Monday, October 22, 2012

Ready, Set, Build! :: How to Start Your Own LEGO Club

Children have loved LEGO®  bricks since their development in 1947. Did you know there are 7 LEGO sets sold per second; and that on average, every person on Earth owns 75 LEGO bricks? LEGO has definitely dominated children's toys and brought creative play to millions of children worldwide.

Due to my own boys' love and fascination of LEGO bricks, I recently developed a LEGO club for them to take LEGO building to new heights. We call it The Little LEGO Club. The club is currently geared for boys ages 7 through 10 years of age with hopes of developing it more in the future.

It took me a few months to decide how I wanted to proceed with The Little LEGO Club. If you're planning on starting one in your community, here are a few tips and recommendations:

  • Make a few guidelines for your members. Keep them simple, but make sure you cover the basics, i.e. no throwing LEGO bricks, don't destroy others' creations and be respectful of your friends.

  • Have a plan. When the children enter my home, they head straight to the designated build area. They know to get ready for our 10 minute LEGO warm-up while we await the arrival of others. Following the warm-up, we may do the LEGO monthly build or brainstorm on a combined free-build.  For variation, I change up the 10 minute starter and vary the group creation theme.

  • Know member's limits. It is important to know the children in your club and their personal limitations. For this age range, a solid hour of LEGO play is plenty. After each build, I take photos of the builder and his creation, thus preserving the child's work. I plan on creating a photo book for members at the end of the year.

  • Have fun! The Little LEGO Club is all about having fun and letting imaginations run wild. Each child has the opportunity to explain his creation to the group. Positive comments are expected after each presentation. I allow the children to pick the following club meeting's group build theme - the boys enjoy being able to control the whole build right from the start.

  • Make sure you have enough materials. My boys have tens of thousands of LEGO bricks, mini-figures, and base plates. I don't ask the other group members to bring their own LEGO sets, but I do ask them to bring base plates. I have extra base plates for those participants whom do not have one. I know many clubs ask members to bring their own LEGO bricks, but I feel it can isolate children and my entire intent of the club is to facilitate a group dynamic - to allow younger children to learn how to not only work together, but also how to respect each member's work.

Staring a LEGO club is definitely easy, especially once you add kids! Here is the link to the free LEGO monthly mini-build instructions. I've also included two of my warm-ups below:

  1. Give a handful of LEGO bricks and one base plate to each child. Allow them to build for 10 minutes and then discuss their creations.
  2. Start with a small base plate. Have the first child pick one brick to add to the base plate. Then, pass the base plate to the second child and repeat the process. Allow the plate to go one full rotation and see what the group has creates together.
Aside from LEGO bricks, LEGO makes LEGO educational products, LEGO games, LEGO Duplo for younger children, and even online content. My boys enjoy receiving the LEGO Club Magazine in the mail, a free service provided to those whom register. You can purchase LEGO sets at many retailers, including Big W Toys.

{Please view my disclosure policy.}

1 comment:

  1. I love the pass the base plate idea!! I am thinking of starting a club in my area and found this post. Thanks for the info! :)