Building Emotions with LEGO Bricks: exploring our Social Media experiences with the Editorial Board kids and Pepita Onlus
In the digital era we live in, social media has become a central part of many people’s lives, including middle school children. The use of social networks can evoke a wide range of emotions, from joy and fun to anger and frustration. To help children understand and manage these emotions, an engaging and educational activity can involve building LEGO characters and describing the emotions they experience when on social media.
In the middle school classroom where the project has organised the ASAP Collaborative Editorial Board with school kids, we conducted an engaging activity that allowed kids to explore their emotions in a creative way.
Pepita Onlus, project partner, provided children with a wide selection of LEGO bricks of different shapes, colors, and sizes, inviting them to build a character that represented themselves. They had the freedom to express their individuality through the design of the character, choosing the bricks that best suited their self-image.
Once the children completed the construction of their LEGO characters, we encouraged them to reflect on the emotions they feel when using social media. We created an open and safe space where children could share their experiences without judgment.
They had the opportunity to freely express a wide range of emotions, such as joy, fun, frustration, anger, boredom, and happiness.
Each child presented their LEGO character and told a brief story about how they feel when using social media. Some spoke of the joy they feel when sharing happy moments with friends and family, while others described the frustration of seeing negative posts or not receiving enough likes and comments. Some children expressed the boredom they may feel from spending too much time on social media, while others recounted moments of happiness when making new friends or discovering new passions through social media.
This activity allowed children to explore their emotions in a tangible and concrete way.
Building the LEGO character provided them with a visual tool to reflect on their digital experiences. Furthermore, sharing their emotions with classmates fostered understanding and empathy. The children discovered that their experiences on social media are not unique and that many of their peers experience similar emotions.
This activity not only promoted emotional awareness but also stimulated critical reflection on how social networks influence our lives. The children began to understand that the emotions they experience online can impact their emotional well-being and that it is important to manage these emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. Interesting discussions emerged about the need to balance social media use with other activities, such as spending time with friends in person or engaging in offline creative pursuits.
In conclusion, the LEGO character-building activity to explore emotions on social media proved to be a stimulating educational experience for middle school classes. It provided children with a safe space to reflect on their digital experiences, explore the emotions they feel, and develop a greater awareness of the impact social media can have on their emotional well-being.
By encouraging empathy and mutual understanding, the activity fostered constructive discussions on the best ways to use social networks and manage the emotions associated with them.