LEGO Club offered second Tuesday of each month

On Jan. 8 history was made at the West Linn Public Library. Exuberant children from all over town flocked to the library to experience the eagerly awaited event of the season. For weeks they were marking off the days on their calendars — counting down until the first ever meeting of the West Linn Public Library’s LEGO Club. The blocks arrived, the signs were made, the library staff was prepared, parents were informed and the kids bounced out of their SUBMITTED - Playing with LEGOs encourages creative problem solving and critical thinking, both important skills for building literacy.

LEGO clubs have been a popular trend in public libraries for a few years now and the library is really happy to introduce our own such club, which will take place on the second Tuesday of each month. All children older than the age of 4 are welcome.

As those of you with young children know, LEGO bricks have experienced a resurgence in popularity over the last 10 years due in part to partnerships with popular media franchises such as Batman and Harry Potter. The brand has also expanded into multimedia endeavors, including video games, television shows and printed books. Kids just can’t seem to get enough LEGO.

It has been especially fun, as a children’s librarian, to see the popularity of LEGO books skyrocket over the last few years. Children want to read books about subjects and characters that interest them. It is magical to see reluctant readers hoot with glee upon finding the new LEGO Ninjago graphic novel on the library shelf.

The bricks themselves can also be a powerful tool in building literacy skills in young children. Playing with LEGOs requires creative problem solving and critical thinking, both important skills for building literacy. Dr. Nicola Pitchford, lecturer of developmental psychology at Nottingham University said, “Pretend play also helps children develop storytelling skills, supporting their development of imagination and grammar, both of which are necessary for understanding and creating literature.”

LEGO founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen seemed to have the importance of play in mind when he named his fledgling company in 1932. LEGO is an abbreviation of two Danish words, “leg godt,” which translates to “play well” in English. Kristiansen, a carpenter by trade, began by manufacturing stepladders, ironing boards, stools and wooden toys. LEGO first began producing their Automatic Binding Bricks, the precursor to the plastic blocks the company is famous for today, in the late 1940s. In 1939, LEGO employed only 10 people — a number that has grown to more than 10,000 employees today.

The library is accepting donations of new and used LEGO bricks to add to our collection for use during LEGO club. This is going to be a popular program and we want be able to include all children wanting to join in the fun.

For more information, call the library at 503-656-7853 or visit

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