Who said LEGO was just for fun?

LEGO has been inspiring kids for many decades, letting them be creative and clever all at once.

They were designed to let kids bring their endless creativity and inventiveness to life with their own two hands — encouraging them to dream and explore being an engineer, or an architect or an inventor!

So it’s not surprising that kids and grown ups are always coming up with new and inventive ways to use these colourful little bricks. Here are 6 inspiring yet practical uses for the world's favourite building block.

1. Building an affordable braille machine

Shubham Banerjee from California was just 12 when a fundraising flyer for the visually impaired got him wondering how blind people read. After Googling it he was shocked to discover Braille printers cost over $2,000.

So he decided to modify a robot model from one of his LEGO Mindstorms EV3 sets. The result was The Braigo.

Today Shubham is CEO of his own company, Braigo Labs, which Intel have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in. Check out the video to hear the full story.

2. A creative way to brighten up city streets

This colourful trend began with artist Jan Voorman and his Dispatchwork project — it has grown to become a phenomenon, inspiring thousands of people around the world to use spare LEGO to help brighten up and repair our grey city streets.

3. Organise your time by hand

The Bit Planner was dreamt up in 2012 by the team at Vitamins. They were looking at all the different ways people on their team managed their time — from post-it notes on computer screens, diaries, to-do lists and some really complex project planning software. The result was a system built entirely from LEGO, letting them organise their time by hand. Brilliant.

4. Keep all your cables handy with Sugru + LEGO

LEGO is the world's favourite building block. Sugru is a little bit magic. Combine the two and you'll see the world with new eyes.

Use LEGO to keep your cables tidy by the bed, desk, or in the car – everything is awesome! This is just one of the 10 easy projects you can do yourself with the new Sugru Home Hacks kits.

5. A hands-on approach to teaching Maths

LEGO blocks are often used to build colourful structures, but did you know they can be used to provide kids with a fun, hands-on learning experience? Alycia Zimmerman, a school teacher from New York, has written extensively about the ways LEGO can help students to develop their maths in a creative hands-on way.

6. Help give a tortoise some mobility

Meet Blade from Germany. He lost the use of his legs due to a growth disorder that caused his legs to weaken to the point he was unable to bear his own weight. Thankfully his vet, Dr Carsten Plischke, had an idea. He raided his son's LEGO collection and came up with the ingenious idea of attaching Lego wheels to the underside of Blade’s shell.