The team at Click-A-Brick loves the concept behind the Bricks 4 Kidz franchise model, saying the use of building blocks to teach children science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills is a great idea and shows the versatility and importance of these classic toys.
A recent Associated Press article that appeared on the Laboratory Equipment website outlined how elementary school kids in Yakima, WA used building blocks -- some of which included motorized pieces -- and basic computer coding to build a seesaw to learn about inertia, force and equal but opposite reactions.
The Bricks 4 Kidz franchise offers programs for children aged three to 13 using proprietary model plans, designed by engineers and architects, with themes like space, construction, and amusement parks. The project kits and theme-based models are meant to give children hands-on activities to do as they learn STEM skills.
"That's what we're doing here – making sure kids have an opportunity. It's good, fun, fast hands-on learning that they actually are building something," said John Oord, co-owner of the Bricks 4 Kidz franchise in Yakima.
Click-A-Brick Co-Founders Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say they are pleased to see a program that takes a classic toy and uses it to teach STEM concepts to students, as it is yet another demonstration of how building blocks can be used to teach students these increasingly important skills.
“Being big advocates of children learning as they play, we like the Bricks 4 Kidz concept,” Smith said. “It’s a unique way of taking a toy that almost everyone is familiar with and using it as an active learning tool. When kids are just playing in an unstructured way with blocks, they’re still learning, but it’s in a passive way. This lets them channel their energy and creativity toward a specific goal, turning it into a more active way of learning with the toys. It’s exciting for the kids and it seems like a good business opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to do something beneficial for children in their area.”
The best thing about using building blocks in the Bricks 4 Kidz program is that it allows kids as young as kindergarten students to continue using something they’re already used to playing with on a daily basis so they can jump right in and start the program already knowing the basics, the pair say. This allows them to then concentrate completely on the STEM concepts being taught, as they already know the basics of how to build with the blocks.
The Bricks 4 Kidz franchise, together with initiatives like Mattel’s programs that use its Hot Wheels brand as a teaching tool, is an encouraging sign that toy companies are embracing the concept of using their products to teach kids as well as keep them entertained, the Click-A-Brick entrepreneurs say.
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