Virtual Literary Legos is a children's program offered via Zoom. It consists of two sessions: in the first, I read a story, asking the kids to pay particular attention to the visuals and think about something they could create with Legos. We take a break so the children can work on their creations, and then we reconvene for a show-and-tell.
This program incorporates literacy, creativity, meaningful interaction and fun with Legos! Before COVID-19, I ran this program once a month from our library; now I do it twice a month virtually.
Focused hands-on creativity can provide just the outlet we need right now! As a youth services coordinator, my goal is always to engage children with literacy and meaningful interaction.
You’ll need to spend some time choosing a picture book that will work well for a Lego program. The book needs to have amazing illustrations that will provide the children with a nice variety of building options. It’s best if there are multiple characters and memorable scenes from the story.
You will need to schedule a Zoom meeting and send the invitation to families the day before the program. I chose to split this program into two time slots: one for the story and another for show-and-tell after the kids were done building. I felt like it might be too much to ask the kids to build their Lego creations while on the Zoom call.
We advertised on our website and social media platforms and with an eye-catching flier created on Publisher. I like to promote my virtual programs for at least one or two weeks ahead of time.
Doing this program virtually makes it absolutely free. I used books from the library, and the children used their own Legos at home. If children don’t have legos, they are welcome to build with any other medium they have handy (e.g., clay, blocks, Kinetic Sand, Play-Doh, etc).
No setup is needed other than the Zoom call. I ran the program alone, but a second staff member to co-host the call is always a smart idea. It’s easier on Zoom if there are two adults managing the call (letting people in from the waiting room and helping with noise control).
At 11 a.m., I welcomed everyone into the Zoom meeting and I read a "surprise" story. (I do not advertise the story beforehand.) I encouraged the kids to look at the pictures carefully and told them to think about something from the story that they could create with Legos. It could be a character, a scene or anything else from the story.
After the story time, we logged off. The kids then had between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to build their Lego creation. I was clear that they could spend as much or as little of this time to build as they wanted.
At 1 p.m., everyone joined the second Zoom meeting. I called on each child individually to show and describe their Lego creation.
At the end, I encouraged each child to ask their parent to take a picture of their creation and post it on our library's Facebook page .
I find that this program works best with 10 to 20 kids.
It doesn’t take much time to run, but the reward is huge. This program is also easily adaptable, so if you run it once and find that you need to make some changes, it’s easy to do. This program is so adaptable, in fact, that I’m going to try a session just for adults!
About This Library
The Seneca Falls Library is located in the town of Seneca Falls and provides materials, programs and space for patrons to meet or study. Our program offerings are diverse: we have weekly story times, book clubs, movie nights, a reading dog, an annual Children's Book Festival, Summer Reading Program and many other cultural and educational programs throughout the year. Our service population primarily consists of people living in Seneca Falls School District (SFSD), which is a mostly rural area. We also serve many patrons throughout the county. We serve patrons from all income levels; 41 percent of children enrolled in SFSD are eligible for free or reduced lunches and12.5 percent of Seneca Falls families live below the poverty level.