The distinct sound of children sifting through piles of Lego is a familiar sound in the Elk Valley, especially after Christmas. Lego has been a kids’ favourite since 1932. And it has more recently become a favourite for educators as well.
The ever popular building toy is perfect for encouraging literacy because children enjoy it so much, they don’t realize they are learning. Some elementary schools have Lego clubs during lunch hour, teachers use it in the classroom and the majority of libraries have afterschool Lego clubs as well. In Fernie, the Fernie Heritage Library (FHL) has run an after school Lego Club for eight years and last year, the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) jumped on the band wagon as well.
This January FHL and CBAL are working together to make learning with Lego more accessible to all families and ages in Fernie.
The FHL after-school “Lego Club” caters to children ages seven and up. While CBAL will be running “Lego Lovers” for five and six-year-old students to attend with a caregiver. The FHL community librarian, Anie Hepher, and CBAL’s community literacy coordinator, Chrisy Hill, have been collaborating to make life just a little bit easier for parents with more than one child. Both organizations will run their Lego program Thursday afternoons. The FHL and the CBAL office are only one block from each other. Because of this, caregivers can drop off their older child at the library before heading over to their own program with their younger child at the CBAL office.
Lego can help improve many skills and the understanding of concepts including; language, numeracy, patterning, symbolism, physics, planning, storytelling, problem solving, and the list goes on. The Lego model has not changed since it came on the market 84 years ago. And with so many creative and learning possibilities, it will likely remain the same for years to come.
Both “Lego Club” and “Lego Lovers” require participants to register in advance due to the overwhelming popularity of the programs. For five and six-year-olds contact Chrisy Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-946-7257. For children seven years and up contact Anie Hepher at email@example.com or call 250-423-4458.