Kids are spending more time on screens. The LEGO Group wants to help keep them safe online.Their new initiative Small Builds for Big Conversations offers a series of creative challenges for families to engage in conversations about being a good digital citizen and the importance of online safety.
According to Kaspersky, parents spend just 46 minutes talking to their children about online risks throughout their entire childhood as they find it difficult to express the risks in a relatable way. Small Builds for Big Conversations has been created to address such barriers by giving parents simple, fun ways to talk to children aged six to 10 about digital safety and wellbeing while they play.
The ‘Build & Talk’ challenges are based around characters built from LEGO bricks, who represent both the positive and negative aspects of life online. Parents and children are encouraged to build similar characters with LEGO bricks they have at home and use play and conversation prompts to talk about digital wellbeing, safety and potential dangers.
Anna Rafferty, Vice President Digital Consumer Engagement, said: “As a parent I know it’s not always easy to talk to your children about being a good digital citizen in a way they understand, as they are often influenced by peer pressure and exciting digital experiences. We have a long history of creating safe digital play experiences for kids, so we wanted to give parents the confidence to connect with their children on this important topic.
“We understand the power of learning through play, which is why we’ve made the conversations playful. LEGO bricks are great for sparking imagination and storytelling, so building characters while talking will make the experience more memorable and enjoyable for parents and kids. Today’s young children will live their lives online and many have their first digital experience before their first birthday. Being a good digital citizen is critical for their development.”
The builds are available in three themed activity packs that include two character categories: ‘The Online Explorers,’ like ‘The Giggler’ who loves to watch and make online videos, and The ‘Watch-Outs,’ like ‘The Chameleon’ who represents strangers that pretend to be friends. Each activity pack includes inspiration on how to build the characters, as well as talking points and questions to help guide the conversation between parents and their children, helping them have a natural conversation, that leads to learning while they play. The content has been developed in line with UNICEF digital safety guidelines.
“Spending time with parents and talking openly about experiences on the internet is key to keeping children safe and happy online,” said Andrew Mawson, Chief of Child Rights and Business at UNICEF. “We welcome this timely initiative by the LEGO Group to facilitate these conversations through play.”
Building inspirations for all of the characters are available on www.LEGO.com. Each takes around 10 minutes to construct using existing bricks, and their physical features reflect the different aspects of being online.
All photos courtesy of The LEGO Group