Twenty-ish years ago, when I was teaching PreK in St.Louis, I had a student who was a whiz with blocks and Lego. He’d build elaborate buildings and machines. I wish I’d thought of making him Lego challenge trays back then. He would have loved showing how quickly he could recreate what I’d built. It would have also gotten him away from the block center long enough for other people to take the lead in the many years since I have had many students who have loved these simple tray activities. You can make super simple ones like these I did with my daughter and have since used with many students, or more complicated ones like these Christmas Lego challenge trays. Here is the how-to!
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Christmas Lego Challenge
Gather your materials. You will need lots of Lego and a tray. I have little dishes for each set of bricks, but you can always make individual trays for each design and have loose bricks on the tray.
The first step is to build your designs. I made a Christmas tree, candy cane, and present, and I usually create two simultaneously, and I am using the same bricks. This is important because when our Lego engineers come to rebuild the design, it is key to duplicate it.
Ok – you have your designs, break one of each design apart, and pop those bricks in a dish.
Now it’s time to invite some Lego experts to come and re-create your designs. This activity is not about creativity. This is about visual discrimination, spatial skills, fine motor, and problem-solving. This is a fun way to work on these skills, but by no means how should you be using Lego in your class daily, they should just be free choice building.
This is an activity meant to work on specific skills for specific students who are eager and ready for this challenge. You know who I am talking about in your class, and if you don’t, the best way to assess your students is to play with them. Don’t worry about specific activities like this until you know who needs them. Play, play, play, and observe so you can get all the data you need.
If your students are stuck, remind them to look at the model from every angle.
Do not feel like you have to offer individual children multiple designs. At a free choice playtime or teacher table one-on-one time, I’d offer ONE, and if they wanted to do more eagerly, I’d then offer more.
Basic Lego Activities for Preschool
These designs are tricky so if you want a Christmas-themed activity for Lego novices, do these basic Lego Activities with red, green, and white bricks on a holiday-themed tray… voila, it’s a holly jolly activity. Click here for the details.