Christi Johnson said her son loves to build and design, so she brought him Saturday to the Longview Public Library for the LEGOs at the Library event, a free event where children build and design LEGO projects.
“We come to the library all the time, but this is our first time to come to the LEGOs event,” Johnson said. “He loves playing with LEGOs at home, and this is a great way to socialize him with other kids. His creativity is amazing.”
The library hosts events 10 a.m to 12:30 p.m. on alternating Saturdays for LEGOs at the Library and the video game “Minecraft.” Both events are free and open to all ages. The “Minecraft” event requires a advance registration because of limited computer seating.
Johnson’s son, 11-year-old Khalil Johnson, said he wants to be an engineer when he grows up.
“I love building with LEGOs at home,” Khalil said. “Today it’s free build day, so I’m building a helicopter and a car. At home I’ve built a long tank, a robot and a sewer like on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Khalil said he also wants to try the library’s “Minecraft” event.
“I have that game at home on my Xbox,” Khalil said. “I’ve never played it on the computer, but I would like to learn how. I like to build a lot of things, and I can do that on ‘Minecraft.’ ”
“Minecraft” is a video game that lets players build designs with blocks of materials they have “mined” from the ground.
The organizer of the library’s Saturday children’s events said the Junior League of Longview donated iMac computers for the “Minecraft” classes.
“This is our second year of ‘Minecraft’ and our first year to host the LEGOs event,” said Kimberly Ball, the library’s technical and digital services supervisor. “We started in September, and we’ll go (with the Saturday events) until April.”
Ball said the response to both events has been positive.
“We usually have about 50 kids for the LEGOs event and about 30 for ‘Minecraft,’ ” Ball said. “We also have Duplos (large LEGOs) for the younger children.”
About 30 children and parents sat on the floor Saturday playing with the LEGOs in the library’s Moeschle room.
“My son wanted to come today, and we brought my dad with us,” Longview mom Martha Blalock said. “It’s just a good way to have some family fun before school starts back up Monday.”
Ball said she has wanted to start the events at the library for years and is excited they are both going well.
“I like that they learn while having fun and being creative,” Ball said. “With the LEGOs, it’s a great collaboration of kids being cooperative and working together.”
Sometimes the LEGOs activities have themes, such as building a city, and each event is preceded by a LEGOs book being read to the group. All of the children’s LEGOs designs are showcased in the library’s children’s department display case.
Ball said the program has been so successful she is in need of new or gently used LEGOs sets.
To register for the “Minecraft” event Saturday, call (903) 237-1345.