After my most recent visit to Toy Fair previewing the latest and greatest toys, I came home with a large spiral bound book of all the new LEGO toys for the year. I’d love it if LEGO would do a research study to find out of the love and enthusiasm with these iconic construction bricks is somehow just built into people’s DNA, because my 2-year-old sits with the press guide and looks at the pictures like he’s studying for a test.
Just due to my experience as an OT, I’m always drawn towards toys that encourage fine motor control and coordination, so when I saw the new LEGO Duplo Set, which is also a shape sorter toy, I was thrilled. However, what’s really unique about this toy for kids ages 1 1/2 to 5, is that what are also the shape sorter plates, are removable templates that teach kids how to sort by color, sort by shape and begin to build simple animals from a step-by-step picture. I’m certainly creative, but when it comes to LEGO’s, I live and die by the directions. I’ve never been a drawer by any means, and I just am not skilled at free drawing and free building. Neither are some children, and that’s okay, we certainly all have strengths and weaknesses that make us unique individuals.
This set is great to grow with children as they develop in their thinking and problem solving skills. Small children can have the experience of stacking the blocks on top of one another, while toddlers and preschoolers who are ready for more of a challenge, but are looking for a recognizable end product or the structure of an activity that has a beginning, middle and an end, this is a great toy for that.
In terms of storage, all of the 23 pieces are stored inside the green bucket and all 3 templates stack on top of themselves and fit on the top of the box. If you are using the templates, they are definitely best used on a hard, flat surface like a floor or a tabletop. Different than a traditional puzzle, the pieces will fit into the template on their sides which took my son a little getting used to. With a SRP of $19.99, it’s a great price point for birthday party and holiday gifts.
Do any of you have budding LEGO lovers at a young age at home to? For those of you with older children, when did their love for LEGO’s begin?
LEGO provided this toy free to facilitate this review. The opinions are my own.