• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Using big blocks to build imaginations at the library


VERSAILLES SIBLINGS Luke, Benjamin and Alex Engel, pictured left to right, played with the big blue blocks now available for creative play at the Woodford County Library. Katie Engel said her three kids love building “anything, but who’s going to have this at their house?” (Photo by Bob Vlach)

EMILY INGALLS, 4, played with the big blue blocks at the Woodford County Library. The Friends of the Library partnered with More Than A Bakery to purchase a mixed set of medium- and large-size blue blocks for imaginative play. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Children visiting the Woodford County Library are again using their imaginations while getting to play with oversized blue blocks.

Kids get educational, developmental and many other benefits from playing with the blocks, said assistant youth services librarian Bookie Wilson. “Because when you’re … building with a group (of children),” she explained, “you’re learning to work together, you are problem-solving and your creative juices are flowing.”

An interactive “Science in Play2Go” exhibit featured similar big blue blocks of varying shapes during its three-month residency at the library, which ended last February.

“Everybody was so sad when the (Kentucky Science Center’s traveling exhibit) left us,” said Wilson. “People kept saying – really regularly, like every day – ‘could we get a set of the big blue blocks.’”

After failing to win a set of blue blocks for the library in several contests sponsored by manufacturer Imagination Playground, Wilson said the Friends of the Library partnered with More Than A Bakery to purchase a mixed set of medium- and large-size blue blocks for imaginative play.

“We found that kids of all ages enjoyed the blocks. We would have four-year-olds playing and building with (the blocks) and we’d have 14-year-olds, and a lot of times we’d have 44-year-olds that would join in and help their children engage in (using their creative imaginations),” Wilson said. Versailles mom Katie Engel said her three kids, Benjamin, Luke and Alex, love building “anything, but who’s going to have this at their house?” She said the large-size blocks allow her kids to actually get into the houses and forts that they’ve built.

“…when there’s a bunch of kiddos, they work together and create a massive fort,” said Katie Ingalls, while watching her four-year-old daughter, Emily, playing – and sometimes “creating her masterpieces” – with big blue blocks.

By being able to manipulate the blocks, Wilson said younger children gain an understanding of spatial relationships in the real world, while building whatever they can imagine.

The library’s set of blue blocks can be moved from the children’s activity room to anywhere in the library – and will also make a visit to the Midway Branch Library at some point in the future, Wilson said

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