LEGO's Skills for Holistic Development

The LEGO Foundation’s Skills for Holistic Development framework outlines a set of skills that are essential to positive child development and can be promoted through playful learning experiences. The LEGO Foundation is a Danish Corporate Foundation dedicated to redefining play and reimagining learning to ensure children build the skills they need to thrive and succeed. Applying a view of learning that goes beyond academic content, the framework focuses on five broad and interconnected skills that empower children to become creative, engaged, and lifelong learners.

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LEGO's Skills for Holistic…emotional skillscognitive skillsphysical skillssocial skillscreative skills

Breakdown by Domain

Domain Key


Key Features

Context & Culture

  • The LEGO Foundation emphasizes the importance of developing holistic skills in the context of play
  • Notes that the skills important for success vary across cultures and contexts
  • Acknowledges that the play environment (including materials and people) influences the structure of play and development of skills
  • Notes the need for more cross-cultural research on the impact of play on learning and skill development

Developmental Perspective

  • Summarizes evidence suggesting that children begin learning and developing skills from birth, and notes that the nature and complexity of skills vary depending on a child’s age
  • Acknowledges that skills are interconnected and that development in one area influences development in another, and supports this with some evidence and examples
  • No learning progression provided

Associated Outcomes

  • Notes how skills that fall into the broad areas outlined in the framework are tied to positive adult outcomes related to education, innovation, health, and employment
  • Provides examples of research linking holistic skills to positive outcomes related to academic skills, health, and substance abuse
  • Cites research that links each of the skill areas to positive outcomes like school readiness, academic achievement, reading and math skills, and longer-term health, economic, and societal outcomes

Available Resources

Support Materials

  • Online Knowledge Base includes research reports, white papers, and activity materials related to learning through play

Programs & Strategies

  • Provides detailed descriptions of five characteristics that make up successful play experiences and provide opportunities for skill development
  • Describes different types of play that support skill development, from free play to direct instruction
  • The LEGO Foundation runs a variety of programs designed to ensure children have the opportunity to learn through play, including:
    • Learning Through Play in Early Childhood programme, which focuses on learning through play at home, in early childhood centers, and within communities
    • Connecting Play and Education programme, which embeds learning through play into national education systems
    • Communities of Learning Through Play, which offers play programming and training in Denmark, Mexico, South Africa, and the Ukraine

Measurement Tools

  • Notes the challenges associated with measuring complex, higher-level skills
  • No tools provided

Key Publications

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