Serious playing - building future relationships with Lego

Liz McNeill, Lyn Gum, Wendy Foster, Rosalie Grivell, Liz Beare, Kristen Graham, Linda Sweet

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: Relationships between midwives and obstetricians can be powerful, political and very passionate. However, we forget that as children, we all learnt to share, negotiate and collaborate through playing. We have reintroduced this concept as an ice breaker activity in our undergraduate midwifery-medicine interprofessional education workshop.

Aim/s: Our aim was to bring back serious playing by using Lego® so students could get to know each other, initiate conversations and bond as a team, prior to working in in their usual roles in simulated situations ranging from normal vaginal birth to complications such as post-partum haemorrhage and shoulder dystocia.

Method: Students are divided into mixed discipline groups within the first hour and asked to design a birthing room using Lego®. A chosen spokesperson for the group then shares their creative process and then provides a tour of the newly built birthing room. These explanations have been recorded, analysed and photos captured of the models.

A pre- and post-workshop survey asks about using Lego® as a learning tool for team communication and collaboration.

Results: Pre-workshop responses were positive or intrigued as to how Lego® could be used, with no negative comments. Post workshop feedback was overwhelmingly positive from both midwifery and medical students. This activity enabled creative conversations, debate on required equipment and acknowledgement of prior experience to be shared. Discussions included where to place equipment as well as what helped to create a friendly birthing environment.

Conclusion: The Lego® activity enabled open discussion plus laughter, which aided in the team building process. However, the oration of the creative process illustrated the differing priorities within the disciplines around desired equipment placement and design which becomes useful for interprofessional learning. End of day feedback added to the fresh insight each group had gained through working together after a fun introduction.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberO65
Pages (from-to)S29
Number of pages1
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
EventAustralian College of Midwives (ACM) National Conference: Power, passion and politics - National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 17 Sept 201919 Sept 2019


  • Midwifery students
  • obstetricians
  • interprofessional education


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