognitive Psychology.

This research is of interest to educators and developmental psychologists as construction play provides an excellent opportunity to help identify children who might struggle academically, enabling measures to be taken in intervening years. He said: “Our research shows that exactly the same challenges that affect adults during the construction also affect children, just to a different level.  “Greater understanding of the characteristics of construction tasks, and how children’s ability is mediated by cognitive factors can inform curriculum development.”

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