The Sarah Hull Hallock Free Library in Milton has started their summer Lego Club, which provides children with an opportunity to interact with each other in a creative environment.
The Lego Club started as an after-school offering during the academic year in 2014, and it’s done so well with the kids that the library decided to continue it during the summer. Now it runs on Friday afternoons from 3-4:30 p.m.
Lois Skelly, the library’s director, came up with the idea of the Lego Club because of how often kids would come in and automatically be drawn towards the Legos they had in the library.
“Building and design are essential to developing STEM skills. I enjoy seeing the artistic imagination and collaboration that arises when children build together,” Skelly said.
The Lego Club has become something more than even Skelly imagined now that the facilitators of the club have added a narrative element to it, where the children talk and write about their creations. The library also stocked more books that use Lego’s as a narrative element, which are popular with the children who don’t usually enjoy reading.
“So there is an educational element involved, but mainly the patron interest and the creative fun kids have is the driving reason to get the library involved,” Skelly said.
The club starts with Jessica Cohen, the staff member who runs the club, giving everyone a Lego mat, then the children come up two at a time to choose their legos. Occasionally Cohen will have a die that has different things to build on each side, to help the kids decide what they want to create.
At the club meeting on Friday afternoon there were a total of ten children in attendance. The creations ranged from simple buildings to more complex ideas. Jonas Maakey was building a secret hideout in the jungle, Keith Hilbrandt was building an air base and Michael Droney was building a beach.
The youngest attendee was Zoey Cerbino, 4, who didn’t really have a plan for what she was building, she just enjoyed building with the color pink. Cerbino is an incoming kindergartener and her mom wanted to make sure that she had experience interacting with other kids before she started her new school. The Lego Club is one of many summer programs the library is putting on that Cerbino has signed up for.
“We signed up for this and a bunch of other stuff for the summer, she’s an incoming kindergartener and just got her library card last week, so she’s really excited,” Cerbino’s mom, Dena, said.
After the club session is over and the children go home, the library staff doesn’t want to tear down their hard work right away.
“We display the creations during the week, and library patrons of all ages admire them. I especially like to see the children’s eyes light up when they see the structures,” Skelly said.