LEGOs for Toddlers
Much has changed in toys available for kids since I was young, but LEGOs are still around. The hugely popular, colourful building blocks are still around, liked by children for the fun opportunities, and by parents for their educational value.
I had an ulterior motive in introducing my sister's kids to Legos, I wanted to get them hooked early so I could then buy the amazing Star Wars and other themed kits as "presents" for them when they got older. Really I just wanted an excuse to buy the kits and play with them.
However I wasn't sure how early one should introduce kids to the building blocks. I could see various Duplo sets that claimed they were aimed at 2-year olds, or even 11/2 year olds, but was worried that this was too young, and that it might put off my 4 year old nephew and almost 2 year old niece from playing with the sets.
I shouldn't have worried. As an experiment I've recently gifted them some DUPLO sets, and both of them started building things with great enthusiasm, without any encouragement.
Which Lego Duplo to get?
The amazing variety of lego sets for toddlers and preschoolers is really confusing. You can spend ages just trying to pick one out. Personally I think a lot of this choice is pretty redundant.
The small themed sets, like My First Farm or My First Construction Site Don't really work on their own, in my opinion. They are cute, but they simply don't have enough building bricks to occupy a young kid for long, and to allow them to develop their own creations.
So if you are looking to buy a young child, even a two year old, their first lego set, I would go for one of the bigger boxes, with around 100 pieces. I don't think it really matters which one you pick, although the ones that come in a plastic container that can be used for storing of the Legos are obviously better.
The smaller themed sets, make a great addition, if you have a basic collection of building bricks. The extra figures that come with them, can be incorporated into the bigger designs, really allowing the kids to develop their imagination.
As you can see in the picture below in which animals from My First Zoo set were used in a bigger build.
Of course, if friends and relatives need ideas for gifts for your kids, you can suggest additional LEGO theme sets, which will add more deluxe bricks to their collection.
Children as Young as Two Appreciate LEGOs.
I wasn't very surprised by the fact that my 4 year old nephew enjoyed building with his LEGO bricks. I was rather impressed, however, by the fact that his 22 month old sister displayed equal enthusiasm, if not skill.
It seems that children under 2 years will already enjoy building things. Presumably the variety of colors is really attractive to them.
Even though I am not a huge enthusiast of the small sets, one type that might be of interest to very young children is the Read and Build series, which includes a book with illustrations, which can be built for the provided bricks.
Tony from At the Gemba on September 18, 2013:
My son was playing with Duplo from about 12 months, not very good at actually building but a real whizz at smashing down any towers that were built for him..
But he is now building his own towers to destroy and he is still not 2 yet.
Rita from Dhaka on July 02, 2013:
The picture is nice
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 30, 2013:
my son started to lay lego sets when he was almost 2.5 years old. My daughter was even earlier, age 2 years old. Anyway, the lego sets were not complete because they were donated by their cousins who grew tired of laying them.
DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on June 29, 2013:
My two youngest granddaughters love the Duplo bricks that I bought for their older cousin. From 15 months, they have been building tall towers, taller than themselves. They find it good fun just to build something tall. The animals get used a lot too. Their mothers and fathers had lego when young (though Duplo wasn't around then) and my eldest son went ballistic (as an adult) when his lego collection was given away to a child that didn't have any!
I agree that it is best to buy a big box of multi bricks and then use the small add-ons, if you want. Much better play value that way. Kids do not need a lot of themed sets - they use their imagination. My eldest granddaughter (7) was playing with the duplo today and the bricks became melons, strawberries and other fruits! She still prefers Duplo to Lego, even though she has a number of Lego sets.