What is Through Play?
A term used in education and psychology to explain how a kid might learn to make sense of the world around them is “learning via play.” Children can acquire social and cognitive abilities, emotional maturity, and the self-confidence needed to engage in new experiences and surroundings through play.
Why LEGO Mindstorms?
It can be difficult to find Technology Camps for children under the age of 8. Many businesses are attempting to create options for this age group in order to leverage on a business potential. When selecting programs for younger children, however, there are a number of child developmental factors that should be taken into mind. For example, children as young as 5 are likely to struggle with handling a mouse, typing, remembering where the letters on keyboards are, mastering the syntax of coding languages, and not to mention their far shorter attention spans.
For young children, we recommend keeping the term “learning through play” in mind. Learning through play has long been recognized as a critical component for young children to develop key skills in language, emotion, creativity, and social interaction, as it brings together the logical and creative areas of the brain, as demonstrated by practical experience as well as academic work by e.g. Lev Vygotsky and Maria Montessori.
In practice, we’ve discovered that introducing young children to technology with Lego Mindstorms is more beneficial than teaching them to code early on. We have found that Robotics with Lego is an effective way to introduce children as young as 6 years old to both the principles and ideas of coding, such as logic, and elements of engineering through robotics. The little parts in Lego Mindstorms present a challenge to younger pupils as they work on developing motor skills and coordination.
Here are some of the main advantages of Lego Mindstorms:
(As well as what kids learn and build during a Lego Mindstorms Camp.)
Nurtures Imagination and Creativity
When you begin the brainstorming process, you will be greeted with a room full of energy and 100 possible responses; this is the time to add practicalities. For example, “what will you need?” if you need to fetch an item from across the room. You’ll probably need something with wheels to move it and arms to lift it up. “Do you have access to these resources?”
Lego Mindstorms encourages children to create with more various components such as gears and levers. It encourages engineering by allowing students to use the various plastic pieces to build robots, buggies, or devices that can physically “move” or “operate” together to successfully and repeatedly perform a task, such as ensuring that none of the pieces fall when the robot moves from one location to another. Some argue that the greatest approach to inspire maximal inventiveness in robotics is to first eliminate the option of using wheels!
Teaches programming concepts
When developing robotics, it is critical that kids understand that computers cannot think for themselves. No matter how complicated the technology, it is all based on code. Lego Mindstorms is based on a visual programming environment, they just need to picture what their robot will do and drag-and-drop Programming language blocks into correct logic sequences. There are on-screen programs like Scratch that achieve this, but they lack the tactile engagement and immersive multi-sensory experience that children get when they create and operate a robot.
We’ve used robotics as an example here. But the benefits of play-based learning, on the other hand, will be relatively consistent in any scientific or technology-based program. You can be confident that your children will have a great time and be highly engaged, sparking an interest in learning even more in the future.
To find out more about LEGO & Programming, contact us at [email protected]