Librarians seem to have a lot of questions on how to do a LEGO Program. Here is the way we do ours:
Registration or Drop-in
We do our program as a drop-in program, which means no registration. It is open to all ages and we encourage parents to build with their children. It is used as an activity for people visiting the library, especially on days off of school and weekends.
We received most of our blocks from donations. Some of the donations were from our community, but we also participated in a contest where LEGO sent blocks to the libraries that received the most online votes. From that contest, we received a lot of blocks. Many of them are odds and ends, but we received a good amount of DUPLOs and even some minifigures. Some of the pieces are kind of strange, but that challenges the kids to find ways to use them.
We have found in our community what kids like to do best is make “scenes” using a baseplate, blocks and minifigures. This is where we purchased some items. We have bought a lot of baseplates (in green, blue, purple, pink and roads). We purchased sets of minifigures from LEGO Education that have lots of little accessories.
We also want to encourage girls to be comfortable with the LEGOs, so we purchased two Large Pink Brick Boxes. These are retired now. We have one table labeled “Pink LEGOs”. We let people know they can build anywhere, but some of the girls flock to this table because of the little accessories and fun pink blocks. We have also purchased girl faces and girl hair to make more of our minifigures into girls. We can pop off the head of any figure and make it into a girl. (We originally bought the hair and heads on the “Pick a Brick” on the LEGO website. Now it looks like only the girl heads are available. That’s okay, the girls can have short hair!)
Organizing the Blocks
Storing and organizing the blocks can be a challenge, so we purchased two carts with drawers. These carts can hold almost all the LEGOs. When it is time for the program, we just pull the drawers out of the carts and place them on the tables. Here is an example on Amazon. We also love the colors because they are so LEGO!
We separate the windows, wheel, car parts and minifigures and place them on the counter, instead of with the other pieces. We limit the number of minifigures for each child, based on attendance. We try not to bug the children if they have one extra minifigure, but if they seem to be taking a lot, we ask them to put some back to share with the other kids.
This post is a work in progress… more coming soon!