Mr. C has been working on multiplication for a while now, and he really enjoys it. He’s pretty good at memorizing facts and doing abstract math, but when I ask him to explain how he got to an answer, he struggles.
“I just know”
I understand and I empathize. I was that kid. I could do complex math in my head, but I had no idea how I did it.
With Mr. C I’m trying to make sure that he can see and understand the reason behind the math that he understands so quickly, because I know how much that knowledge will help him when the math topics get more complicated.
So I went searching for a fun way to teach hands on multiplication, and found the perfect activity for him! It combines two of his favorite things, math and Lego® bricks.
Learning With Lego® Bricks: Hands on Multiplication
(I received a free copy of The Unofficial Guide to Learning With Lego® to see the activities, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Also, LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site)
The Set Up
This is seriously simple. If you’ve been reading this blog a while you’ll know that I’m not really an “activity mom”. If it takes more than five minutes, I’ll pin it and never actually do it.
So with this activity, you literally put some Lego® bricks out on the table.
Yep, seriously that simple.
This is where the fun starts! In this activity we’re making an array out of Lego® bricks, so you’ll of course have to explain what an array is to your little one.
For Mr. C I said, “an array is a visual representation for a multiplication problem. When we multiply we make the first number the number of rows, and the second number the number of columns. Then we can see how many there are total, and today we’re going to build them with your Lego® bricks!”
(That explanation works with my math-obsessed kiddo, you might need to change it based on your child’s understanding!)
Then we did an example together. I used the math problem 2 x 3. We decided to use single Lego® bricks and together we put two down and three across, seeing that the answer would be three.
From there I let Mr. C go to work! He quickly decided to start using the larger Lego® bricks to do bigger math problems. 6 x 4 was his favorite.
Why does he have a favorite math problem? I have no idea. He said that’s the one that looked prettiest. (Guys really, this math-hating mama has a boy obsessed with math. Send help!)
The Reasons Behind It
There are about a billion reasons that we decided to try this activity out, and I mentioned some of them above. Mr. C understands abstract math, but he tends to struggle with the hands on understanding.
Also, Lego® Bricks are fun to play with, why wouldn’t we want to spend our morning playing with them while learning?
One of my favorite parts of this was the built in motivation to focus on the lesson. I mean, his favorite toy was sitting right there ready to be played with after he was done practicing his math. I don’t think I’ve seen focus like that from Mr. C in a long while!
And finally, hands on learning is good for kids. Studies have shown that kids learn more by doing than by studying. With Mr. C, and often with many gifted kids, they tend to skip the hands-on learning because they “get it” without, but I still see the value in working through problems in a hands-on physical way.
More Ways to Learn With Lego® Bricks!
Okay, so I am so excited to share with you The Unofficial Guide to Learning With Lego®!
This book has over 100 different learning activities for using Lego® bricks for hands on learning. There are activities for math, science, STEM, art, and more included in the book.
Plus, for the first week, you can get 100 MORE printables (not included in the book) absolutely for free.
If you’re a mom of active kiddos, you’re looking for more hands-on learning activities (with minimal set up!) and you’re a mom like me who doesn’t come up with creative Pinterest-worthy activities, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of The Unofficial Guide to Learning With Lego®!
So with this book, you’ll have plenty of fun kids activities to do with your little ones. From practicing multiplication to building letters, or even practicing colors, there’s tons of ways that you can use these little Lego® bricks for hands on learning!
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