The Niles Public Library’s Lego Club is built on the idea that motivated and creative kids, ranging from Kindergarten through 8th Grade, will produce clever and interesting projects if you take these steps:
1) put a few thousand Legos in front of them
2) maintain a safe space where they are free to experiment, plus “show off” creations to each other and their parents or caregivers
3) take photos of Lego-makers with their creations (everyone who wants theirs taken) and post to social media
4) provide a tasty treat when Lego Club ends (a “thank you” for everybody’s cleaning up and putting Legos back in their bins).
Lego Club takes place every 4th Monday of the month from 4:30-5:30pm in the Library’s Large Meeting Room (the same place where patrons see movies and listen to concerts). Attendance averages two dozen or more kids plus maybe 10 parents. (A parent or caregiver is required to stay with students in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade, and the parents of some older kids stay anyway because it’s fun!)
What to build? Anything you want. But for kids who want ideas or guidance, there is assistance. For example, having noticed how many boys want to build a spacecraft, Lego Club’s Mr. Paul is figuring out how to advise kids to do so using “found parts” (not parts from Lego spacecraft kits, but pieces just lying there waiting to be “re-purposed”). The trick is to be able to look into an eight-inch-deep pile of Legos and “see” wings and tail fins and whatnot — even if they are random pieces not specifically intended as spacecraft components.