Building Lessons: Lego Camp at Spencer-Penn Disguises Learning as Fun | Lifestyles
Legos teach children to build, of course, but they should also teach imagination, acceptance and communication.
These are among the highlights of the two-day Lego camp held last week at the Spencer-Penn Center.
The first day’s theme was ‘Under the Sea’, and on the second day the children built space and solar system scenes and after snack time they were given the task of building a rocket .
“We’re getting a little science lesson,” said instructor Susan Haskins. “Which is the biggest planet, which is closest to the sun, that sort of thing.
“We only have one theme. They can go wherever they want. »
The children worked in groups of four to six. After completing their scenes, each group gave a presentation on their creation.
“He’s working on those conversation skills,” Haskins said. “Everyone in the band has to share something,” even if it’s just to say, “that’s my rocket ship.
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“If that’s all they’re going to say, that’s fine,” she said. “It’s huge to be able to communicate, so we’re working on that communication skill.”
Haskins said an important part of the Lego classroom is for the other kids to accept whatever someone else says a Lego is supposed to represent. For example, she says, if someone says a rectangular Lego is a highway or a circular green Lego is a helicopter landing pad, other kids should see those blocks as those things.
“Whatever you say is what it is and we have to accept it for that,” she said. “We had kids who were brilliant, but when you give them a Lego and say, ‘It’s a highway,’ they look at you like, ‘It’s not a highway; it’s a Lego.
“They can’t get past that literal sense of what it is,” Haskins said. “So it takes them beyond that literal meaning, which I think is really cool…and a great way to get them out of their comfort zone.”
She said the most important thing she wants the children to take away from this program is “communication, cooperation and team spirit”.
Her son Hunter Haskins and Kylie Minter helped out as volunteers with the class.
“We are having a good time. We appreciated that,” Haskins said.
The class started with a cap of 10 children, but was so popular that, Haskins said, it ended up with 31 students in total. This led to the addition of another Lego class in July.
Haskins said that due to the program’s popularity, the Spencer-Penn Center purchased an additional 12 books of Legos. She added that the goal is for each child to have their own box of Legos and their own starting construction plate on which to build scenes.
“It’s a process,” she said. “With anything, you have to build it…the encouragement for me this year was that we had such great turnout and interest in this particular class. It took away the motivation of being able to command these things and knowing that we could use them.
Next week, the center will organize a sports camp but the class is already full. Other programs they will be hosting this summer include: Udderly Delicious, Let’s Stay Warm, What’s on Your Wall, SPCA Pet Ownership, SPC Rocks and More, Squishy World, Candy-Making and Rocket Camp.