LEGO For Learning: Language, Social & Fine Motor Development Skills Strengthened Through Play

guest post disclaimer

This article may contain affiliate links.  This will not change your user experience!

Written By:Mandy Gandhi, PT, DPT
Owner, BrickSmarts, LLC

We all know that playing with LEGO bricks unlocks your little one’s imagination and creativity, but did you know that those little blocks can also help build language skills, social skills, and fine motor skills?

LEGO can be an amazing learning tool for parents, teachers, and therapists to use with children.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), speech and language skills develop best in an environment that is rich with sounds, sights, and constant exposure to verbal input.

Playing with LEGO creates the perfect situation to stimulate your little one’s development, while they plan and describe an intergalactic battle, or trip to the LEGO Friends shopping mall.

The great thing about LEGO blocks and mini figures is that the possibilities are endless.

Here are some ideas and tips that are easy to incorporate into your play time.

LEGO For Learning: Tips and Tricks For Skill Building With LEGO


Ask open ended questions about your child’s creation.

Examples Include: What did you build?  What does it do?  Where would you find something like this?  How did you build it?

Asking open ended questions (as opposed to yes/no questions) helps to facilitate creativity and imagination.

Leaving a question open ended allows your master builder to think and formulate a detailed response.

It also helps to avoid single word simple “yes/no” answers.

Be sure to keep your child’s language abilities in mind.

And don’t go overboard with the questions.  Ask one or two here and there but don’t ask question after question.

This can result in your child tuning you out.


Create an imaginary story or situation.

For Example: Loose LEGO or individual building sets can be used to build a scene for your story.

Act out the story using LEGO mini figures.

Create a dialogue between the mini figures that goes along with your story.

This activity not only unlocks creativity but promotes social skills and language development.

You can do this with children of any age.

Consider using LEGO Duplo for younger children.  Most sets are intended for children 18 months and up.

Acting out stories involving animal sounds and vehicle sounds are perfect for getting little builders to begin building their foundation of language.

For example, use LEGO Duplo to construct a “barn” and then take turns with your child pretending that individual blocks are a variety of animals.

Ask, “What sound does the ______ make?” as you have them put the “animal” in the “barn.”

Or, if your child has some small animals around (LEGO has some) you could use those instead of individual blocks.


Fine motor skills are very important to a child’s development.

As children grow they need many opportunities to build the small muscles of their hands, fingers, and wrists.

Building with LEGO also helps with hand eye coordination.

Again consider using Duplo bricks for younger children.

As children develop they need lots of opportunities to practice transferring objects from one hand to another and using both hands together.

These skills are important for kids as they grow, and translate to proficiency in hand writing, using utensils, buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, basically anything we do with our hands.

Snapping together and taking apart LEGO bricks, for example, is a great way to challenge and stimulate those muscles.

Encourage your little one to build a tower and then break it apart block by block.

Also, clean up time can be an opportunity for him to show off his fine motor skills.

Have your kiddo pick up the individual pieces and place them in a bin.

Or if using large blocks make a game out of aiming and throwing the blocks at a target.


Use LEGO mini figures to role play and talk about emotions.

Here’s a great example:

You can recreate an environment like a school or playground using LEGO bricks and then model behaviors using the mini figures.

Use a variety of LEGO heads to help your child identify and talk about their mood or emotions.

Tanya’s Final Thoughts

I bet you can see how great LEGO is for learning!

But the learning can happen in such an implicit way that children are still playing, not even aware of the skills they are learning.

Because of the educational value that can come from LEGO, playgroups are popping up all over the country.

There are even LEGO groups specially designed to help children with autism and other special needs!

I know LEGO can get messy and really hurts when you step on a piece, but try and look past this and encourage your child’s interest in LEGO!

Or get one of these handy lego trapping mats!

LEGO Related Reading

The History Of LEGO: Here’s What You Need To Know!

The 6 Best Things About Lego Games and Activities For Kids

LEGO Therapy For Autism: Is It Just A Trend?

Author Bio

Mandy is the creator and owner of an online marketplace called BrickSmarts, where she sells refurbished LEGO sets.  Her business idea started out of desperation to find a solution to her sons’ LEGO obsession!  After stumbling over LEGO in every room of her house, she decided enough was enough, and began selling them online. Mandy Gandhi is also a physiotherapist, wife and busy mom of two spunky, silly little boys.

Save this article by pinning the images below to your favorite Pinterest boards!


  1. Arts and Bricks

    This is a wonderful post. My children created a game they called “LEGO life” during Covid. My older son was tasked with building cars, homes, restaurants, buildings, etc and my younger daughter created stories about the mini-figures and animals that lived there. They kept the same storyline for over a year. I found it fascinating how they found something they could do together and how they made distinct roles. (My son did play all the male characters, too.) Working from home, I loved getting to overhear their play!

    1. Tanya

      Thanks for sharing how much your kids love Lego! My kids were the same when they were younger. They came up with many elaborate stories to go along with their creations and would play for hours!

  2. Davina

    Wow I have to say I totally agree with a lot of things you have to say about the pre school system now days compared to it 20 years ago. It was all play, fun, making friends, eating snacks, taking naps, playing energizing games, and playing outside. Now they are forcing young children to be more numbers driven rather than having fun an making friends. The only thing this accomplishes is causing more children to loose interest in school before they even get a decent start. Pre-school should be mostly for fun! You learn as you play!

    1. Tanya

      Hi Davina,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure if this comment was meant for another article though and somehow ended on this one about LEGO for Learning. Perhaps you had been reading Daycare vs Preschool first. If that is the case then I completely agree with your comment!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!