A new initiative from the LEGO Group will seek to help families have conversations about staying safe online and being a good ‘digital citizen’.
Small Builds for Big Conversations is a new campaign from the LEGO Group that aims to help parents discuss the online world with their children, providing tools to demonstrate good online practice and behaving in a way that doesn’t harm others.
According to research the company is citing, parents spend just 46 minutes talking to their children about online risks throughout their entire childhood, feeling that they don’t have the resources or expertise to do more.
Here is an explanation from the LEGO Group of what this new initiative is about:
The ‘Build & Talk’ challenges are based around characters built from LEGO bricks, who represent both the positive and negative aspects of life online. Parents and children are encouraged to build similar characters with LEGO bricks they have at home and use play and conversation prompts to talk about digital wellbeing, safety and potential dangers.
The LEGO Group has seen the urgency in good online practice since more than 290 million started learning from home as a knock-on effect of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“As a parent I know it’s not always easy to talk to your children about being a good digital citizen in a way they understand, as they are often influenced by peer pressure and exciting digital experiences. We have a long history of creating safe digital play experiences for kids, so we wanted to give parents the confidence to connect with their children on this important topic,” says LEGO Vice President Digital Consumer Engagement Anna Rafferty.
“We understand the power of learning through play, which is why we’ve made the conversations playful. LEGO bricks are great for sparking imagination and storytelling, so building characters while talking will make the experience more memorable and enjoyable for parents and kids. Today’s young children will live their lives online and many have their first digital experience before their first birthday. Being a good digital citizen is critical for their development.”
There are themed activity packs for parents and guardians to draw on, featuring clear characters. Each activity pack includes inspiration on how to build the characters, as well as talking points and questions to help guide the conversation between parents and their children. UNICEF digital safety guidelines have informed the content.
“Spending time with parents and talking openly about experiences on the internet is key to keeping children safe and happy online,” says Andrew Mawson, Chief of Child Rights and Business at UNICEF. “We welcome this timely initiative by the LEGO Group to facilitate these conversations through play.”