What do LEGO® bricks have to do with Bullying? Lots!
On February 7, Family Day weekend in BC, seven members of the StrategicPlay North American team facilitated an event attended by over 100 people. The participants included VIPs from the Anti Bullying movement and community members, aged 3 to over 80. Everybody was interested in learning more about bullying and how to stop it.
In typical Vancouver style the weather was wet and rainy. So kids of every size and age were eager to spend an afternoon with family and friends, building with LEGO. We were delighted to see how well the process worked with such a mixed and diverse group of participants.
This was the first event of this type. The organizers did a fantastic job of promoting it and sold tickets through an open registration to the community. They asked people to formulate teams of four to build together. We really didn’t know who might show up. We watched in anticipation as more and more teams joined, and finally the event hit “sold out.” People came from all areas, families formed teams, and friends came together to build. Coworkers also formed teams, and so did school groups.
We purposely kept the fee low to avoid barriers to entry. The $10.00 investment included four hours of LEGO SERIOUS FUN and a light snack, refreshments, great door prizes from the organizers, and a surprise LEGO® Key Chain, which we saved until the big close.
In developing the agenda we used a positive psychology approach. Research indicates that most people have, at some point, been victims of bullying. Knowing this, we recognized that we needed to approach the topic with care and concern to avoid triggering any negative emotions. Using an appreciative inquiry approach we were able to address the topic by empowering participants to talk freely about the behaviours they find supportive. To be on the safe side we also had therapists available for support. Luckily, no one needed them.
The tables were designed for 4 family members or a team of 4. Each team was accompanied by one table leader who was prepared before the event regarding the etiquette of LSP and also the way we would mange the LEGO bricks.
Note: In the registration we asked that children be over six years old to attend, however, we had about 4 under age slip into the venue with no issues. Parents of children under six years old were reminded to monitor their children closely (due to small LEGO bricks everywhere), and we provided Duplo to keep them included.
To find our more please contact us: www.strategicplay.ca
Special thanks goes to the StrategicPlay® North American team who gave of their time and talents:
Stephen Walling, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ahmed Rahim, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Catherine Holt, Victoria, BC, Canada
Jodie Petruzzellis, Whistler, BC, Canada
Kathleen Allison, White Rock
and Jacqueline Lloyd Smith, Whistler, BC, Canada