Summit County Library offers loads of fun and creativity with monthly Lego Club
Sessions open to all ages
March 3, 2017
Libraries are known for sharing information and inspiring imagination. They do that through books, films and Legos.
Yes. More and more libraries, including Summit County's Kimball Junction Branch, are finding the benefit of hosting free all-ages Lego Clubs.
The Summit County Library's Lego Club is from 3:30-5 p.m. every first Tuesday of the month in the room located by the DMV, said Kirsten Nilsson, youth services librarian.
"Our next will be March 7," said Nilsson, who is known by the moniker Ms. Nilsson. "Kids of all ages can stop for a few minutes or stay for the whole time to create and build things with Legos and the bigger Duplos."
Usually 20 people, including adults and kids, attend the sessions.
"I'm here, too, just there hanging out and playing with everybody," Nilsson said. "What's also fun is the parents are on the floor as well, especially with the younger kids. Also, while the kids may or may not play with each other, they are all hanging out together."
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Nilsson said she has a "ton of Legos and Duplos."
"Most of them are from my kids," she said. "I have three boys who loved Legos and I kept them because I didn't want to throw them away. I feel like it really helped my kids become more creative thinkers and problem solvers."
Some of the Legos were donated.
"A bunch came from my husband's best friend in high school who graduated from the [Art Center College of Design] in Pasadena and his senior project was made entirely out of Legos," Nilsson said.
The Summit County Library's Lego collection is a mish-mash of kits and generic pieces.
"When my kids were little — my youngest is 18 and my oldest is 25 — they didn't have the elaborate themed kits that are offered now," Nilsson said. "Even though my kids liked the kits when they came out, they liked to do their own thing. We just kept a pile and all the ones that were in kits fell into the pile."
Children can find SpongeBob SquarePants and Harry Potter Legos somewhere in the Summit County collection.
The monthly Lego Club has attracted some regulars, including the Cundick and Altschuler families.
Tenille Cundick and her children Clark, 8, Cannon, 7, Anna, 4, and Grady, 16 months never miss a session.
"Even though we have a whole loft dedicated to Legos, we still come every month," Tenille said with a laugh.
Clark and Cannon have their own reasons why they enjoy the club.
"I like the way the Legos fit together and we just kind of experiment," Clark said. "When we play with them for a long time, they kind of actually come alive."
"I like how you can create almost anything," Cannon said.
Sarah Altschuler — the mother of Bean, 4, and Alice, 2 — said her children are attracted to Legos and Duplos because the kids can do whatever they want.
"The kids can be creative," she said. "They can build as simple or complex as they want. And that lets them have control over what they are playing with, rather than being structured."
Her son Bean recently became interested in what she calls "big-guy" Legos.
"He has gotten more complex in what he likes to build," she said.
One of Bean's favorite items to create is an ice cream truck.
"He builds one at least once a week and talks about the kind of ice cream it sells," Altschuler said. "The real ice cream truck never comes to our house, so I don't know where he learned it from — maybe from a book."
Nilsson is happy how the Lego Club has developed. She also said she has some plans for its future.
"I thought about doing this for a while and we toyed with the idea of doing this every week," she said. "We think we may do that this summer, and it will fit with our summer reading theme that is 'Build a Better World.'"
A free open Lego Club session will be from 3:30-5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at the Summit County Library Kimball Junction Branch, 1885 W. Ute Blvd. For information, visit http://www.thesummitcountylibrary.org.
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