It’s no secret that kids love building with Legos. But the fun can also be educational, as Lorton residents Jenny and Paul Ahn have recently discovered. The Ahns have been integrating the fun of Legos with educational concepts since starting a Bricks 4 Kidz franchise in the area in March.
The couple decided on Bricks 4 Kidz, a national franchise that teaches children to be curious and creative through building with Legos, because they knew that children love Legos, but that there’s more to it than just a fun time.
“All of our programs are kind of like disguised learning,” Paul said.
Paul and Jenny, 33, also have two young children, and wanted to pick something that would allow them to spend more time together as a family.
“We really fell in love with the program and saw that it had a lot to offer,” Jenny said.
BRICKS 4 KIDZ offers after-school programs, summer camps, birthday parties, family nights out, and more throughout the Fairfax and Springfield area. The programs are built around proprietary model plans created by engineers and architects.
This summer, camps will be available throughout the area, including at Burke Presbyterian Church.
“We’re very excited to work with them,” Paul said.
The camps will have several different themes, including theme parks, space, construction and stop-motion animation.
Bricks 4 Kids is more than just a Lego club, Paul says.
“There’s a curriculum behind it, there’s a lesson behind it,” he said. “Once it actually powers on and they see it working, it really reinforces the learning behind the play.”
Paul and Jenny even test out the programs with their 4-year-old son, who has learned the names to all of the parts, including the pulleys, levels and gears.
“A lot of these parts are things you are going to see in your every-day objects. For a 4-year-old child to know what these things do is great,” Paul said.
The Ahn house is Lego-central, Jenny says, but their son loves it.
In a time full with budget cuts in the schools, the couple says that Fairfax County parents are constantly seeking out additional educational enrichment opportunities for their children.
“This is more active learning, as opposed to a classroom setting. They get to use their hands when they are building,” Jenny said.
In addition to learning about STEM components, students who participate in Bricks 4 Kidz also learn important social skills.
“They work together and learn team-building. There’s a lot of great things about building, learning and playing with Legos,” Jenny said. “It’s also a confidence builder-after they turn it on, it’s great for them to see what they built.”
EVEN PARENTS join in on the fun and learning during family fun nights and birthday parties.
“Paul doesn’t let the parents just sit back-he makes them get involved with the fun,” Jenny said.
While events such as birthday parties and after-school programs can be brought to locations throughout the area, the couple is searching for a physical location in order to be able to run more summer camps. They are looking in Burke, and hope to secure a place by this summer.
“It’s a very family-oriented community,” Paul said. “I think we would have a lot to offer.”
Bricks 4 Kidz was recently awarded Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best of the Best Award. Summer camps, such as the one offered in Burke, can also help prevent what is known as the summer brain drain, which studies have found results from a lack of activity during summer months.
The summer camps are sure to be a fun and educational time, the couple says. Even though starting the franchise has had its difficult moments, they both enjoy teaching and working with children.
“The kids have definitely been the best part,” Paul said.
Birthday parties and events can be brought to locations throughout the area. For more information, visit www.bricks4kidz.com/virginia-fairfax-springfield/.