I’m not a huge fan of toys that contain a whole host of plastic parts but I will certainly make an exception when it comes to Lego Duplo. Little Bean got her first set about a year ago and she loves it. It holds her attention longer than most things and she can let her imagination run wild. I love it too! Far from being a one trick pony, Duplo is so versatile and filled with possibilities for open ended play. And, when she invites me, I love to get down on the floor with her and join in!
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There is much to be gained by your little one from playing with Duplo. Some of the benefits I’ve noticed are:
- Improving fine motor skills and hand eye coordination
- Developing skills like planning and problem solving
- Encouraging creativity and imagination
- Providing opportunities for working on language skills, for example positional words, and early maths concepts like shape, size, pattern and one to one correspondence.
We bagged a total bargain when we bought our first set of Duplo, the Number Train, in a charity shop and in its unopened box. Little Bean just loves trains and uses this set, combined with bricks and bits from other sets, to make some really impressive and creative trains. The wheel bases from this set are still the most used Duplo pieces we have! We don’t pay much attention to the numbers (yet) but all the different colours are certainly fun and filled with learning potential.
Ebay is also a great place to look for Duplo. We have picked up a couple of job lots of bricks and this is an easy and inexpensive way of bulking up your Duplo collection. You can also find sets that have been discontinued, we picked up a Native Americans set complete with teepees and a canoe! I also have my eye on a couple other sets which I think Little Bean will love.
Little Bean just loves working out in the garden with her Papa and I think this set would be a great way for her to play out some of what she has done, reinforcing what she is learning, and also for some good ole open-ended fun. It could also provide lots of opportunity to talk about how a plant grows, what a plant needs and even what bees get up to.
Duplo My First Caterpillar UK link
Little Bean is also big into bugs. She can happily sit for ages watching a woodlouse or a slug. So I’m sure she would be happy to see this friendly little caterpillar. This set also comes with easy to follow building cards, one of which converts the caterpillar into a butterfly! I like the idea of setting some bricks and a building card out on a tray, letting her independently follow the steps and giving her a chance to work on some of those logical thinking skills.
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