As part of its wider Ramadan campaign focused on helping build goodness in the hearts and minds of little ones, LEGO® Middle East hosted a virtual workshop to showcase how qualitative play experiences can help parents nurture key values within their children. Moderated by broadcaster and blogger, Helen Farmer, the one-hour session led by an expert panel including Lillie Talbott, Design Manager Specialist at the LEGO Group and Aalia Thobani, Child Development Expert at The Developing Child Centre, revealed the link between LEGO play and key values particularly emphasized throughout the Holy Month including respect, kindness, and patience.
Under the theme #BuildingGoodness, the speakers explored the possibilities Ramadan provides as families are met with a slower pace of life during a month of great reflection. Encouraging parents to use this time to build stronger connections with loved ones, the session invited audiences to consider how time spent offers them the opportunity to not only build values within their children, but also within themselves. Introducing the nuances of qualitative play, the speakers spoke to the importance of being present and mindful when engaging children in play experiences, to encourage them to build confidence while learning about the world around them. The session then explored how these shared learning experiences enable kids to build key interpersonal and social communication skills that will serve them for years to come.
Urszula Bieganska, Head of Marketing, LEGO MEA, said: “At the LEGO Group, we are constantly seeking new ways to introduce children to engaging and enjoyable experiences while building with LEGO bricks. Beneath these fun-filled moments, however, lie many key benefits that drive our wider mission to develop the builders of tomorrow by providing parents with the opportunity to build their children’s cognitive, social, and interpersonal skills. This Ramadan, we have launched our #BuildingGoodness campaign to introduce more families from across the region to the role these qualitative experiences play in fostering key values that will contribute to their children’s well-rounded growth and development.”
Taking a closer look at present day experiences, the session also explored the play opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic presented as time spent among families saw an increase in the past year. What came out of a need to adapt to more shared spaces for learning, playing, and even working, explained Lillie Talbott, was a desire for more qualitative play moments as families seek new ways to spend more time together. Still, in forming new bonding moments with their little ones, many parents are met with the challenge of overcoming various barriers of play as they seek to identify mutually enjoyable experiences. Reminding parents that “fun” is the main ingredient for any play experience, Aalia Thobani explored how building with LEGO® bricks can create structured and unstructured play experiences.
Aalia Thobani, Child Development Expert, The Developing Child Centre, said: “Play always presents a strong opportunity to nurture key values in children. Each experience lends itself to lessons learned about the importance of sharing with others, listening to differing perspectives, taking turns, and even persevering in the face of failure. By sharing in these moments with their children, parents are equally met with the opportunity to further develop their own values. As they exercise patience when their child is learning a new skill or form a more developed appreciation for the time spent with their little ones, parents similarly model behavior for their own children to follow.”
Speaking to the LEGO Group’s design process, Talbott explained how these moments of self-exploration are key to introducing new elements in LEGO® sets. Identifying ways to help guide a more fulfilled experience for children and adults, Talbott revealed how each set brings together the logical, functional side of play as well as elements that invite imaginative, story-driven ideas that expand the possibilities for families.
Lillie Talbott, Design Manager Specialist, the LEGO Group, said: “For millions of children around the globe, whether they are first-time LEGO builders or have been introduced to LEGO play at a young age, the experience of stacking together and pulling apart LEGO bricks opens up endless possibilities for them to explore their own creativity and imaginations. Play is more than just a rewarding distraction and provides them with the opportunity to learn about themselves as they process what is happening in the world around them. By more closely considering ways to focus play on the lessons we want them to take away from the experience, we can help instill key values that enable children to build more meaningful relationships with others as they find confidence in themselves and their achievements.”
Talbott then led a workshop that provided parents with guidance on how to drive more rewarding play experiences for their children. Touching on the various components of LEGO play, Talbott outlined the 21st century skills gained when children explore their own potential through play: creativity, collaboration, communication, and confidence. Offering up examples to showcase how these key skills are developed, Talbott shared tips to help parents draw on their own “inner play expert” as they engage in role-playing scenarios, pretend play, and open-ended play experiences with their children.
The session came to a close by encouraging families to commit themselves to quality play experiences that inspire new milestone moments for their children, the panelists reminded audiences to take the first step in building new memories by taking hold of the opportunity Ramadan provides to spend more time with loved ones.