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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
LEGOs are more than just building blocks for hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) activities. Although the tiny plastic parts are sure to injure a bare foot if they’re stepped on, LEGOs are also guaranteed to ignite one’s creativity and ingenuity. At the Walpole Library’s LEGO Story Time, the Children’s Library read a story aloud to go with the Summer Reading Program’s theme of “Build a Better World,” then gave children ample free time to play with LEGOs as they pleased. August 17’s morning program, intended for ages three and up, provided children with the space, materials, and inspiration they needed to create, construct, and imagine.About 20 children flocked to the library’s Program Room to enjoy a story and participate in the LEGO free play. Some parents and grandparents helped the children construct their creations, while other parents chatted or roamed the library in search for their own books. With help from their parents, the younger children used larger blocks rather than the minuscule plastic bricks. One family built a small slide, while another young girl build a small enclosure for her doll.
The older children, many of them already in elementary school, built more complex creations. Using a variety of LEGO parts, one girl built a car for her LEGO passenger, a man with mechanical arms. Another girl invented her own flying machine, which could take its passengers anywhere around the globe. Inspired by the LEGO horses, one participant built a horse farm and barn for the little LEGO farmer she found. The girl’s imagination kept her inventing and building new additions to her equestrian scene, including the farmer’s pet scorpion, his cotton candy snack, a car, and a grazing area for the horses.The children bounced ideas off of each other as they showed off their creations and began planning for more. As they interacted with one another, the energy in the room seemed to become even more positive, yet casual. Even without much structure or guidance from the librarians or their guardians, the young creators unleashed their STEAM capabilities and enjoyed the program in the company of their peers.