Let’s learn about LEGO | Sunday Observer

Let’s learn about LEGO

11 September, 2022

 What is LEGO?

LEGO is a toy plastic building-block. It was created in August 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, in Billund, Denmark. Two years later, it became a company known as ‘LEGO’. We can categorise this toy as a plastic brick. The first plastic brick was sold in 1949. Toy structures can be built with ‘LEGO’ interlocking plastic bricks.

The word ‘Lego’ comes from the Danish word leg godt. The meaning of it is play well. But in Latin, it is “I put together” or “I assemble”. The brand name is always written with all capitals. Another name for LEGOs is building blocks, which is the commonly used name in Sri Lanka.

LEGO is the most popular toy company in the world. Not only is ‘LEGO’ a toy, but LEGO is also used in classrooms as a teaching tool.

What is ‘LEGO’ made of ?

Most of the LEGO pieces have been made of a high-quality plastic called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). It helps to make the connective grip (clutch power), high gloss and colours ‘LEGO’ bricks are known for. It meets the safely and durability requirements as well.

The elastic parts are not common in ‘LEGO’ but when it is needed, it is made of white, red, and blue silicon. The vehicle tyres are made of a material called SBS or SEBS. Latex rubber is not used to manufacture ‘LEGO’ parts to protect usersfrom allergies.

All ‘LEGO’ toys are tested by independent laboratories and meet or exceed all toy safety laws wherever they’re sold.

History of LEGO

The original name of the toy was ‘Automatic Binding Bricks’ in 1949. The first bricks were manufactured from cellulose-acetate. It was a development of stackable wooden blocks. They were 2x2 inches and 2x4 inches slotted bricks.

In the 1960s, plastic was available and ‘LEGO’ bricks came to be made out of plastic. In the 1970s, ‘LEGO’ started attracting girls by introducing furniture sets.

Production of ‘LEGO’ declined during the 1990s. The last production of ‘LEGO’ in the decade was in 1997. After 2005, ‘LEGO’ started to become popular among children once again. ‘LEGO’ theme parks, movies, games and other activities started to become favoured pastimes. To date, the ‘LEGO’ manufacturing companies have shown an improvement and it is continuing.

Interesting LEGO facts

The first Lego character was ‘Police Officer Mini Figure’ creatd in 1978. But the first ever ‘LEGO’ set was a train set in 1949. The biggest LEGO set is a replica of the London Tower Bridge, which is 42 feet tall and has 5,805,846 pieces.

It is estimated that ‘LEGO’ produces 125 million pieces a day. Germany is the country that sells the largest number of ‘LEGO’sets. The cheapest ‘LEGO’ sets are sold in the markets of Hongkong. The most expensive ‘LEGO’set as recorded in 2022, is the 2015 edition of H.C. Andersen’s Clumsy Hans and the price was $7,375.

Why children should play with LEGO

‘LEGO’ is not only a toy for children. There are LEGO sets specifically made for adults.

‘LEGO’ helps children to improve their skills such as problem solving and spatial skills, fine motor skills and understanding complex tasks. It helps young minds to plan and how to change plans. It strengthens the fingers of small children and helps them to hold a pencil properly when writing.

There are LEGO Buddy Clubs for children. They learn to work in teams, communicate with each other, negotiate in building a common task and to bear with the other’s responses and compromise for each other’s benefits.

Children who play with ‘LEGO’ individually improve their skills of imagination, language, creating stories, comprehension and mathematical skills. They learn to follow instructions, decipher order, understand quantity and symmetry, patterns and the location of the bricks.

‘LEGO’ is not only mathematical, but it is also artistic. It is a good toy to learn patterns and architecture too.

‘LEGO’ helps children become adventurous and build their self-confidence. It helps children to reduce anxiety and stress.


Is LEGO useful for adults?

Lego is recommended for adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. According to The Guardian playing with LEGO is popular among parents. LEGO helps people to spend time on purposeful creativity. It helps adults to relax.

LEGO inspired video games

Minecraft is a building video game directly inspired by ‘LEGO’. It is played online and is everything in the game is created with blocks. There are family video games inspired by LEGO too. LEGO World, Go Vacation, LEGO Dimensions, LEGO Star Wars, Castaways and LEGO brick tales are some of them.


LEGOLANDs are the theme-parks made for families with young children. There are many LEGO themed parks in North and South America, UK, Italy, Japan, Malaysia as well as a few in China. The oldest LEGOLAND was built near the original LEGO factory in Denmark in 1968. The first such theme park in Asia was started in Malaysia in 2012. There is one LEGOLAND coming up in Belgium and five coming up in China. We will be able to see them in the next few years.


Text and illustratons

Pahanma Liyanage

Grade 5 D

Lyceum International School