- Posted by Chris Lincoln
- On 10th April 2018
Nottinghamshire Health Mentor Robbie Collingburn talks us through how he has used Lego therapy to improve pupil wellbeing and group cohesion at one of the schools he works in.
The concept of Lego therapy is one that appealed to me, particularly due to the enjoyment many children get from using such a popular product. A key to successful mentoring is merging pupil interests with an established outcome and this is how I went about it…
Working in groups of three, each child has a different role with the objective to build a specific structure. One person is the builder, another is an engineer and the third is a supplier. The engineer is the only person who can look at the instructions. They then describe to the supplier what parts they need before passing them to the builder who constructs the structure. Roles can then be changed after a certain amount of time or before the next session.
The objective was to encourage children to understand that every member of a group has a valuable contribution. For example, the supplier may not see the structure being created by the builder but their role is just as important. Without the supplier, there would be no materials to construct the structure.
I started to notice that taking Lego therapy outdoors was even more effective and enjoyable for the pupils than it was in a classroom. Therefore, I adapted my strategy to include forms of physical activity. Instead of the engineer looking at a picture of the structure, I built one and they have to take it in turns to look at the product and work from their memory. The physical activity part of the session involved them running from their building area to the observation area. Using a relay format, each member of the team took it in turns to move to the structure and look at it for ten seconds before spending one-minute building.
This process taught pupils the importance of supporting your group colleagues and valuing every contribution. It could also be extended further by introducing winning and losing by splitting the group into separate teams.
Initially, I saw the most improvements made in the emotional wellbeing and personal development of the children after tracking their progress with the Evolve health and wellbeing assessment tool. However, the introduction of the active progression also made a positive impact on their physical activity levels.
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