I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
I am fortunate enough to work in the children's room of an urban library, and most weekdays we have afternoon programs for the local kids to participate in when they get out of school. Many of the children who live near the library come to the library immediately after school and stay until dinner time, because they have nothing else to do and, often, nowhere else to go. We try to provide fun programs for them, because it's much better for these kids to have a safe place that they enjoy going to than it is for them to be running around on the streets.
One of the programs that the kids, especially the boys, love is Lego Club. We hold this every Monday from 5-6pm for kids ages 5-12, and the kids are able to drop in and play with Legos. We then display their creations behind the children's circulation desk for the remainder of the week, and the kids love showing them off to their friends and their parents. We have a theme each week, but the kids are allowed to make other stuff if they would rather do that instead. Today, our youth services manager (aka children's librarian), who is my boss, was unable to be around for Lego Club, and instead of cancelling it, she allowed me to run it. I was SO excited! Read on to see more about my pirates themed Lego Club.
These are the books that I chose to go along with our program. As you can see, I selected The Pirate's Guide to First Grade by James Preller, How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, and Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne. . I tried to pick books that would appeal to as many of the kids who come to Lego Club as possible. While the program is targeted for children ages 5-12, we rarely get kids older than 10, which is why I didn't choose anything more difficult than Magic Tree House. I did make sure to select a pirate book with a female protagonist, because, even though most Lego Clubbers are boys, we do get some girls. The books are mainly just for the kids to refer to for inspiration as they build. While they are certainly encouraged to read them if they feel like it (and today, some did!), most of the kids are FAR more interested in playing with the Legos, and since time is limited, story time is not a part of the club - we have plenty of other story hours for the children who are interested in that. Today, I did have a little girl ask to bring home Pirate Princess, and of course, I handed it over to her as she was leaving.
And above are the kids' creations! I have blurred out the kids' names to protect their privacy, but as you can see, they were very imaginative. Most of them chose to stick with the pirate theme and I think they had a lot of fun with it - some of them made as many as 5 or 6 creations! These are now displayed behind the children's circulation desk for them to show off as desired for the rest of the week. I think I had just as much fun as they did - you're never too old to play with Legos! :)