Learning Difficulties

Learning Difficulties

New Lego Exhibition Broadens the Horizons of Kids with Learning Difficulties

Lego has long been applauded for its applications as a learning aid, but a new exhibition held in Christchurch, New Zealand recently demonstrated just how far these brilliant little bricks can be used to broaden the learning horizons of children with special needs.

The so-called ‘Wonders of the World’ exhibition brought together some of the most recognisable world landmarks in Lego brick form for an attending party of 20 children. This entire event was put together for the benefit of children struggling from all kinds of impairments and disability challenges, from mobility problems to those suffering from communication issues. Another key point considered when putting together this exhibition was children who usually suffer from being overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.

Creator Ryan McNaught, otherwise known as ‘The Brickman, spent a painstaking 4,944 hours to build the entire exhibition. In total, more than seven tons of Lego bricks were used in the overall construction. Besides that, plenty went into the planning of this innovative approach to promoting learning for kids suffering from special learning requirements.

For a start, the average visitor numbers for the exhibition were slashed from the norm. In fact, less than half the usual were invited to attend. What’s more, there was no distracting audio and visual media playing in the vicinity. Furthermore, those Lego creations featured in the exhibition were limited when it came to movement, with no unnecessary noises causing added distraction.

The aim of all this was simple. With such a controlled environment, this sensory-friendly Lego event can be fully enjoyed and explored by kids who would otherwise suffer from a plethora of unwanted stimuli. It might seem like a simple enough endeavour, but the positive effects it can have for the children attending such an event are huge in impact. Ordinarily, families with children suffering from special needs would tend to avoid such an event altogether. The crowds alone can be overwhelming, never-mind the rest.

Beyond a simple safe space for such children, such an exhibition provided a fun-filled destination for families and caregivers to fully enjoy themselves. It allowed for exciting days out and immersive activity, without the usual worries that hustle and bustle crowded events bring.

It’s a bold and much needed move in the right direction say experts, with such sensory events and sessions essential for ensuring exclusivity for people with special needs.

The event, The Wonders of the World, was unveiled in Wigram, Christchurch and finished on January 20, 2019 at the Air Force Museum in New Zealand. Within the exhibition, there’s a whopping 50 models of popular landmarks from across the globe, with standouts including the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Empire State Building.