Therapists and Teachers from the Outpost Schools Team are using LEGO to build students’ social competency. So how is it that a toy can be therapeutic?
Lego Based Therapy
Over the past year, during the school holidays, Lego Legends from across our schools were called to join the Outpost Team for a Harry Potter-themed morning packed with team Lego building activities, challenges and projects. Lego Based Therapy, an evidence-based approach designed by neuropsychologist Daniel LeGoff, is a skill building approach, targeting goals around social skills, expressive and receptive language and motor skills.
The dynamic of the group allows students to practice negotiating, collaborating, giving and receiving instructions, listening, problem solving and fine motor skills. Lego Based Therapy is a form of constructive play which maximises the rewarding and motivating aspects of building Lego, while targeting social, language and motor skills.
While building Lego, the group encourages students to initiate more conversations and to keep conversations going for more communicative turns. The group also encourages students to talk about new topics and be less rigid in their interests.
What happens during a LEGO-Based Therapy session?
During the LEGO-Based Therapy sessions, students are grouped into three or four of similar ages and abilities so that they can work together to build a LEGO model. The students can only build if they talk through the steps and work collaboratively. Students negotiate to take turns to be one of four specific roles. These roles include:
The Engineer, who is responsible for reading and relaying the instructions. The Engineer must tell the Supplier what pieces to find and tell the Builder how to build the model.
The Supplier is responsible for finding the correct LEGO pieces. The Supplier must listen to the Engineer and figure out what pieces to find, and then give these pieces to the Builder.
The Builder is responsible for building the model. The Builder must listen to instructions provided by the Engineer and receive the pieces that are found by the Supplier.
The Facilitator ensures everyone is working well together. They provide positive and constructive feedback. They look out for social challenges that may need problem-solving by the group.
During the holiday group at TSH, students stay for lunch and get to chat with other students from our schools and programmes. The morning is enjoyed by all with many students rating it 10/10, with comments like “I will definitely be back” and “the best was making Lego and friends”.
We look forward to welcoming the students back in January 2023 to launch our space mission and tackle Lego challenges and building projects.