Brick Building Challenge

It might not feel like winter in Connecticut (yay for a green Christmas) but the kids are all home from school on winter break. Winter break usually means on edge parents and stir crazy kids! Now is the perfect time for libraries to try new programs, parents are looking for ways to occupy their children (and maybe give themselves a break!). I mostly work with the 5 and under crew but when I was asked if I’d like to put together a program for 1st-6th graders I jumped on the opportunity. It’s common knowledge that kids of all ages loooooove LEGO® bricks; I was browsing online (all hail pinterest) for some program ideas and came across LEGO® challenges. LEGO® challenges is when you give kids a specific theme, some bricks and a time limit to make a creation. I took some of the ideas from LEGO Quest and others I just came up with myself.

Here is how the program worked:

I laid out two thick tablecloths and spread the bricks out across them. I had 20 children signed up and wanted to make sure that everyone would have access to the LEGOs®. Each child received 1 base plate and 1 shallow bucket.

photo 8

I pulled a challenge out of a basket and read it aloud to the kids, then they put some pieces in their shallow buckets, found a spot on the floor and started working. I used my judgement to determine the length of time they should receive, some of the challenges got 10 minutes (such as make something from a book) and others only 5 (such as make a car)  I started a timer and gave them a count down. There was a lot of silence and concentration while they worked so I played some music. A lot of the creations were really neat and original!

photo 1

Since this was my first time doing this program, and most of the children were in 1st and 2nd grade, I went with easier options. I’m hoping to do this program again with older kids and more difficult challenges (such as creating something that floats and a weight tested bridge). I would definitely repeat this program, the kids had a lot of fun and were very well behaved. I was a little nervous that someone would be upset if they couldn’t find a certain piece or if they didn’t finish in time but overall everything went smoothly. At the end of the program I asked the kids to pick up any pieces that ended up on the rug, well not only did they do that but they also stacked up their bins and base plates and helped me put away the pieces on the tablecloth. I would count this as a library success!!

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