SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — A spaceship, a bridge and a house. What do they have in common? These just some of the Lego pieces that children have designed during the South Orange Public Library’s Lego Club sessions.
The club originated in response to community requests for a Lego club, and the library developed this program, which meets twice a month on Mondays. This year the program is open to children ages 5 and up and runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“The club has been a big success,” Halliday said. “I only wish more girls would get involved. Calling all girls!”
There is a theme for each meeting, but children do not have to stick to it and are free to be as creative as they want. “We want it to be fun,” Halliday said. “The kids do name their pieces and come up with some fabulous names.” Some of the themes have been “Aliens in Outer Space,” “Transportation” and “Buildings in South Orange.”
Different pieces are displayed in one of the library’s hallways, and the kids are really proud to show off their creations. “Right now there is one on display that is pretty amazing – ‘Death of the Dragon,’” Halliday said.
“We were able to have the club because of donated Lego pieces,” Halliday said. “Those donations from local families made it possible for the club to happen.” Halliday said that even some families who moved out of town have mailed Lego pieces across the country to the South Orange Public Library.
In the Children’s Room, there are three or four tables set up that kids can build their creations on. There are many bins teeming with brightly colored Lego pieces of all shapes and sizes, and usually 10 to 12 children attend the event, eager to imagine and create.
“I think they tell their friends, and those friends tell others,” said Froozan Makhdoom, who supervises Lego Club.
Juliet Wodruff, a library volunteer, said: “But with Lego Club, what’s really cool is that Legos have been around forever. Our parents have played this game, and it never goes out of style.”
Makhdoom said the club provides an alternative to solitary activities.
“Especially nowadays, kids are always playing videogames, and to have them play Legos, something that’s so interactive, makes Lego Club special,” Makhdoom said. “It’s great for kids to come in to socialize with other kids and get out of the house.”
All the programs that the South Orange Public Library offers can be found online at http://www.youseemore.com/southorange.