Teach Your Kids about Online Safety by Building LEGO

Teach Your Kids about Online Safety by Building LEGO
Contributor: Meghan Moravcik Walbert

It’s a universal problem — you want to teach your kids about online safety. But they just want to build LEGO all day. Well finally, you can do both at the same time with LEGO’s newly launched “Build and Talk” activities.

LEGO has created three free activities with multiple imaginative characters for kids to build; each character represents the positive and negative experiences kids may have online. The “chatterbox” activity, for example, is inspired by kids who love to chat online with their friends through video and messaging apps — but it also includes a few “watch-out” characters, which represent negative behaviours they should be on alert for. Those include the “meanie” who bullies or trolls users, the “oversharer” who may try to invade their privacy, and the “chameleon,” who is a stranger.

While you build characters with your kids, the activity packs offer talking points to get the conversation about online safety rolling. Questions like, “Do you think people say things in online messages that they wouldn’t say face-to-face?” Or, “What if they pressure you to do something you don’t want to do?”

You don’t need to buy specific LEGO packs to build these characters — you can use any bricks they (or you) already have. You can try to make them match LEGO’s version as closely as you can, or simply use them as inspiration to build your own versions of a “chatterbox,” a “multiplayer” or a “giggler,” while also tackling topics like managing screen time, in-game purchases, phishing, scamming, bullying and privacy.

You can find printable PDFs of all three types of “online explorers,” as well as all the nefarious “watch-out” characters on LEGO’s Build and Talk website. And when you’re done, you can share your creations with other kids and parents on the LEGO Life app with the hashtag #OnlineExplorers.

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