How To Start A LEGO Club at School

That old saying, “work smarter, not harder,” isn’t in my vocabulary thanks to the influence of my hard-working parents. I tend to work hard, but I also like to think I work smart too. For example, this year, I started a LEGO Club at my elementary school. Now I know what you’re thinking, “How is that working smart?” I encourage you to come on a journey with me and I’ll tell you how.

Life Is Like A Box Of LEGO

I started considering hosting a LEGO Club at my school in the summer of 2021. I remember telling my school admin about my idea at the annual staff picnic. They lit up at the idea! But, you know, life…

As an Education Assistant, my job is extremely demanding. It is emotionally draining a lot of the time, thus the high burnout rate in the profession. Instead of quitting, I took a sabbatical. I was shocked I was granted the time, but honestly, it was either take a break or move on. Upon returning, it was beginning to click in my brain that by connecting my love for LEGO to my work in a big way, I could learn to love my job again as much as I did in the past.

Then, one of my co-workers approached me and said, “We need a LEGO Club. You are the person who should do it.” I am not sure if the look of excitement translated to my face, but I bet it did. I am one of those people who does not hide emotions well. My response was, “Yes, you are right! I have been wanting to do this for a year now. Let’s make it happen!”

The Bricks Fall Into Place

One thing I did to prepare in the summer was contact a friend, Robin Sather.He is a LEGO Certified Professional and runs Brickville Designworks. (Not only was he the first LCP, he was the judge on the LEGO Masters New Zealand series!) He has a vast wealth of knowledge when it comes to anything LEGO and has always been one of my go-to people when i need guidance.

I asked Robin what the best way to source LEGO is. Could I contact LEGO and they would magically donate to my school? Should I ask the school (which is already on a tight budget) to buy it? Do I seek donations from the community? I had no idea how to go about it, but I needed LEGO! And lots of it!

Robin graciously offered to donate a creator box of LEGO to my club and also suggested talking to Lili Krause who had started a LEGO Club as a parent at her son’s school years ago. Later when I picked up the LEGO, Robin surprised me two boxes of LEGO to help us get started. Thanks, Robin!

This is the 2 creator boxes robin donated. i sorted it into bags so i could check out the awesome goods!

Finally, the time came when I was ready to interview Lili about her LEGO Club experience. Lili was happy to take the time to do a Zoom call with me. I asked her what worked, what didn’t, how much time she spent planning, and much more. Lili turned out to be a great resource. She knew how to create a LEGO club from start to finish! Thanks, Lili!

Got Bricks?

With knowledge of how to create the club under my belt and a decent amount of LEGO, I was ready to go. Once I got the go-ahead for the club from the admin, I had to source a larger variety of bricks. Admin allowed me to put out a request in the school newsletter. This was pretty exciting and new territory for me! I sent in a cute little blurb with some pictures explaining who I was and my intentions. I even showed a picture of “Welcome to the Jungle” MOC.

This is the request i wrote for the school newsletter that goes out to families. minus places and names of course (expect mine)

To my excitement, one parent dropped off two substantial tubs of used LEGO with a mixture of parts from the 80s to newer parts. That turned out to be really lucky for the club because they were the only person who donated out of over 400 parents! A few others offered, but never came through.

these donated bins are the perfect shape for kids to dig into looking for parts

look at all that variety! this was a pretty nice donation from a school parent

Preparation and Cleaning

My previous article, How LEGO Connects Kids and Educators, explains how LEGO was already a big part of my life at work. But with LEGO Club, I have taken it to a whole new level this year, and it feels awesome! In fact, it’s squeaky clean! I needed some LEGO for the LEGO Club, obviously, so i had to go through a few big second-hand bult lots of parts.

I spent countless hours cleaning, inspecting, and sorting the newfound used LEGO. I removed all the free hair, band-aids, and broken and non-LEGO imposters that had invaded the bin. It is surprising how therapeutic this endeavor is. The process keeps me from thinking about anything else, which is good!

Sorting, Sorting, And More Sorting…

As you might expect, I started sorting all this new LEGO to see what we had available so I could create activities. For example, you can’t race cars if you don’t have any wheels!


the used lego donation had a nice selection of old windows and doors.

sorting, sorting, sorting. it was pretty exciting exploring the donation boxes!

A generous staff member also dropped off a 12-in-1 Creator set for the club to use. I work with some of the kindest and most caring people out there! It’s a reminder of why I do what I do. Everything is awesome when you’re part of a team! (Where have I heard that before?)

i was excited to receive this brand new 12-in-1 creator box from a staff member for the club

i am keeping these sets separate for kids who just want to build a set.

The Launch of LEGO Club

Then the day arrived. I was so excited the night before that I could not sleep! I went in to work half an hour early and lugged the five heavy tubs of LEGO into the school. I was ready for the LEGO Club!

my first mistake was on the first lego club day i did not bring all the lego. we had enough lego to go around, but i definitely should have brought it all considering we had a whopping 35 kids from just one grade!

