You might think he's just a kid, playing with Legos. But you'd be wrong - this activity is helping Owen understand base-10 mathematics, something he wouldn't care to do unless Legos were involved.
So what happened was, our friend Nicole issued a challenge this week connected with our weekly math/science class: to bring something representing the number 100. Of course, Owen's mind went immediately to Legos.
We started by choosing 100 Lego pieces, a harder challenge than it seems. Each time Owen started counting out pieces, he'd lose track somewhere in the early double-digits. I showed him how to keep track, placing the pieces into 10-piece piles:
At which point both kids agreed, that's not a lot of Legos. As Luke pointed out, the minifigs alone are 8 pieces each! Owen wasn't sure we would be able to build the space station he wanted to bring to math this week. Here he is getting started:
And, he used every piece to make a pretty fancy space station.
I loved doing this because of all the math chat we had while working, counting by tens, estimating, seeing the light dawn about how the base-10 system works, and watching Owen realize that each tiny piece counts as 1, however big or small.
Also, once we got going, Owen treated it as a game; how much easier math would be for me, if only I could have treated it as a game.