According to a study done by Lego Japan, the majority of surveyed graduates from elite universities played with Legos when they were children.

Legos are an age-old toy. So age-old, in fact, that the first official Lego blocks were produced almost 60 years ago. Kids of every generation since then have played with Legos, and adults regularly join in on the fun too. Legos are awesome because you can literally build anything with them, and some people have constructed amazing things like pop-up Japanese castles, life-size idols, and even fully functioning sushi conveyor belt restaurants.The sky is the limit!

But Legos aren’t just for fun. According to a study released by Lego Japan last week, Legos are quietly preparing our children for life as elite scholars. The study asked 100 graduates from each of six of Japan’s most elite universities (the University of Tokyo and Waseda, Keio, Hosei, Meiji, and Rikkyo Universities) about their childhood habits and how they think it affected their development. Apparently, more than 60 percent of the graduates from each of the universities claimed to have played with Legos as children, and more than 92 percent of those that did play with Legos said they didn’t use instructions, and instead built things from scratch.

Furthermore, when asked how they thought the Legos improved their brain development, more than half claimed it improved their concentration, spacial organization, and creativity. Education specialists tend to agree. Education critic Yukio Ishikawa praises Legos as good for imagination and creativity, and claims it also improves problem solving, as children are forced to think about how to build what they see in their mind’s eye. Education journalist Toshimasa Oota adds that Legos also provide a valuable stimulus to the imagination and the spirit of inquiry, which can be lacking in ordinary schoolwork.

Famous education activist and mother of four, Sato-mama, who managed to get all of her children to pass the University of Tokyo Medical Department’s difficult entrance exam, has said she allowed her children to play with Legos from the age of two. She claimed it was good for their brain development because they were able to play with their hands and touch the blocks with their fingers.

▼ Other building toys are also great for children’s brain development, experts say. The word is still out on hedgehogs, though.

So what does this mean for your (future) kids? Well, truth be told, the study doesn’t prove causation, only correlation, so really not much. They haven’t yet surveyed students at other universities or the correlation between childhood Lego use and high school graduation rates, so the results can’t be compared to other demographics, which makes it hard to make definitive conclusions.

Nevertheless, the correlation is interesting, and it could mean that playing with Legos could push your child’s mental capacity past its peers in the long run. It certainly couldn’t hurt your child to have them play with Legos (unless maybe they step on one), and you can’t deny that building with Legos does require a certain degree of creativity. Just look at the University of Tokyo’s Lego Club! You have to have some sort of skill to create such amazing designs. Maybe there is some causation there, after all.

Source: Biglobe News via Golden Times
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