I received product to conduct this review. All opinions are mine alone.
My oldest son, E, has an extreme love of LEGO building bricks and his little brother, S, is beginning to follow in his footsteps. They really have a knack for building things, from following the instructions to branching off and using their imaginations. In and of themselves, LEGO bricks are educational, but when I discovered LEGO Education products I was over the moon.
LEGO Education kits are so much fun because they offer teaching tips and instruction along with the bricks. Each set teaches something different and they have online resources that go along with the kits. Some teach engineering. Some teach animals (S received the Animal Bingo game for Christmas.) We received one of their newest additions, LEGO Education Build Me “Emotions.” In fact, it just released this month!
The Build Me set helps children recognize different emotions like happy and sad. It can be used to help children understand how they are feeling as well as be used for collaborative projects. My boys loved building together, following the examples on the building cards and creating on their own.
S was feeling silly.
E really liked following the examples and I took that opportunity to talk to him about what was going on in the pictures.
We discussed how in one picture the character was angry. Why was he angry? I asked E to tell me from the picture why he thought the character might be angry. He noticed it was raining, so he said it was because he couldn’t play in the rain.
I was reminded of a Ni Hao, Kai-lan episode where Tolee and Hoho were mad at the rain. In the episode, Kai-lan had to figure out why they were angry and help them have a positive attitude and make the best of the rain. Rather than just moving on, I asked him to think of a solution. What could he do in the rain? My boys love splashing in puddles while it is raining, so of course that was the first thing he thought of.
When I had turned the “angry face” brick around I noticed it was smiling. I encouraged my son to put some blue bricks on the table and make the angry character “splash” in the brick puddle. I then told him to turn the person around and explained how he was now happy because he found something fun to do in the rain. This is a great opportunity to teach looking on the bright side and making the best of a frustrating situation. This can be carried through most of the emotion cards.
After building several from the card examples, I asked E how he would describe his current emotion. Was he happy? Sad? Angry? Silly? He decided he was happy (and tall), so that’s how he built himself.
When he had had enough building for a while, he played with the characters he’d built. I loved how I saw him stack them on the couch, so I had to snap a quick picture. He saw one that was sweating and had its arms up, so he put it under himself as if that character was struggling to lift him up.
They also watched in excitement as we baked some delicious brownies!
Personally, unless we are talking happy and sad, I struggle to pinpoint some facial expressions. I found these helpful myself. The kit came with a paper that included 5 ideas on ways to use these cards. They have videos on the site to help with even more guidance. The Build Me video should be available now, but I am having a difficult time finding this specific one at the moment, so you can visit this link to see all the videos.
My boys have had so much fun with these already and have been combining them with some of their other sets.
- Ages 3-5
- 188 LEGO DUPLO bricks
- 8 double-sided activity cards
What I love
- Educational/helps explain emotions
- Comes with emotion cards and teaching suggestions
- Teaches how to turn emotions around
- Shows the exact bricks included on the outside of the packaging (in case your kids mix sets like mine)
- Great for homeschool families
What I’m Not Huge On
- Emotions not listed out with words (some may be difficult to recognize and words would help as well as build vocabulary–E sometimes struggles to describe things)
- Video mentioned on the product page on the website, but not linked to
Overall, I really do love this set and it has been a great help in getting the kids to understand how they are feeling and how to turn sad or mad to glad.
Do you have any other fun ways to explain emotions? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
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