Friday, April 2, 2010
How to set up a LEGO Club at home
As you may know, my son is a huge LEGO fan! So when he asked me if we could set up our own LEGO Club last year, I thought it was a great idea. Here's what we did:
I looked around on the Web to see if anyone else had set up a LEGO Club. I found some great tips on the LEGO.com Website about "Starting a LEGO Club in Your Community".
My son and I discussed setting up the LEGO Club with his school friends in our home:
- We could handle around 8 kids in our living room. Luckily, we had enough large and small LEGO blocks for 8 kids to use.
- We chose the day (Wednesdays after school for one hour) and how often (weekly) to have the LEGO Club.
- We thought it might be fun to have a weekly theme (like space, vehicles, or Santa's Workshop).
- We wanted to provide snacks, since the kids would be hungry right after school.
SETTING IT UP
- We made 6 invitations to give to my son's friends (6 friends + my own 2 kids = 8 kids total.)
- I ordered LEGO party supplies, including cups, napkins, and plates for the snacks (just for the first few meetings).
- I picked up a few LEGO Club magazines from our local LEGO store to hand out to our club members.
- I bought a few extra green LEGO base plates for building on, and an extra tub of small LEGO blocks (you can never have too many LEGO blocks).
- We decided which of our LEGO models (with instructions) could be shared and built easily within an hour
- My kids made a few posters to put up around the house, and I wrote up the list of rules for our LEGO Club (from the LEGO.com Website):
1. No taking LEGOs from others
2. Respect the creations of others
3. Put blocks away when done
4. HAVE FUN!
LEGO CLUB TODAY!
After confirming who was coming to LEGO Club, I made space in our living room, put out the buckets of LEGO blocks, put up our posters (and the rules), and set the snacks out on the kitchen table. My son also set out a display of his LEGO projects to show his friends. For snacks, I offered milk, juice, or water to drink, and crackers, fruit, and popcorn to eat. The popcorn was a very popular treat!
When everyone arrived at our home, we reviewed the LEGO Club rules, announced the theme of the day (and the contest, if we had one), then started building. The kids built for a while, then took a break for snacks, then went back to building. If we had a contest (like the tallest tower, or the fastest race car), we'd try to complete the contest before the parents came to pick up their kids. I took pictures of the kids' creations before we put away the blocks.
By the way, some kids were dropped off at LEGO Club by their parents, and some kids got rides with us in our van. Some days we had lots of kids, and some days we had just one or two. It was fun either way.
I changed up the snacks each week, and sometimes the parents helped provide snacks, which was really nice!
When kids wanted to make models with instructions, we provided a few small models (like the Star Wars battle packs) that could be completed within an hour.
Last year, we ended LEGO Club when the school year ended, and took a break over summer vacation.
This year, we waited until after Christmas to start LEGO Club again. We decided to have a smaller group on Thursdays after school, so we invited just a few kids to join. We also created our own LEGO Club blog, so we could display and share our cool creations online.
Note: It was harder to schedule LEGO Club part-way through the year, because the kids were already busy with after-school clubs and sports. It's much easier to schedule a LEGO Club at the start of the school year.
My son loves having a LEGO Club, and his friends seem to really enjoy it, too. I love being a part of it, although it can be a lot of work running it on my own! A few parents have come out to play, but most of the time, it's just me and the kids.
Each week after LEGO Club, we post our cool LEGO creations online. We also try to announce our upcoming themes and activities. If you'd like to participate with our LEGO Club online, you're welcome to send us your cool LEGO creations, too!
If you'd like more information about our LEGO Club, email me or post your comment below.