LEGO play materials helping join young hands together
‘Swarishing’ means “joining hands together” in Sepedi, a language spoken in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
Photo by: UNICEF/South Africa/2015/Reddy
The Swarishing Centre is located at the end of a dusty road where it stands as an oasis of colour in a small village. It is where nearly 300 children between the ages of two and five spend their days learning and playing.
Through a donation of LEGO Boxes filled with LEGO DUPLO bricks, by the LEGO Foundation, the children have the chance to combine both playing and learning. Holding individual bricks in their hands, the children are asked, in their native Sepedi, to identify the colour of the brick balanced on their left and then their right hands, thus teaching both colour and balance at the same time.
For children in low resourced communities like this, the bricks provide a unique combination of both fun and learning. One is able to witness the excitement of the children as the LEGO DUPLO bricks are passed around. Many of them come from homes where toys are a luxury and these colourful bricks bring much light and stimulation to these young lives.
The Principal of the Swarishing, Melita Talakgale is herself a recipient of the training organized by the LEGO Foundation in August 2015 and is grateful that hers is one of 12 early childhood development programmes in Limpopo to receive the LEGO Boxes.
“The LEGO DUPLO play materials opened my eyes to see how much can be done” says Melita as she speaks about the difference that she has noted among the children who are more attentive and participatory. “It has taught them to wait their turn and to be patient” in a way that is tangible and real.