WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- LEGO Systems, Inc., makers of the world's leading construction toys, today announced in conjunction with the first-ever White House Maker Faire, a Junior Maker program to maximize opportunities for young children to play, make and share. Firmly rooted in the company's 82 year mission of developing the builders of tomorrow and supported by ongoing academic research, namely the Cultures of Creativity report, issued by the LEGO Foundation, the program celebrates the company's recognition that across cultures, children are born with a natural urge to be playful, to take risks and create their worlds. In addition to providing free activities and information directly to parents, the company and its long standing partner the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) will collaborate to provide age-appropriate make experiences to children as young as four years of age.
"Creativity is innate in children across cultures and backgrounds. However, sustaining creativity is universally challenging for parents, teachers and governmental institutions," said Bo Stjerne Thomsen, director of research and learning, The LEGO Foundation and co-author Cultures of Creativity. "We are failing our children if we do not recognize the crucial role of playing, making and sharing in the development of both the individual human being, and the innovative society."
For more information on the White House Maker Faire and the National Day of Making, visit www.whitehouse.gov/makerfaire and follow #NationofMakers on Twitter.
Junior Makers Will Lead the Way
Children are society's role models for possessing a creative mindset: an attitude that is characterized by curiosity and a desire to play. Parents, educators and communities can encourage this creative mindset by providing stimulating environments to promote playfulness and tools so children can tinker, experiment and play. Making is both a physical experience and awareness that the world is constantly being built and rebuilt. Makers are those that choose to take an active role in that building and rebuilding.1
Junior Maker Spaces Pop-Up Across Country in Libraries' Children's Departments
"Children's librarians are always spearheading programs and activities that foster young children's development and as enthusiasm swells for libraries as community maker spaces, it is important that our community consider appropriate hands-on experiences for young children," said Starr Latronica, president Association of Library Service for Children. "We're thrilled that through our ongoing LEGO partnership we're able to provide digital and physical tools and inspiration that will allow librarians to deliver age-appropriate 'make' experiences to children."
Beginning July 2014 any children's librarian can download a free, digital toolkit with information and inspiration to host Junior Maker Sessions via the ALSC resources website. 750+ libraries nationwide (15 per state capital) will receive a physical toolkit to host ongoing Junior Maker sessions in children's reading areas.
Each toolkit will include over 10 thousand LEGO® bricks, an inspirational poster, activity guide and salient academic insights from the Cultures of Creativity report. Additionally, the company will co-host Junior Make sessions, as recently held at the Washington DC, Mini Maker Faire, in 20 libraries.
Junior Maker Sessions in the Playroom
Building or construction play benefits young children on multiple dimensions, nurturing cognitive and motor skills along with developing social, emotional and imaginative skills. Beginning in July, parents can find free downloadable activities and play tips at LEGO.com/Juniors. Additional insights and inspiration will be made available to millions of families in an issue of the LEGO Club Jr. magazine. What is making – watch DC Mini Maker Faire. Visit www.YouTube.com/LEGO for more play inspiration.
Cultures of Creativity Report
Available for download at www.LEGOFoundation.com the Cultures of Creativity report explores how creativity is nurtured across cultures, at a time where creativity is one of the most sought-after skills for innovative societies. Co-authored by David Gauntlett and Bo Stjerne Thomsen, the report synthesizes 18 essays contributed by leading global academics describing the role of play and creativity and cultures.
A Positive First-Time Building Experience Primes Creative Mindset
Recognizing the critical role of construction to children's development and minimizing frustration with a first hands-on building experience, the company introduced LEGO JUNIORS in March 2014. Designed specifically for children four to six years of age, LEGO JUNIORS delivers fun, age-appropriate building sets with easy-to-follow building instructions, colorful photos and playful guidance to help to ensure a smooth transition to independent building. Quick start elements and modular bricks, such as walls and archways, facilitate easy builds—giving children out-of-the-box success. Storytelling and creative play is inspired by a variety of iconic themes from police to princess to super heroes.
About LEGO Systems, Inc.
LEGO Systems, Inc. is the North American division of The LEGO Group, a privately-held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark, one of the world's leading manufacturers of creatively educational play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough." Visit the virtual LEGO world at www.LEGO.com
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and brick and knob configuration are trademarks of The LEGO Group. ©2014 The LEGO Group.
About LEGO Foundation
The LEGO Foundation shares the mission of the LEGO Group: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The Foundation is dedicated to build a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play. Visit at www.LEGOFoundation.com
Liz Sloan for LEGO Systems
firstname.lastname@example.org / (206) 909-4472
1 David Gauntlett and Bo Stjerne Thomsen, "Cultures of Creativity: Nurturing Creative Mindsets Across Cultures," 2013, LEGO Foundation.
SOURCE LEGO Systems, Inc.