Monday, March 10, 2014

Benefits of Lego Club

Lego Club is one of my most popular programs here at the library. It is also one of the easiest to plan and prepare for. It is basically a 45 minute period where the kids can enjoy our collection of Legos. I put out our Lego books and our large bin of Legos and let the kids have fun. It is geared towards Grades K-6 and is held at 5 pm on the first Thursday of every month. All our Legos were donated by a family member of one of our librarians.

There are a few reasons that I keep my Lego Club so unstructured. The first is that as our only Children's Librarian I would rather focus my time and energy in other areas. The second is that I think that the kids enjoy it and gain a great deal from participation as it is.

Here are some of the benefits of Lego Club:

1. Math skills are being learned. For instance, kids will have to do a little math to figure out how many smaller pieces they need to cover a larger one. I've also seen kids counting the number of how many of a certain piece they have.

2. Science concepts are being tested. Such as: How high can I build this before it falls down?

3. Literacy skills are being developed. I make sure to ask the children what they are building. There is always a story behind it that they are happy to explain. This kind of oral storytelling is actually an important literacy practice. It helps with a child's narrative skills, vocabulary and creative thinking.

4. Cooperation and other social skills are strengthened. The kids often work together to create elaborate scenes such as battles. They must communicate their thoughts to their peers and come to an understanding about what they want to accomplish.

One such cooperative venture made at our most recent Lego Club meeting.

5. The children and their families get to experience the library and see all we have to offer. The Lego books provided at Lego Club get checked out. Many kids and families also stay after to use our computers, play checkers or use our computers.

6. Legos are engaging enough that even the younger kids on this age spectrum will be engrossed the whole time period. Over time this may help them develop longer attention spans.

7. Kids get to practice problem solving skills. They may need to substitute a piece for another to make something fit, or come up with a new plan when their original idea doesn't work. Problem solving skills are needed in so many facets of life so it is great to develop them early.

It seems pretty clear that having this Lego Club benefits both my library and my community. If you don't have a Lego Club at your library I definitely suggest you start one. For another perspective on how to do this you can check out this blog post.

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