So you take around 17 children from group six who are around the age of nine and ten. You give them one hour and you pose a question about respect. And then you throw in a pile of Lego. What do you get? More than you can imagine. When I started to work with Lego serious Play my son asked if I could do that at his school. So I asked his teacher if he would like that. The answer was yes and before I knew it I was posing questions to a group of children who where more than eager to build with the little bricks.
Doing a session with children differs from one with grownups. The metaphors you need from adults are not so easily brought to the surface with children. But on the other hand they do have a lot of imagination and easily build whatever they like. At first I thought that it would not go anywhere. The kids just started to build and when the timebox was over they just kept on building. Sharing was another challenge. Kids only listen a little bit. And when you have a lot of colored bricks on the table. Forget it. A few stories emerged however and even though the sharing was a bit chaotic, stories where told.
The kids also liked it more to build together instead of just individual models. And slowly the question I posed was combined in unique models. “How do you see respect and even respect in the future” A group builds a respect house with a car that could bring you there. Another group designed a different house with gunmen at the entrance. But hey, they did fire with respect. The boys in the group started to build a warzone with a lot of guns and fighting going on. Respect was in there. And well, boys will be boys.
In a quiet corner a girl incorporated a family tragedy in her model. She didn’t want to tell about it so a friend did and she told a little about a family member who passed away. This story was overpowered with all the noise and fiddling of bricks, but a few already new and listened. In the end they all new a little bit more about respect and at the least had their minds in gear to come up with some sort of model and story.
Then it was cleaning up and putting al the Lego back in the box. But you don’t take Lego away from children, so they could divide half of al the bricks and take it home together with their model. Greedy hands grabbed what ever they found to their liking. A few didn’t want to take it home, as they felt sorry for me. After all they had the idea that as it was my job to work with Lego, I was also paid in Lego and therefore it would be wrong to take it from me. If only the world was that simple. Respect!
Many thanks to Raymond Hendriks from Ideasigner for advise and tips.