Wednesday, April 29, 2015

LEGOS & Libraries

Kids at LEGO table at Marilyn Praisner
LEGO Table at Marilyn Praisner

Kid building LEGO tornado at Davis
LEGO Builder at Davis
While it might seem that little blocks of plastic and a place to borrow books don't have a lot in common, LEGOS are popping up at many libraries these days.  Several MCPL branches have LEGO tables, where children (or adults!) can create structures whenever the library is open. They may work with other children and adults who are nearby, or happily build their own individual masterpieces.  Libraries with LEGO tables are Aspen Hill, Little Falls, Marilyn Praisner, Twinbrook, and White Oak.

Kid LEGO building at Davis
LEGO Builder at Davis
There are also libraries that sponsor LEGO clubs.  These programs give children a chance to work in a group, and to learn from teen or adult volunteers.  The library might have hundreds of assorted pieces of LEGO or there might be boxed sets with specific instructions included.  In either case, the children will have a chance to explore in a new environment with new people.

Kids LEGO building at Poolesville
LEGO Builders at Poolesville
Why are so many libraries encouraging children to play with LEGOS?  Studies have found that play is a crucial component of childhood development.  Playing with construction toys like LEGOS has particular advantages.  According to the Association of Library Service to Children it provides open-ended play and free expression while increasing the use of fine and large motor dexterity, social skills, and problem solving techniques.  In addition, LEGO building stimulates imagination, creativity, math, science,language and vocabulary development.  And libraries certainly support growth in all of these areas.

LEGO homes and airplane built at Chevy Chase
LEGO Structures built at Chevy Chase

In addition to providing the actual building blocks for fun at the library, there are also books that can be taken home to continue the inspiration.

The Lego Adventure book coverThe LEGO Play Book cover

So start playing!  Find LEGO events or a LEGO table for open play at a library branch near you.  And don't forget to check out some new LEGO books.  Be creative and be constructive!

Kids building LEGOS at Silver Spring library
LEGO Builders at Silver Spring
Barbara S.

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