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LEGO Building Challenge

September 1, 2015
Audience
Children / Family
Budget
$101-250
Advance Planning

This program sought to provide a safe environment for parents/caregivers and children to converse and create around LEGO building blocks. Another goal was to provide children access to a large collection of LEGO blocks to help foster creativity, social skills and writing skills.

We began planning several months in advance. We contacted the local Boys & Girls Club and wrote a memo of understanding to establish what each organization would do to plan, present and promote the program. The library offered space, LEGO blocks and promotion; the Boys & Girls Club provided building challenge themes and staff to supervise the room during programs. Some past and upcoming challenges created by the Boys & Girls Club include:

  • Move It! (or getting from here to there)
  • Amazing Maze (don't get lost)
  • Field and Farm (coming in September)
  • Creepy Crawlies (coming in October)
  • Table of Plenty (coming in November)

We soon learned that we needed to recruit volunteers to take apart the LEGO blocks after the projects were on display for a period, and also volunteers to clean them. The library also purchased storage bins and building bases.

We asked each individual child or team to write a description of their project to display with the project.

Marketing

Our patrons had previously requested a LEGO club, so we had an audience waiting for it. Also, since the Boys & Girls Club was our partner, they brought club members to it. Attendance increased throughout the summer.

We also promoted the program through press releases, sent to local newspapers and television, and library social media, newsletters and posters. The Boys & Girls Club posted information about the program on their calendar.

Budget Details

The library needed bases upon which kids could build their LEGO creations, and we also purchased 10 clear plastic bins. We later received a private donation of about 20,000 more Legos (thus the need for the 10 bins).

Day-of-event Activity

I set up 10 tables with chairs and put out bins of Legos and bases. Pencils and forms for describing their LEGO projects were set out for participants.

Once the two staff and children from the Boys & Girls Club arrived, we welcomed everyone into the room, announced that day’s challenge, and participants worked on their projects for 90 minutes. Children then carried their projects downstairs and placed them on display.

We typically had about 25 children and 15 adults take part. 

Program Execution

The program was easy to implement. Usually, we had about 25 children and 15 adults. We will continue the program during the school year, meeting once a month.

Children were very proud of their projects and worked carefully to compose the written description of their projects' features. Several children gained self-confidence over the course of the programs. Teamwork was also evident.

Advice

Be aware of the time involved in taking apart pieces. Bases are good to have, too.

Short Title
LEGO Building Challenge

LEGO Building Challenge is a monthly makerspace program for ages 5 to 12, held at the Rutland Free Library in Rutland City. The library partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Rutland County to create monthly challenges for program participants. The finished LEGO projects were displayed in the library, along with a project description written by the participant.  

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Tags
Summary

A Vermont public library teams up with the local Boys & Girls Club to provide a makerspace program for kids.