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Brick by Brick Programme, Brick Club, LEGO therapy, Play Included,  LEGO Foundation Official training


Building the evidence, Brick-by-Brick! At Play Included we are passionate about research and how it can be used to support children. We carry out research on therapy using LEGO bricks for autistic children, as well as exploring new areas where play can support child development.

We work in partnership with leading academics and universities such as PEDAL at the University of Cambridge and Goldsmith's University London to explore important questions about how play can support development of social and emotional learning and communication. We love to share research findings from our own research and the wider literature with our community, with the aim of improving outcomes for children.

PLAY INCLUDED - illustration - WOMAN THINKING Brick by Brick official Lego therapy training

Learn more about research

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Play Included: Empowering Neurodiversity through Play

At Play Included, we are committed to advancing acceptance of neurodiversity, child development, and learning through play. Our research-driven programs and collaborations aim to empower and support children, including neurodivergent children, by harnessing the potential of play. We are pleased to present three initiatives that highlight our dedication to innovation and inclusivity.

Brick-by-Brick Evaluation: Enhancing Facilitator Training

Through a collaborative effort with AT-Autism and with the generous support of the LEGO Foundation, Play Included has conducted an independent international evaluation of our Brick-by-Brick programme. This evaluation focused on Initiate and Facilitator training for Brick Club Facilitators. The results were exceptional, with a significant percentage of facilitators expressing high confidence in delivering Brick Club and recommending the training to others.

Brick-by-Brick Innovation: Inclusive Play for All

Building upon our successful partnership with the LEGO Foundation, Play Included has embarked on an innovative exploration of the Brick-by-Brick program's potential to support children across diverse settings and contexts. By broadening the program's reach, we aim to foster inclusivity and empower all children through the transformative power of play. Findings showed children felt more confident, made friends, had improved communication and most importantly had a lot of fun!

I-SOCIALISE Trial: Revolutionizing Collaborative LEGO Play

Dr. Gina Gomez de la Cuesta, Founder and Director of Play Included, trained teachers in the I-SOCIALISE trial, the UK's first large-scale randomized controlled trial on therapy using LEGO bricks for autistic children's social skills and emotional wellbeing. Designed in 2015 and published in 2023, the trial was funded by the National Institute of Health Research. Findings showed positive outcomes for autistic children's social skills after participating in therapy using LEGO bricks. The research also found the programme to be cost effective and highly acceptable. Play Included have moved forwards in their thinking since this research was started in 2015. Our developments in the Brick-by-Brick programme since 2020 have been made collaboratively with autistic consultants. The Brick-by-Brick programme's emphasis is to support all children to have meaningful opportunities to socialise, play and develop skills through building LEGO models together in a safe space where all children can feel accepted and belong. We are neurodiversity affirming and strive to continue to learn all the time.

Future studies

At Play Included, curiosity, research, and innovation form the foundation of our endeavors. With the support of esteemed partners and organizations, we continue to advance the understanding of neurodiversity, child development, and the profound impact of play. Through our evaluation of the Brick-by-Brick programme and our innovative applications of play in diverse contexts, we strive to create a more inclusive and compassionate world where every child can thrive.

Get in touch with us at to learn more about our research activities and how we can collaborate to promote the well-being and potential of every child.