25 March 2014

LEGO Education

So, I've been volunteering at my friends work a couple of times and was able to go out and help at a school last Friday.
I don't have any pictures of the day, so here are some pics
of the LEGO characters my boyfriend brings home from work.
They keep appearing on the bookshelf, I hadn't even
seen the cowboy one before!
He works at the LEGO Education studio in Rhyl, which is pretty much what it is called. They use LEGO to teach kids things like computer programming and basic engineering, lots of skills that are often (and definitely when I was at school) overlooked in schools. The group of kids we were catering to were reception age, so only four or five, so the activities were quite basic. It was still ridiculously fun though.
With the younger kids, it's more about promoting family play/learning through play. The company is a community oriented organisation though and love getting families involved.

First thing we did was try to make the tallest tower using only 20 LEGO bricks. Then, we shook the tables so that we could find the most sturdy tower. The parents had a lot of fun with the opening exercise as they all seemed pretty competitive.
 Next, the kids made animals using the bricks, and had to tell the class what they'd made, where it comes from and what it eats. We had a hell of a lot of giraffes.
After a quick break, we made pictures and the other tables had to guess what each group had made. We had one really funny table. It was two boys and they wanted to make Spiderman. Using limited red pieces. The parents managed it somehow and it looked amazing. I wish I was able to access the pictures, but the team are very busy at the minute. I'll pop some up when they become available though.

Might not be Spiderman,
but Donatello is still a comic
book hero!
(Boyfriends keyring)
Then we had a lunch break, after which the teams made balloon powered vehicles. This was a favourite with the dads. And then lastly, we did storytelling. Each table made a series of scenes using LEGO play sets (that had so many cool little pieces - animals, weapons, people, food) and told a story. This was my favourite part as kids stories can be so funny. One girls story was just a train of thought, followed by "and she lived happily ever after!" which was really cute.
My favourite was, "Once upon a time, there were three bad guys and they were chasing the lady. The lady was riding the horses with the jewels in the crate. She went to the castle and Harry Potter was there. They all had a big meal and then they went on holiday to the seaside."
The lifeguards at the beach had walkie-talkies. It was amazing, the mum's did most of the work while the kids were having a run around outside, but still.

It really put a smile on my face, the whole day. I can't wait to volunteer again.

If you have kids and there is a LEGO Education studio near you, I would strongly suggest giving it a go. They cater to older children as well, I think up to late secondary school (15 years) as there are a lot of technical LEGO kits to be made.
This is the website for the company that I volunteered with. [here] They run around from Anglesey to Wrexham, but there are places all over the country.

I hope this doesn't sound like a plug. It's not. It's just something that I did that I really enjoyed, and I know that a lot of kids would love to have a go.

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