The LEGO Foundation has identified five key benefits of play for everyone, even and, perhaps especially, for adults.
Within their research, the Foundation defined learning through play as an activity that is experienced as joyful, helps people find meaning in what they are doing or learning, involves active and engaged thinking, uses iterative thinking, such as through experimenting, and encourages social interaction. These five characteristics draw on evidence for how we learn best and how we can foster a playful mindset.
Not only does this apply to children, but it also works for adults. That’s why the LEGO Group teamed up with astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan on 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. They wanted to create a set that was just as engaging and familiar to adults as other sets are for children.
“Research shows the benefits of learning by doing and real-world application, like building the space shuttle of the future out of LEGO bricks or simulating a spacewalk,” says Esben Staerk, President of LEGO Education. “These meaningful, playful, hands-on learning experiences nurture and stimulate the confidence, curiousity, and creativity needed to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
Dr. Sullivan lent her experience to LEGO Group designers to make sure that 10283 NASA Space Shuttle Discovery was as close to reality as possible. She firmly believes in the importance of play for adults.
“”We tend to denigrate the word, and forget that play is intrinsic for development as every human infant turns into a capable functioning adult,” explains Dr. Sullivan. “I love that fun is central to the core values of LEGO as a company. They design every product to spark the spirit we need to solve any problem, from a small household or new family problems to bigger, more challenging ones. We need that creativity. We need that imagination, that’s what drives us forward.”
Moving forward, the LEGO Group will continue to focus on encouraging adults to play through their sets.
“We’ve seen that more adults are rediscovering LEGO building as a means to switch off and relax from the stresses of every day,” says Genevieve Capa Cruz, Head of Adult Business. “We designed our portfolio to cater to what adults look for in a model – challenging and immersive build, great display value, and in line with the themes they’re passionate about, such as space, movies, sports, art, and design or supercars.
“Everything from the model design and building instructions to the packaging of this set is designed to reflect the interests of adults and help them relax and switch off with an immersive building experience.”
Other LEGO products that might also be in line with this focus on adult LEGO fans could include the ever-increasing range of LEGO helmets, clearly designed for display purposes. Similarly, LEGO art builds might also prove popular with older audiences.
Who knows what other products we will soon see designed to appeal to an adult audience. Rest assured, we’ll be here to tell you about it when it arrives.