Brick Club

We all love to play! That’s the core concept behind the Brick-by-Brick® program. Young people collaborate together to build LEGO® models – making friends and developing skills all while having fun with their peers.

Supported by trained facilitators, the Brick-by-Brick® program offers children positive, meaningful social experiences in an understanding, playful and accepting environment. Brick Club (as it’s known to children) supports its members to collaborate, communicate, problem-solve and share fun experiences all through collaborative LEGO® play.

Brick-by-Brick® programs have been in existence in the UK and Europe for about 3 years. In 2022, The Miracle League of CT, along with program partners – Creative Development and Goodwin University, were invited to become the first trained facilitators in the United States for Brick Club programs. In late September of 2022, 3 representatives from our group traveled to Cambridge in the UK for the Level 2 Facilitator Training. We learned so much and are very excited to apply what we have learned to this exciting new offering.

Learning Through Play

The genius of Brick Club is that the participants are developing important social and life skills, all while engaged in meaningful play with – LEGO® Bricks. While working together to build a LEGO® kit, participants are working on:

  • Learning basic social skills
  • Learning how they can persist and accomplish a task through collaboration
  • Learning to work within defined roles
  • Learning to work as a team
  • Learning patience, taking turns
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Developing a sense of accomplishment through collaboration
  • And so much more…

That’s lots of important learning and skill development – all while having lots of fun!

Who is Brick Club For?

Simply put, Brick Club can be for everyone. but as we are just getting this brand-new program up and running, we will have some more stringent prerequisites in place than our usual Miracle League of CT programming. Our plan is to start small and then grow the opportunities to a wider range of ages and abilities (including neurotypical people) to participate. We may even have a DUPLO® session for younger builders.

For our first sessions we ask that participants meet the following criteria:

  • Be 8 – 21 years old for our first session on Saturday afternoons
  • Have a diagnosed intellectual, developmental, or physical disability
  • Have the ability to follow 2-3 step instructions
  • Have some interest in playing with LEGO® Bricks
  • Have the manual dexterity to manipulate (hold, place, connect) the small pieces of a LEGO® set
  • Be able to communicate verbally or with an AAC device or other communication method
  • Manage their own personal hygiene (bathroom needs)
  • Participate without parental support
  • Be able to remain attentive for a 60-minute session with short breaks (if needed)
  • Be able to control behavior in a way that it will not be harmful to others

What Happens at Brick Club?

At Brick Club we begin with an opportunity to get to know each other through LEGO® building.  This may be engaging in free play or more facilitated building in which members have defined roles and are guided through the process of changing roles, making decisions, and solving problems together.  As the group progresses, participants are encouraged to work toward more complex or free build projects while still in a collaborative model. Brick Club is different from other social groups, and research has proven that participants of Brick Club are able to learn skills without the anxiety often associated with other prescriptive social programs.  Participants are guided to make choices, problem solve, and work collaboratively in a natural meaningful activity they are familiar with and enjoy. Participants of Brick Club programs, which is based on LEGO® play theory, are better able to generalize this social learning in other activities.

Each session will have no more than 9 participants, there will be 2 sessions each Saturday afternoon during the 8-week program and also a weeknight session each week for some of our young adult builders. All LEGO® Bricks and Build Kits will be provided by and are the property of The Miracle League of CT. While projects can’t go home, we will be sure to send photos to families who would like to see the accomplishments.

As this is a brand-new program for us, we will be starting with small groups for our first 8-week run. We will start it all off with a Parents’ night so that you may learn more about the program and experience it firsthand on Saturday January 7, 2023, 7pm at Creative Development LLC, 110 Hopmeadow St. in the Weatogue section of Simsbury. Light snacks, beer and wine will be served. We will follow that up with a Free Build Day also at Creative Development with all of the registered LEGO® fans so that we may assign them to the time slot that we feel will work best for them.

Our Brick Club Facilitators

Mike Michaud – Executive Director of The Miracle League of CT. Mike has more than 10 years of experience working with children with all types of intellectual, developmental, and physical challenges. Certified Brick by Brick® Level 2 Facilitator – September 2022.

Deanne Anderson – Owner and Occupational Therapist at Creative Development, LLC. Deanne has many years of experience working with children with all types of challenges. Certified Brick by Brick® Level 2 Facilitator – September 2022.

Kathi Krivanec – Kathy is the Fieldwork Coordinator at Goodwin University for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. She is also an Occupational Therapy Practitioner. Certified Brick by Brick® Level 2 Facilitator – September 2022.

Support will also be provided by Goodwin University Occupational Therapy Assistant students who will fulfill their fieldwork requirements through our program.

 

For Parents’ Night Out – while it is recommended, it not necessary to attend in order to register your child for the program

 

Register your child or young adult for the upcoming session of the Miracle League of CT Brick Club

 

The goal of the Miracle League of CT is to remove all barriers that prevent children with special needs from participating in recreational, educational, and cultural activities.  If one of those barriers is a financial one, please email us at miracleleaguect@comcast.net to request a fee waiver for any of our programs.  We will do our best to accommodate your request which will be kept strictly confidential.