I patiently waited for the students’ lunch period. As soon as the dismissal bell rang, I hurried from class into the library where LEGO Club was going to be held. I was shocked to see a carpet full of Grade 3’s already sitting patiently waiting to play with LEGO with more coming in the door! We hadn’t even started yet, but I considered this a success.

i found these free printouts online. they are popular with kids who can’t think of what to build or are new to lego

For the club, I had printed some idea cards and challenges in case kids were stuck for ideas. I also separated the LEGO into bricks, plates, random parts, and small parts (like 1×1’s) to make parts easy to find. I planned to have the kids come grab the parts they wanted, and then go sit at a table to build. Because there were so many kids, that was not an option due to the lack of time.

Luckily, I had borrowed trays from a teacher. So with the help of a few extra teachers that had trickled in to check out the awesomeness of the day, we were able to fill the trays and drop them at various tables. After that, when someone needed a part, they naturally came and checked the bins to grab what they needed.

i printed and laminated the cards so they will last longer

these challenge cards are for kids who are fluent in lego and want more of a challenge

I am happy to report that everyone was sharing, happy, excited, and working together with no issues. Seeing everyone happy, playing with bricks, and helping each other is a moment in time I will remember forever. (When I have a difficult work day in the future, I will mentally go back to this day to remind myself why I chose this career.)

for the first lego club, i had idea cards and challenges set out. i told the kids to build anything they wanted

if the kids choose to have their moc on display, i put them in the glass display cases around the school. this way the whole school can enjoy the builds. they are quite popular! the kids who create the builds are proud to show off their creativity. the displays change every 2 weeks

Reflecting Brick By Brick

You know that feeling you get the next day after an exciting event has ended? Like a LEGO Convention or Comic-Con? (Or if you are like me, then Halloween or a Guns N Roses concert?) Well, I am not the only one who felt the longing for more LEGO Club the next day. Numerous kids came up to me asking when the next LEGO Club was happening!

The questions weren’t just limited to kids either—staff asked too! I even had a parent stop me on the way to my car, asking when their child would get to attend. I answered each question excitedly, even though LEGO Club can only meet every two weeks, I wish we could do it even more. In reality, we could host this club daily, but it still wouldn’t be enough. Maybe in the future, we can host it more often so more students can participate.

i love the variety of creativity

Feelin’ Pretty Brickin’ Good!

I must admit, LEGO Club for me is a bit of a selfish endeavor. Once, during a staff collaboration meeting in the previous year, we were asked to write what we liked about our job and what we wanted to gain from it. For both, I put “fun”. We teach kids so many things, but having fun is one of the most important. Why? For the most part, fun equals happiness. When people are having fun, they are connecting, socializing, and happily enjoying life. If you are happy, then the hard things in life are easier to handle. I find being happy helps drive my motivation and productivity, too. And LEGO brings me happiness.

LEGO Club is some of the most fun (and most work) I have ever had in my career. And on top of it, the kids had fun. The day after club, I politely thanked everyone for helping to make LEGO Club a success. Every kid in the classroom cheered me on—I almost cried. What an incredible feeling!

I continuously have kids from various grades approach me, asking when the next LEGO Club is and when they get to attend. Houston, we have a problem… and a good one! We need more LEGO Club!

How to Start a LEGO Club at School

My MOC I used to help promote the club.

As an addendum, I wanted to provide some tips on how to start a LEGO Club at school. As always, this isn’t an exact plan, but you can adjust it as needed for your specific situation. Good luck!

Write out your plan in great detail. Don’t underestimate the time (and funds) it takes to get the club up and running.

Share the idea with your school admin. Get approval.

Get other staff on board. If you are an EA or Parent in Canada, you will need to partner with a Teacher (they are officially in charge).

Source your bricks. You can request funding from the school PAC or seek donations from parents/staff and the community.

Clean any used brick donations to make sure it is all usable and safe.

Gather build ideas to teach.

Make instructions, materials, print idea cards, and print challenge cards. Many of these resources can be found online.

Organize bricks into containers, and take inventory of what you have (so you know what kinds of activities you can do and so you know what you might need to buy in the future).

Find a location to host the club like the school library or an open classroom.

Find a place to store the LEGO. Bringing it back and forth is time-consuming and heavy!

Dividing your LEGO into equal bins can help with providing access, either splitting up students by groups or birthdates.

If possible, display the kids’ creations in a locked glass case around the school to make them feel proud and to promote the next club meeting!

Remember why you are doing this when it consumes your entire life for a few months (it is well worth it).

Have fun!

Do you work with children or in an educational setting? Would you consider starting a LEGO Club at your place of employment? Let us know in the comments below.

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