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Lego Benefits for Older Seniors

Written by Dayna C
Last Updated :
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Building Bridges with Bricks: How Lego Can Benefit Older Seniors

In the later years of life, finding activities that are both enjoyable and beneficial to health and well-being can be a game-changer. One such activity, surprisingly delightful and lots of fun for older seniors, involves the colorful, interlocking pieces we often associate with childhood: Lego bricks. Building Lego models can be more than just a playful pastime for the elderly, here’s a list of the benefits to Seniors.

Fine Motor Skills

Seniors using Lego

As we age, maintaining dexterity and hand-eye coordination is a must for everyday tasks. Putting together Lego bricks of various shapes and sizes requires precision and control, making it an excellent exercise for fine motor skills. This activity encourages older adults to practice movements that can help keep their fingers nimble and their minds focused.

Stimulates the Brain

Building with Lego isn’t just physically challenging; it’s also mentally challenging. Following complex instructions to create a model requires concentration, problem-solving skills, and spatial awareness. These cognitive exercises help keep the brain sharp, delay the onset of cognitive decline, and enhance memory retention.

Promotes Relaxation and Reduces Stress

The repetitive action of clicking Lego bricks together can be incredibly therapeutic. It allows seniors to immerse themselves in a task, shifting focus away from worries or stress. This mindfulness aspect can have a calming effect, similar to meditation, helping to promote a sense of peace and relaxation.

Encourages Social Interaction

Lego building can be a solitary activity, but it also opens up opportunities for social interaction. Seniors can engage with family members, caregivers, or their friends in Lego-building sessions, encouraging connections and reducing feelings of isolation. Sharing ideas and collaborating on projects can lead to meaningful conversations and laughter helping to increase their social circles.

Lego building for Seniors

Offers a Sense of Achievement

Completing a Lego model can bring on feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. For older seniors, this can also boost self-esteem and provide a great way to remind them of their capabilities. It’s a way to celebrate their creativity and problem-solving skills, helping to boost their self-image and overall happiness.

Suited to Different Abilities

LEGO has come up with three special ways to play with their bricks that suit everyone, from kids to adults. When most of us think about LEGO, we picture the standard little bricks. But there’s more to LEGO than just those!

Big and Easy-to-Handle Duplo Bricks

First up, there’s something called Duplo. This was made way back in 1969 for little kids, from toddlers to five-year-olds. Duplo bricks are twice the size of the regular LEGO bricks we’re all used to. They got their name from a Latin word meaning “double.” The idea was to make playing safe and fun for younger kids who might find the standard bricks too small or tricky to handle.

The big reason for Duplo’s existence was safety. The creator of LEGO wanted to make sure little ones could play without any danger of choking on small pieces. Plus, Duplo bricks are tough, lasting through years of play, and they can even be used together with the standard LEGO bricks.

As it turns out, building something, then taking it apart and building it again, helps us become more resilient. This is true not just for kids but for seniors, too. I’ve seen many older adults enjoy and benefit from this cycle of building and rebuilding with Duplo bricks.

Creative and Moving Technic Bricks

Then there’s the Technic system. These are the LEGO pieces that include gears and motors. If you see a LEGO creation that moves or can be controlled, it’s got Technic parts in it. These are great for more advanced projects, like creating machines that can move balls around in fun and inventive ways. And, just like Duplo, these Technic pieces can be mixed with the regular LEGO bricks for all sorts of creative building.

Lego for Seniors

Why Duplo Might Be Best for Seniors

So, which LEGO should you pick? For seniors, I usually suggest Duplo. I’ve seen older adults accidentally put LEGO bricks in their mouths, and thankfully, if they’re Duplo, it’s not a problem. Regular LEGO bricks could be dangerous! Plus, for those who might not see as well or whose hands aren’t as steady as they used to be, Duplo bricks are just easier to handle.

I recommend starting with a couple of Duplo baseplates, which will give you a solid foundation for any project. You can find these and various Duplo sets in many stores or online.

Including little figures of animals or people, like cats, dogs, or even farm animals, can make building with LEGO even more enjoyable for seniors, especially if they love animals or used to live on a farm.

Finding LEGO Bricks

LEGO sets can be pricey, but you can often find them for less at thrift stores or online marketplaces. If you’re after specific pieces, there are websites dedicated to LEGO pieces and accessories. Just be cautious with online auctions for loose or missing parts, though you might find sealed sets at good prices.

Don’t forget to ask around, too. Many people have old LEGO sets stored away and might be happy to share.

About Author

Dayna C
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years.  Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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