No one has to tell children what to do when presented with a heaping pile of Legos of all colors and sizes on the floor. They just get busy building.
It’s all part of the Building Blocks Club at the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library.
The club is every fourth Saturday at 2 p.m. in the children’s room. It is aimed at school-aged children but preschoolers were there also.
Plenty of parents chose to spend a rainy day in Lego Land on Saturday.
Bonnie Olsen of Killeen brought her grandson and two of his neighborhood friends. They’re veteran builders, having attended quite a few, she said.
“They make new friends and experience camaraderie, and learn to share,” Olsen said.
Other skills start to come into focus, also, “especially their coordination skills,” she said. “It encourages them to think.”
Olsen marveled at the creations the children construct, seemingly out of nowhere.
“Each child brings something to the table; it’s interesting to watch.”
Children’s librarian Amanda Hairston said the Building Blocks Club is a long-running program at the library, happening for about five years.
“It’s a well-attended event, especially on days like this when you can’t get outside to play,” she said.
Legos are almost the perfect toy.
“It has broad appeal. Legos are not boy toys or girl toys, or even a little kid toy,” Hairston said. “It can be a lifelong hobby.”
Some parents got down on their knees to work on Lego projects of their own, while others chose to watch, snapping photos on their phones.
“Grandma gets to rest,” Olsen said. “I just read books and enjoy some quiet time.”
The Building Blocks Club is a free-form environment, where imagination reigns.
The only rule is to share nicely.
Anthony Clas, of Killeen, brought his son Dominic, who is “3 going on 30,” to the activity. It is one of their favorites at the library where they have been coming for a year and a half.
“When I was deployed to Europe, my wife took him here regularly,” Clas said.
Clas, who was working on the Lego project with his son, said the activity encourages basic engineering skills in a structured play environment.
“It encourages their creativity,” he said. “I never know what he’s going to build but I know it’s going to be great.”
Dominic, who likes cars and motorcycles, even made a Lego motorcycle once. “It just came out of nowhere.”
Parents also reap some benefits.
“I get to spend quality time with my son,” Clas said.
He likes that it’s a mellow experience.
“It’s not a Chuck-E-Cheese,” Clas said. “It’s something simple to do with the family. It’s a low-cost experience with a big payoff.”
Many of the Legos were purchased with a community grant from Wal-Mart, and residents donated others.
“We always welcome donations of Legos, Bristle Blocks and Magna- Tiles,” Hairston said.
The next Building Blocks Club meeting will be Feb. 24.