Block party: Kensington mom builds after-school program, events biz out of Lego obsession • Brooklyn Paper

Block party: Kensington mom builds after-school program, events biz out of Lego obsession

Building the economy: Eleanor Rodgers, center, played with kids during one of her after-school Lego events.
Photo by Colin Mixson

She’s building a business brick by brick!

A Kensington mom created an after-school program and events operation on the back of her super-massive Lego collection — which is so large it defies calculation, she said.

“One of my kids once asked how many Legos I have, so we did some multiplying, and gave up after we hit 10,000,” said Eleanor Rodgers. “I’ve gotten a lot more Legos since then.”

Rodgers took her entrepreneurial turn after failing to find an appropriate after-school program for her Lego-obsessed son in 2015, when, much to her surprise, she discovered the fabled mom-clave of nearby Park Slope did not boast any kids clubs centered around the world’s most popular toy.

“I figured they’ve got everything under the sun in Park Slope, they must have a Lego club” said Rodgers. ”But I couldn’t find one.”

So, like any super mom, Rodgers built one herself, creating an after-school program that same year at PS 130, which gives kids in kindergarten through fifth grade a chance to play with Legos four days a week — and take their creations home, she said.

“Other Lego after-school programs don’t do this,” Rodgers said. “It’s one thing I objected to about them.”

Rodgers’s program — which costs $24 a session — includes film classes, during which youngsters build Lego sets and use iPads to record and edit stop-motion footage they then stitch together to make short films, such as the whirlwind adventure “Pirate Treasure,” which clocks in at an epic four-minutes and 16-seconds.

The mom used her after-school program as a building block to grow her Lego-themed event business, which now also includes birthday parties, and camps during many school holidays, including the upcoming February mid-winter break, when she will host a four-day brick-building bonanza from Feb. 19 to 22 at Greenwood Avenue’s Holy Apostles Episcopal Church between Prospect Avenue and E. Seventh Street.

Rogers’s Lego camps all revolve around themes — such as ninjas, medieval castles, and even food — that encourage kids to collaborate to create bigger and better creations, she said. But tykes who attend the camps — which cost around $60 for a half day and $125 for a full day — don’t get to take home their masterpieces.

The mom-trepreneur initially promoted her programs as fun ways to keep kids busy, she said. But after watching long-time attendees significantly improve their construction skills, as well as their abilities to socialize and collaborate, she now advertises the sessions as providing far more than a good time.

“At first I was really careful to say this is not educational, but I’ve stopped saying that,” she said. “The kids who’ve been in my program a year or two, you can tell them from the other kids.”

Sign your kid up for Lego camp at Holy Apostles Episcopal Church (612 Greenwood Ave. between Prospect Avenue and E. Seventh Street in Kensington, www.kensingtonlegoclass.wordpress.com). Feb. 19–22, $60 for half-day session, $125 for full-day session. E-mail eleanorlego@outlook.com to enroll.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Cheesy!: Dahlia munches on a Lego pizza she made at Lego Camp!
Photo by Colin Mixson

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