“Tomatoes are red and apples are green” exclaim an enthusiastic group of 20 three-year-olds at the Diepsloot Pre-School as they proudly hold up red and green LEGO® DUPLO® bricks in their little hands.
Color identification is one way that LEGO DUPLO bricks are being used as a teaching tool by teachers at this light-filled sanctuary that lies in the middle of the noisy, energetic township of Diepsloot north of Johannesburg.
The well-maintained school belies the poverty that affects the majority of inhabitants of this township, where safe, welcoming play facilities for children are few. Diepsloot Pre-School was selected to receive the LEGO DUPLO bricks as part of the first phase of implementation of the National Early Childhood Development Curriculum for children from birth to four, which is based on learning through play.
The excitement of the 20 children in each group is palpable as the teacher, Gertrude Peyani, opens the colorful box and announces that “it’s LEGO DUPLO time!”
A recipient of four boxes from the LEGO Foundation, the school has been using the boxes as a teaching tool for the three and four-year-olds. Two teachers from the school received training from the Foundation on how best to ‘teach’ with LEGO DUPLO bricks.
Explaining the difference that the training has made, teacher Gertrude Peyani declared: “I feel empowered and proud when I see LEGO DUPLO bricks these days because now I know what to do to make a difference.”
“There really is no limit to the potential of what can be taught using LEGO DUPLO bricks” exclaims Ms. Peyani.