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The Brick-by-Brick Programme

Building friendships, Brick-by-Brick

Child-led and facilitated by a trained adult The Brick-by-Brick™ programme is learning-through-play using LEGO bricks for children who need support with social development, such as in autism. In a safe, naturalistic environment, children experience a unique, playful hands-on method to have positive social experiences, collaborate, solve problems, develop friendship, and find a sense of belonging.

HundrED 2023






Target group
February 2024
When I'm at Brick Club, everyone is different and it helps with stress and anxiety. I've made friends with everyone that goes to Brick Club and it's helped me make more friends outside of Brick Club.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Autistic children and others with social communication and emotional support needs can often be misunderstood. The Brick-by-Brick programme gives children a unique and playful learning opportunity to have positive social experiences, develop collaboration and make friends. We aim to reduce social isolation and mental health problems and build stronger societal acceptance of neurodiversity.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

In Brick Club, children work together to build specific LEGO models or design & build their own freestyle LEGO creations in pairs or small teams. As they build they collaborate, communicate, negotiate and problem-solve, developing friendships and creating social opportunities along the way. All children are encouraged to interact in ways that work for them so everyone understands each other. For example, if children are building a LEGO model following the instructions, one child can be the Engineer and has the instructions, one child is the parts supplier and finds the right pieces, and one child is the builder and puts the pieces together. Children work together, taking it in turns to play the different roles until the model is complete. Playful and skilled adult facilitation is crucial to the success of the Brick-by-Brick™ programme so we focus on training professionals. It is important that Brick Clubs are child-led, building on shared interests and common goals.

How has it been spreading?

Play Included C.I.C. was founded in 2018 in the UK, training health and education professionals in the Brick-by-Brick programme. Since then, interest has grown enormously. In 2019 we started our Training for Trainers programme, and have 35 trainers in the UK, Hong Kong, Greece, Turkey & Ireland. In 2020 we put our training online. Since Jan 2019 we have trained just under 2000 facilitators in 40 countries. If each facilitator works with 5 children, that means we have reached 10000 children. In March 2021 we launched our fantastic partnership with The LEGO Foundation. With their expertise and support, we have updated our training and aim to scale up in more countries around the world, and offering support & follow-up for practitioners to reach more children with high quality Brick Clubs.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Our training is now available for health, education and care professionals and can be booked at https://playincluded.com/training. We have also launched free activities for parents and carers to use at home which can be downloaded from our website, and have free whole-class activities for schools to support social & emotional wellbeing for all children called Building Friendships.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

This innovation is an excellent example of a practice that promotes social and emotional learning through play. Child-led playful hands-on methods help students develop their communication skills, learn how to negotiate and build relationships. In addition, The Brick-by-Brick™ Programme has an important role in developing inclusive education models.

HundrED Academy Reviews
The innovation is highly scalable in diverse contexts targeting different audiences (e.g. K12 or adults) regardless of cultural contexts. This can be hosted in school or outside of school.
Using a play-based approach, the initiative is providing children with opportunities to develop socio-emotional learning skills. Especially powerful are the inclusion of turn-taking, guided and free play opportunities, and the focus on collaboration.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Train in the Brick-by-Brick programme

Sign up for our mailing list: playincluded.com/register to stay up to date with Play Included news!

Download and enjoy our free home activities for parents and carers.

Download our free Building Friendships activities for schools.

We are very friendly and would love to hear from you, please email hello@playincluded.com and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Getting trained in the Brick-by-Brick programme
First, look at our website and case studies and decide if this programme might suit the young people you work with. Next, sign up for our Free Taster course on our website playincluded.com. If you like the free taster, go ahead and book onto our e-learning training course. Once you have done the training you can download all the resources you need to get started. The Play Included team can support you with implementation via our FaceBook community page and online drop-ins.

Spread of the innovation

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