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How To Run A LEGO Social Skills Group

LEGO bricks may be a beloved toy, but they can also be a useful tool in our arsenal to teach social skills.

As school psychologists, we are always looking for fun and innovative ways to help students. What better way to do that than to use a medium they already love? LEGO bricks!    

LEGO therapy was developed by Dr. Daniel LeGoff in 2004 and is considered a type of play therapy.  Although it’s discussed more widely in the community of people with autism, it truly is useful for any child in need of increased social skills. In my practice as a school psychologist, I ran multiple LEGO therapy groups over the years, with teachers overwhelmingly reporting positive results.   

Although there are some variations on how a LEGO social skills group can be run, in general there are three students in the group, each with a role. The roles change each session and include:  

  • Supplier—This student keeps the bricks organized and hands them to the engineer. 
  • Engineer—This participant tells the supplier what pieces are needed and instructs the builder where to place them. The engineer is the only student who looks at the instruction booklet.  
  • Builder—This individual builds the structure  by using the verbal instructions provided by  the engineer. 

To begin a LEGO social skills group, you will need an age-appropriate LEGO kit that suits the interests of the students you will be working with. The adult facilitator (YOU!) oversees the group, making sure things are running smoothly, the students are staying in line with their roles, and discussions about different social skills topics are addressed as they arise. Such topics may include impulsivity, turn-taking, listening to others, empathy, sharing, persistence, or problem solving.   

Although there is a limited amount of research on LEGO therapy, the research that has been completed has identified several benefits, including:  

  • Empowerment of social skills (Narzisi et al., 2021)  
  • Reduction in maladaptive behaviors, such as tantrums, physical aggression, avoidance of responsibility, and bedwetting (Owens et al., 2008)  
  • Increased social confidence in primary-aged children (Boyne, 2014)  
  • More initiative in starting social interactions (Barakova et al., 2015)  
  • The ability to make new friends (Evans et al., 2014)  
  • Positive impacts on symptomatology, such as aloofness and rigidity, in individuals with autism (Narzisi et al., 2021)  

Incorporating a LEGO social skills group into your practice can be a fun way to teach children important skills while providing them with a wealth of benefits. Have fun building!   


Barakova, E., Bajracharya, P., Willemsen, M., Lourens, T., & Huskens, B. (2015). Long-term LEGO-based therapy with humanoid robot for children with ASD. Expert Systems: The Journal of Knowledge Engineering, 32(6), 698–709.  

Boyne, S. (2014). An evaluation of the LEGO therapy intervention used to support children with social communication difficulties in their mainstream classroom [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Nottingham.  

Evans, C., Sanders, D., & Knight, R. (2012).  LEGO-based therapy club for children with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Clinical Psychology Forum, 262, 18–21.  

Narzisi, A., Sesso, G., Berloffa, S., Fantozzi, P., Muccio, R., Valente, E., Viglione, V., Villafranca, A., Milone, A., & Masi, G. (2021). Could you give me the blue brick? LEGO-based therapy as a social development program for children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Brain Sciences, 11(6), 702.  

Owens, G., Granader, Y., Humphrey, A., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2008). LEGO therapy and the social use of language programme: An evaluation of two social skills interventions for children with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1944–1957. 


  • Terri is an educational assessment advisor at PAR. She is a past president of the Virginia Association of School Psychologists (VASP) and was selected as the VASP School Psychologist of the Year in 2011.