Can you believe that LEGO has been around for nearly 80 years and LEGO Duplo was first launched almost 50 years ago! It’s no wonder that these colourful plastic bricks have earned the spot as one of the most popular children’s toys in the world. Between their versatile nature and uses as an educational tool, we can see why parents love LEGO (almost!) as much as kids do!
Parents love LEGO because it’s a toy that their kids love playing with and it helps boost their development in many key areas at the same time. Not only that, but LEGO is a great toy all the time. Your little one can fully engross himself in it during independent play or the whole family can gather around the table and build something together.
Here are just some of the developmental benefits kids can enjoy from playing with LEGO Duplo.
Get some kids together to play with LEGO Duplo, and you’ll quickly see how it facilitates social development. Besides teaching kids how to share and take turns, LEGO also promotes communication skills. When kids are building something together, they need to work together finding the pieces and following the instructions.
We often see that one kid has a more dominant personality than others and so are quick to take a leadership role in the group. Of course, this doesn’t mean that other kids will agree with all their decisions on how to build something. So playing with LEGO helps kids to learn how to communicate with their peers and (hopefully!) settle disputes without arguing or fighting.
Fine motor skills
Have you ever struggled to separate two pieces of LEGO while playing with your kids? We’ve all been there!
Even with the larger LEGO Duplo pieces, it takes a fair amount of hand-eye coordination and even strength to snap the pieces together and pull them back apart. When kids use these bricks, it helps develop their fine motor skills. These skills play a role in strengthening the muscles in their little hands and improving dexterity which is crucial when they are slightly older and first learning to write.
Early STEM Lessons
We’re always trying to think of new and creative ways to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lessons to our kids from a young age. Although the concepts are elementary with such young kids, it’s important for kids to be introduced to these ideas as early as possible.
Even before kids are using their LEGO bricks to build cool stuff, the bricks can be used to teach simple mathematical concepts. Ask your little one to find you bricks with different numbers of pips on them or create stacks of a certain number of blocks.
Beyond these simple ideas, LEGO helps kids learn to think in three dimensions. It’s pretty amazing to watch how quickly they figure out how structural stability works. Many kids will, at first, try to build a tower out of a single column of blocks only to see if fall over (and possibly break!). Then when they try again, they’ll make modifications to the base to make it sturdier and able to stand on its own.
When kids aren’t following the instruction booklet, that’s when we see their creativity shining. This can be the most fun part of play when you’re spending time with your little one because you’ll get some insight into how their little brains work.
Encourage your kiddo to use their imagination and try to build something that they dream up. Really the only limit is their imagination (and the number of blocks they have!). Once they’ve finished their first creation, ask them to explain to you about what it does and why they like it. Ramp up the creativity by making up a story together and building more things and characters that inhabit your child’s make-believe world.
Whether kids are following a set of build instructions or building something from their imagination, playing with LEGO requires constant problem-solving. You really see this when kids are playing together as a group but each child is building their own LEGO and there are fewer bricks available. When they realise they don’t have the exact bricks they need for their build, they have to think of another way that they can keep going to finish the item they are building. This forces them to think about what they have available and how they want their build to look ultimately.
Visit the LEGO Duplo site to learn about all the different sets that are available.
Parenting Science, Preschool Inspirations, Kiddiwinks, Outside The Brick