AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Engineering /Building

5 Apr

building-blocks-1886064_960_720.jpgProgram Name: Block Party

What: This is a fairly simple program to put together as long as you have the supplies available – we’ve offered it as a passive program open for a few hours in the afternoon and I think that works really well with parents. We provide all sorts of building supplies – Legos, Duplos, those oversized cardboard boxes from Kindergarten, small, wooden blocks from our toy area, colorful foam blocks, Keva blocks, basically whatever we have that you can build with in one of our programming rooms and let the kids build. Sometimes we create challenges – who can build the tallest tower, who can use x number of pieces to create a specific shape, but usually we just let them use their creativity to build whatever they want. You can market this as a STEM program and you’ll have plenty of families stop by as they know that buzzword.

Where: We use our storytime room for this event, it’s easier to keep all the building materials contained and to keep kids from wandering off without their parent’s consent. What’s great about this program is that if it’s offered for a couple of hours families can come and go as they need to which allows for the flexibility that some families need to attend programming.

When: We’ve offered this program on days off from school, Saturday afternoons, evenings – whatever works best for your library and community.

Who: This is an easy program to put together as a family event to encourage parents and kids to play together or it can be kid focused for a specific age range. My only caveat to this is to be very careful with young children as small Legos can present choking hazards. What’s also nice about a program like this is that you most likely only need one person overseeing the room – making sure nothing gets too out of hand, but that could be anyone on staff, it doesn’t have to be a specific programming staff member.

How: Set-up and clean-up are the hardest parts of programs like these, but we usually have some families that are willing to help. We like to lay down a tablecloth or bed sheet before laying out the Legos, then you just gather up the corners and pour the Legos back into their storage boxes – it’s much easier than picking up all the tiny pieces. I think you’ll always have a few kids who don’t know what to build, so sometimes it’s nice to have some suggestions at the ready, but I really like giving kids the opportunity to be creative, to use their imaginations and to just play without any expectations.

Alternatives:

  • Don’t have a huge budget to purchase Legos? A lot of libraries have had luck asking for donations from patrons.
  • What about using boxes that new materials come in? Tape them up and you have instant BIG blocks.
  • Work with a local architectural firm for a donation to get some new blocks for your library
  • Our county will often have kits we can check out with resources that we might not be able to purchase on our own, check out that option or from your state library as well.

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During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I’ll be offering you a library program plan with everything you to need to re-create it at your own library. Most of these programs we’ve offered in the past, others are programs I’d like to try in the future. I’m always looking for new inspiration and I thought you might be too!

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4 Responses to “AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Engineering /Building”

  1. ~Lee~ April 5, 2018 at 11:10 am #

    I went to a fun event like this at the library when I had little ones — there was coffee and parenting books on the tables and lots of blocks on the floor for the kids. It was a great way to meet other moms.

    • literacious April 5, 2018 at 11:32 am #

      I love adding resources (and treats!) for parents – what a great idea!

  2. Melissa Ann Paris (@magickislife) April 5, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

    What a fantastic idea, I wish our library had these types of things when my kids were little.

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  1. AtoZ Blogging Challenge Recap | literacious - May 1, 2018

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