Lego League forms in Alabaster

Published 7:49 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A young patron plays with Lego blocks at the Albert L. Scott Public Library June 19. (Reporter photo/Jessica Crihfield)

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

ALABASTER — At the Albert L. Scott Public Library June 19, eight children of all ages gathered together to form the Lego League and played with the colorful blocks — making landscapes, castles, cars and whatever else they wanted.

As part of the library’s summer reading program, children got to play with thousands of Lego blocks, overseen by library intern Sean DeArmond.

“This is some time where the kids can just come in and play with no structure,” he said. “It’s about the social interaction. They get to use their creativity.”

In fact, DeArmond said, he simply allows the children to build whatever they want.

“I just make sure it doesn’t get out of hand,” he said, laughing. “I have to clean up afterwards.”

DeArmond said the children learn how to work together through playing together.

“Everybody corroborates,” he said. “There’s no ‘give me that’ or grabbing toys.”

Carol Chapin, the mother of Anna, 9, and Caleb, 10, said she believes playing with Lego blocks with other children is good for Anna and Caleb’s development — especially Caleb, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism.

Chapin said playing with the blocks helps Caleb develop his motor and social skills.

“They love Legos,” Chapin said. “It helps with (Caleb’s) hand issues and socialization. This gives him more chances to play together (with other kids.)”

Chapin said her children, who attend Alabaster’s Evangel Classical Christian School, enjoy activities such as Lego League, but she also wants them to be close to the library so they can focus on reading, too.

“If they’re having fun when they come here, it makes them want to read more,” she said.

DeArmond, who attends the University of Alabama, said the library offers lots of opportunities for summer fun for children through the summer reading program.

“It’s a wonderful place to come for free,” he said. “It’s just been a wonderful experience for me.”

The summer reading program runs through July 18. For more information, call 664-6822.