SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Park District, in conjunction with Bricks 4 Kidz, recently held its first-ever “Minecraft” camp for kids of all ages.
On June 22, kids worked together at the park district's Prairie Building to build key elements from the popular video game, “Minecraft,” out of Legos and similar building materials.
This is the first collaboration between the Sugar Grove Park District and Bricks 4 Kidz. Bricks 4 Kidz is dedicated to creating a learning environment for children, where they learn through play with Legos, according to the company website.
Wendy Eng-Chow, owner and director of Bricks 4 Kidz, said the franchise was founded Florida in 2008 by an architect whose kids loved Legos.
“At the time, the economy wasn’t the greatest, so she just used her architectural background to start these classes,” Eng-Chow said. “The Sugar Grove Park District approached me about a class because they knew we held classes in surrounding park districts, so we decided to give it a shot.”
Minecraft is one of the many camps Bricks 4 Kidz offers. According to Eng-Chow, the company also offers a Pokemon class, Angry Birds class and several other options to appeal to all kids. Although this was the first class offered at the Sugar Grove Park District, there are already hopes for more in the future.
“We’re not running a ton of classes at the Sugar Grove Park District right now, since it is new and we’re still trying to get a feel for it,” Eng-Chow said. “Fall classes for after-school [participants] will be coming, and we’re hoping for more summer camps. The summer camps are a bit more fun because they get to play with Legos.”
In addition to Legos, Bricks 4 Kidz enlists the use of TechnicBricks, so students can learn about how gears and axles work.
“It’s a lot of fun and the kids are able to learn without even realizing that they’re doing it,” Eng-Chow said, adding Lego play is the perfect precursor for any child interested in doing robotics.
Although Bricks 4 Kidz does not offer the computing aspect of robotics, kids can learn integral thinking and planning skills that are common to robotics, she said.
Eight students showed up for the first “Minecraft” class, and Eng-Chow said that the feedback so far has been really good.
“The children are having fun and it’s a really great camp for them to do, especially if they like Legos,” she said.