If you want your kids to go to elite universities, give them Legos, Japanese study says

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

Lego is 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.

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

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Lego brick creations that look good enough to eat

-- Amazing Lego artist spends six months bringing Hatsune Miku into the physical world

-- Music box-powered spinning Lego Laputa is both whimsical and impressive【Video】

© SoraNews24

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they didn’t use instructions, and instead built things from scratch.

What? A kid not following instructions? I bet they quit playing with them when they entered school and found out Japanese people MUST follow the rules.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What a bizarre story.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This sounds more correlative than causative. I would say that it's more likely that people who had the intelligence levels required to get into elite universities were the type of people to be interested in playing with Lego, rather than their ability to get into university being created through the playing with of Lego.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Which is better for Todai, the pink Lego Friends for girls or the Hollywood tie-in Lego that lets kids build killing tech from Star Wars :(

This toy has been seriously devalued as an educational tool promoting imagination. I don't care how commercially successful the rebranding has been. I think kids are better off with Minecraft.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There's no control group for this study.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That’s why it is only correlative and not causative.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Lego is an age-old toy. So age-old, in fact, that the first official Lego blocks were produced almost 60 years ago.”

Still younger than I am, so I wouldn’t call them “age-old” ;-)

“According to a study released by Lego Japan last week,” “The study asked 100 graduates ........ how they think it affected their development.”

I also certainly wouldn’t call what the Lego company did a “study”.

Which is not to say say I don’t think Legos are a fine toy that encourage and foster good things. Not to mention that people who can afford and are inclined to give them to their children probably provide other items/experiences that give their children a leg up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Coincidence = causality. How can you argue with logic like that?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a load of speculative nonsense.

As an aside, 'Legos' plural? I always thought the plural of Lego was Lego.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the study doesn’t prove causation, only correlation

I'm not sure it even shows any correlation. What is being correlated? It implies attendance at an elite university correlates with playing with lego. But as the sampled population consists solely of students at elite universities, it really shows nothing. Is it not a bit like saying being right-handed correlates with being human? If they showed that those 60% who played with lego performed better than the other 40%, then we might have a correlation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, reading your post and looking back at the story, you’re right. There isn’t even correlation there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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