At Bricks 4 Kidz® we’re all about building. Exciting, hands-on programmes, give kids ages five to 12 the chance to learn, build and play with LEGO® Bricks. Our unique approach to educational play means kids are exposed to STEM concepts that will help build the foundation for future academic success.

While building academic skills is extremely important, these skills aren’t the only ones needed for success in life. Building character is just as important. Teaching kids social skills will also help ensure future success.

These soft skills are absolute musts:

Teamwork is about more than playing well with others. It is about working with others to solve problems and make decisions. It is about valuing other people’s ideas.

Communication isn’t only about what one says and how one says it. It is also about active listening and paying close attention to what is said. Learning to choose words carefully and think about what you say and how you say it is important. But listening to what another person has to say – and being engaged with the other person – is a critical skill.

Self-confidence isn’t only important in the workplace; it is important in every aspect of life. Some people seem to be born with a lot of confidence, but for most people, self-confidence grows over time. Children especially need to be given opportunities to explore and discover their abilities.

Trustworthiness is necessary to build strong relationships. Showing others that you are trustworthy takes intentional effort. It means going out of your way to keep your word, to be transparent and to admit when you are wrong. That isn’t always easy, so it is something adults should always model for children.

Assertiveness sometimes gets a bad rap. We certainly don’t want our kids to be bossy, but we do want our kids to be able to stand up for themselves and their ideas. Children need to learn how to present their ideas in a way that shows confidence and leadership.

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. This skill is imperative for children to be able to look at the world from another’s perspective and to value others. In a global world of collaboration and innovation, empathy is perhaps the most important soft skill for future success.

Creativity can help children develop all of these other skills. But creativity doesn’t necessarily just happen. Children need to be exposed to activities that will encourage creativity and imagination. And research has shown that guided play is a great way to help children explore and learn.

When it comes to academic and social skills, focusing on one area and ignoring the other will prove detrimental in the long run. Academic skills are important – but they will be only be complemented by strong soft skills.