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Tower of Imagination - Help us create a world of play!

Tower of Imagination - Help us create a world of play!

LEGO® play materials: Adding colour to playtime

“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.

Colour 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 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 colourful box and announces that “it is 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.

26 JANUARY

Breaking the poverty cycle through early learning and play.

“I love LEGO® DUPLO® bricks” exclaims five-year-old Dominic as he puts together the finishing touches to his tower using only green LEGO DUPLO bricks, as requested by his teacher Lu-Anne Pieteresen.

The Kids for Success Centre is located in the city of Kimberly in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, the country’s largest (though most sparsely populated)province. It is a region where the majority of inhabitants live below the poverty line. Working with UNICEF and the Department of Education, the LEGO Foundation is supporting the efforts towards increasing the quality of early learning amongst poor children and with the vision to increase their opportunities for a good education and quality of life and to break the cycle of poverty that many children and their families are trapped in.

This Centre has benefitted from the generous donation by the LEGO Foundation of a large box of LEGO DUPLO bricks that are used as a teaching tool. These colourful bricks are much-valued by the children and the teachers as it provides a invaluable resource that support learning in a fun and playful manner.  It contributes to improvement in the learning for the young children.

By providing innovative learning within effective early childhood development programmes, the LEGO Foundation is helping to build the foundations for a solid understanding of the basic skills essential for early learning.

The lessons are based on the Department of Basic Education’s National Curriculum Framework for children, from birth to four years old.  The activity involving using the LEGO DUPLO bricks takes place three times a week for 30 minutes at a time and the feedback from the children is encouraging. “I like the nice colours” say Jamie and Santano, almost in unison, while Dudu likes the way that “we learn numbers and how to count” during the lessons.

For Lu-Anne Pieterse, the training provided by the LEGO Foundation was very helpful. Laughing, she explained that the “kids now think I am the best teacher ever.”

17 JANUARY

LEGO® play materials: Bricks helping join young hands together

‘Swarishanang’ means “joining hands together” in Sepedi, a language spoken in the Limpopo province of South Africa.

The Swarishanang Center is located at the end of a dusty road where it stands as an oasis of color in a small village. This is where nearly 300 children between the ages of two and five spend their days learning and playing.

Through a donation of LEGO boxes filled with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks, by the LEGO Foundation, the children have the chance to combine both playing and learning. Holding individual bricks in their hands, the children are asked, in their native Sepedi, to identify the color of the brick balanced on their left and then their right hands, thus teaching both color and balance at the same time.

For children in low resourced communities like this, the bricks provide a unique combination of both fun and learning. One is able to witness the excitement of the children as the LEGO DUPLO bricks are passed around. Many of them come from homes where toys are a luxury and these colorful bricks bring much light and stimulation to these young lives.

The Principal of the Swarishanang Center, Melita Talakgale, is herself a recipient of the training organized by the LEGO Foundation in August 2015 and is grateful that hers is one of 12 early childhood development programs in Limpopo to receive the LEGO Boxes.

“The LEGO DUPLO play materials opened my eyes to see how much can be done” says Melita as she speaks about the difference that she has noted among the children, who are now more attentive and participatory. “It has taught them to wait their turn and to be patient” in a way that is tangible and real.

7 OCTOBER

You helped unlock the transformative power of PLAY for 2,400 young children in South Africa!  

Tower of Imagination has ended - and what a fantastic end! Thank you so much to everyone who participated. With 390 builds from 29 countries, the many creative towers allowed UNICEF to equip 150 early childhood development programs in South Africa with 110,000 LEGO DUPLO bricks and learning materials! 


The LEGO® DUPLO® bricks have now been delivered to the 150 Early Childhood Development centers. Matching colors, building towers, making cubes… the caregivers and educators have been trained by LEGO on how to engage with the children in a fun and playful way, while developing their social, cognitive and creative skills. All is ready for the 2,400 young children to start playing with the LEGO DUPLO bricks! 

The response from government officials and the Early Childhood Development centers has been overwhelmingly positive, as they fully recognize the critical value of play to enhance children’s early learning and development. In the following weeks, the caregivers and educators will be sharing with us their experiences and pictures as the children begin playing with the LEGO DUPLO bricks. Stay tuned!   

The LEGO® DUPLO® bricks have now been delivered to the 150 Early Childhood Development centers. Matching colors, building towers, making cubes… the caregivers and educators have been trained by LEGO on how to engage with the children in a fun and playful way, while developing their social, cognitive and creative skills. All is ready for the 2,400 young children to start playing with the LEGO DUPLO bricks! 

The response from government officials and the Early Childhood Development centers has been overwhelmingly positive, as they fully recognize the critical value of play to enhance children’s early learning and development. In the following weeks, the caregivers and educators will be sharing with us their experiences and pictures as the children begin playing with the LEGO DUPLO bricks. Stay tuned!   

15 MAY

             

The powers of towers

Did you know that building towers is universally fun for toddlers everywhere? It can seem so simple, but the ability to stack things together is a fundamental milestone for developing motor skills, spatial awareness and, not least, creativity. When you nurture creativity in your child, you empower them to become lifelong, curious learners.

Now you and your child can help other children, just by building towers together.

The LEGO Group, LEGO Foundation and UNICEF have embarked on a joint quest to create a world of play: a Tower of Imagination! We want your help to support less privileged children’s right to play:

  1. Build a LEGO DUPLO tower (ask your child to show you how). It can be just a few bricks tall.
  2. Take a picture of your tower and upload it
  3. Watch your build become part of a growing tower, built by kids from all over the world!

            

             

 

Moments of play for a lifetime of learning

For every section of the Tower of Imagination, you complete with your tower pictures, The LEGO Group and LEGO Foundation donates 10.000 LEGO DUPLO bricks to UNICEF in support of an early childhood development program for children in South Africa.

That means your toddler’s amazing building skills will help bring playful moments and lasting, quality play-based learning to thousands of children, their parents and teachers in South Africa.