LEGO® Build the Change activities at the Natural History Museum

In 2023, the Natural History Museum (NHM) launched hands-on LEGO® brick activities at their Dawnosaurs events – free relaxed mornings for autistic and neurodivergent children and their families where they can explore the Museum before it opens to the general public.

These activities are part of a new partnership with LEGO Group’s flagship sustainability programme, Build the Change, which is all about giving children a voice and allowing them to express their hopes and ideas for a better future.

The NHM has teamed up with the LEGO Group on a variety of educational projects since 2018, all focused on encouraging children and their families to learn about nature, NHM science and collections through the power of play. Every project has served the overarching mission of the NHM encouraging the public to take action on behalf of nature.

In 2023 the NHM became an official Build the Change events partner. We’ve released a free teacher’s resource pack and programmed free events for families in school holidays centred around inspiring children to build ways to have a positive human impact on today’s dinosaurs – birds!

As part of this new partnership, a key priority is ensuring the activities are accessible to as many children as possible. In our school holiday events, we provide hand-sorted kits of LEGO bricks (as opposed to the regular mixed brick trays) and quiet spaces for neurodivergent children and others who needed them, away from the often-loud main building areas. We also provide large-scale accessible resources for visually-impaired visitors, and a British Sign Language-signed version of an explainer video for hearing-impaired visitors.

While these adaptations were greatly appreciated by the visitors that used them, a lot of families with neurodivergent children don’t attend the school holiday events, due to the how busy the Museum and public transport is during these periods. Bringing our Build the Change activities to Dawnosaurs was therefore a key component of the overall programme.

For the activities delivered at Dawnosaurs, we put extra steps in place to ensure the experience was as enjoyable and comfortable as possible for attendees. All brick-building surfaces are covered in soft table protectors, to prevent distress from the loud clattering of bricks, and tables are also spaced out more widely. We have an increased number of the hand-sorted kits, separated by shape and colour, that we clearly signpost to families upon entry.

© The Trustees of The Natural History Museum, London

The building challenges are designed to be open-ended, with additional levels of structure provided either by self-guided resources parents and guardians can use, or by the increased number of NHM staff in the space when compared to the school holiday events. We have also implemented LEGO Braille Bricks into the session, for visually-impaired children who are learning braille to practice their language skills through play.

Entry to the activity space is segmented into four 30-minute timed slots, to ensure capacity, noise levels and brick stocks remain at comfortable levels. Care is also taken to communicate expectations in a visual story which is emailed to families ahead of their visit, and at the start of each session with a brief introduction from a facilitator. We clearly display a digital clock in the session at all times for families to keep track of remaining time, whilst equally recognising that retaining a large degree of flexibility in timings for each individual family according to their needs is essential.

The response from families has been very positive, with the ideas to protect birds created in the Dawnosaurs sessions being among the most detailed and imaginative we’ve seen! We are also constantly monitoring the experience for families at the events and are open to feedback to make the sessions even more inclusive as they continue into 2024. Both we at the NHM and our colleagues at the LEGO Group believe that play is for everyone, and bringing LEGO Build the Change to Dawnosaurs has been a wonderful way to allow autistic and neurodivergent children to express their ideas on how to make the world a better place too, using the power of play.


You can find out more about LEGO Group’s Build the Change programme here:

You can find out more about the NHM’s partnership with the LEGO Group here:,to%20help%20protect%20our%20planet.

You can find out more about the NHM’s Dawnosaurs events here:

The free “Human Impact: Saving Today’s Dinosaurs” course pack for educators is available to download here:

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