In a world where screens dominate our daily lives, finding ways to engage children in meaningful, screen-free activities is more important than ever.  

Enter the Six Bricks Method—a playful yet powerful approach to learning that encourages kids to step away from their devices and immerse themselves in hands-on, imaginative play.  

By using these Six Bricks activities children learn through play in a way that does not feel like yet another ordinary school day. 

The Problem with Screen Time for Children 

Excessive screen time has become a pressing concern for parents and educators alike. While screens offer convenience and entertainment, they also pose significant risks to a child's development.  

Too much screen time can lead to problems with attention, sleep, and physical health. Additionally, it can impede social skills and reduce opportunities for creative play. 

Understanding the Six Bricks Method 

So, what exactly is the Six Bricks Method?  

Simply put, it's an educational tool that uses six brightly coloured DUPLO® type sets of bricks to facilitate various learning activities to improve essential skills.  

Developed originally in South Africa by Care for Education and endorsed by the LEGO Foundation, this method aims to foster cognitive, social, and physical skills through play.  

All in all, it's a deceptively simply way to boost all types of critical skills including emotional skills, literacy and numeracy. These playful activities are a fun way to also introduce spatial skills and sensory skills. 

Origins and Development of the Six Bricks Method 

The Six Bricks Method was developed in collaboration with education experts to address the need for playful learning tools that can be easily integrated into both classroom and home settings.  

The simplicity of using just six bricks in bright colours makes it accessible and engaging for young children, while the structured activities ensure that learning goals are met. 

How the Six Bricks Method Works 

The Six Bricks Method is straightforward yet incredibly versatile. These daily activities are used at home as well as in early childhood learning centres and primary schools. 

Each of the six bricks comes in a different colour, and together, they can be used in a variety of activities designed to promote different areas of development. 

This amazing resource is made up of green bricks, light and dark blue bricks, as well as yellow, red and orange. 

The Role of Colourful Bricks in Learning 

The brick resources more than just eye-catching - they plays a crucial role in the learning process to develop skills for school success. This visual stimulation is especially important for young learners, as it aids in memory retention and cognitive development. 

More than that, this pedagogical approach uses the sets of bricks as a concrete tool to boost so many skills including spatial reasoning, perceptual skills, physical skills for gross and fine motor movement, literacy skills - all in all just about all aspects of child development you can think of. 

Key Activities and Exercises 

There are countless quick activities that can be performed with the six bricks, each targeting different skills and concepts. 

For example: 

  • Sorting and Matching: Enhances colour recognition and categorisation skills as well as language learning. These are key elements of any childhood education curriculum. 
  • Building and Stacking: Improves fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These physical tools are the basis for using positional language and for boosting maths concepts. 
  • Memory Games: Boosts cognitive abilities and memory retention by adopting a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach. 

These activities are designed to be short and impactful, making them perfect for maintaining a child's attention and interest. This powerful teaching tool is also budget friendly by introducing so many skill sets with the use of one key method. 

Benefits of the Six Bricks Method 

The benefits of the Six Bricks Method are multifaceted, impacting various areas of a child's development. 

Cognitive Development 

The structured play with the six bricks helps children develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Activities with sets of the bricks are designed as a perfect resource to challenge their minds and encourage them to think creatively and logically. 

Social and Emotional Learning 

By participating in group activities or any activity in pairs using both individual bricks or the full sets of bricks resources, children learn to cooperate, share, and communicate effectively.  

These social interactions are vital for emotional development and help build empathy and resilience. 

Physical Coordination and Motor Skills 

Handling the bricks and engaging in different building exercises improve both fine and gross motor skills. These physical activities are essential for overall health and physical development. 

Besides the packs of bricks, you are also able to introduce other tools such as for example clothes pegs which help with core skills for overall holistic development. 

Implementing the Six Bricks Method at Home 

Bringing the Six Bricks Method and its hundreds of activities into your home is easier than you might think. Here are some tips to get started: 

Tips for Parents 

  1. Set Aside Screen-Free Time: Dedicate specific times of the day for screen-free activities. These game activities are going to draw eyeballs away from the screen and at the same time make a world of difference to aspects of child development 
  2. Engage Actively: Participate in the activities with your child to make the experience more enjoyable and educational. See the immediate improvement in your child's language functions and their grasp of tougher concepts such as the concept of subtraction. 
  3. Be Patient and Encouraging: Allow your child to explore and make mistakes, providing support and encouragement along the way. These quick activities build confidence too! 

Creating a Playful Environment 

Ensure that your home environment is conducive to play. This means having a clean, safe space where your child can freely explore and use their bricks.  

Keep the bricks accessible and incorporate them into daily routines to make learning a natural part of the day. 

Case Studies from Schools 

Many schools have adopted the Six Bricks Method as part of their curriculum. Teachers report significant improvements in students' engagement, attention, and overall learning outcomes. 

They appreciate the method's simplicity and the way it seamlessly integrates play with education to help develop core learning skills. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What age group is the Six Bricks Method suitable for? The Six Bricks Method is ideal for children aged 3 to 7 years, but can be adapted for older children as well as part of any childhood education curriculum as it lends itself to holistic development.  
  2. How much time should be spent on Six Bricks activities each day? Short, regular sessions of 10-15 minutes are recommended to keep children engaged without overwhelming them. There is such much choice from the hundreds of activities that you are able to cover so many aspects of child development.  
  3. Can the Six Bricks Method be used in conjunction with other learning tools? Absolutely! The method complements other educational tools and can be integrated into broader learning activities. The sets of bricks are easy to access and build on other activities you are introducing. 
  4. How do I measure a child's progress with the Six Bricks Method? Observe improvements in skills such as problem-solving, literacy skills, perceptual skills, and social interaction. By using these game activities with the physical tools, you are helping any child build core skills. The best part is that they won't even realise how much they are learning. 
  5. What is the main purpose of the Six Bricks Method? The main purpose is to promote learning through play, helping children develop cognitive, social, and physical skills. They learn positional language as well as many maths concepts. It's such a powerful teaching tool that it can be used all year round 
  6. Can the Six Bricks Method help children with special needs? Yes, the method can be adapted to meet the needs of children with different abilities, providing a supportive and inclusive learning experience. We have a learning module that specifically focuses on using the method with autistic children. Follow the link here.... 
  7. How does the Six Bricks Method compare to traditional learning methods? Unlike traditional methods that often rely on passive learning, the Six Bricks Method emphasizes active, hands-on engagement, making learning more dynamic and effective. When Brent Hutcheson from South Africa conceived of the method, he was determined to introduce an exciting way of using packs of bricks to improve a long list of skills: visual memory skills, perceptual skills and in fact anything that forms part of the primary school curriculum. 

Final Words 

The Six Bricks Method is a game-changer for any childhood educator. By leveraging the power of play, it provides a fun, engaging alternative to screen time, fostering essential core learning skills in the process.  

Children are attracted to the bright brick colours for starters so you don't need to ask them twice to take the bricks out for activities. Whether it's to create a brick sequence or to do another activity involving visual memory skills, children are immediately engaged. 

What's more, your game development skills come to the fore: invent new activities all the time! Whether it is to improve language learning or the concept of subtraction, your imagination takes over. 

Whether at home or in the classroom, this method is an invaluable tool for parents and educators striving to create a balanced, enriching learning environment for children. It's a lot more than a pile of loose bricks. It's a gateway to ongoing growth in all aspects of child development. 

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