Building Stories with LEGO DUPLO: Community Members Reviews
Last month, we invited 15 Mum’s Lounge community members to review LEGO DUPLO with their children.
LEGO DUPLO presents children with limitless play options, and allows them to play & explore, build stories, create & share and make adventures.
Our first group of parents were asked to share their thoughts and experiences with LEGO DUPLO and how their child or children built stories with the bricks.
Reviewer: Tallara, Cranbourne, VIC
Currently I only have one child, with another expected in three weeks, and I found that the LEGO DUPLO we received was fantastic, it was designed especially for her age group, and had enough colour and interest to keep her attention.
The package we received contained groceries, a car, a dog, people and flowers, it meant we were able to do things like have the people go shopping and buy some cherries, or get the dog to have some food etc.
Initial thoughts about this product were great, the packaging was very eye catching, and my daughter couldn’t wait to open the box. I would ask her to hand me a ‘pink brick’ and she was quickly able to identify amongst the colours which one was pink, or I would ask her to count the blue bricks and she was able to do this with ease.
Through playing with this product, I found my daughter is a lot more advanced in learning than I first thought, I would go to hand her a ‘red brick’ and say things like “here is the blue brick” and she was quick to tell me that no that was actually red. The design of the bricks meant they are nice and easy for little hands and big hands alike to handle, and are easy to stack on top of each other, without having to force the bricks together.
All in all I think this product is GREAT, it appeals to children’s sense of awareness, and opens their mind as to what is possible. It made me realise as a parent, that children are not limited to what is in front of them, and will be able to adapt to any situation, if given the chance. Based on everything that I have observed, I would definitely (if the price was right) purchase future LEGO DUPLO products for my daughter, current baby and friends kids. It is a product that will not get old and cracked, and will most likely like its earlier models get passed from generation to generation.
As a parent in this day and age, I look for something that is worth the money, will last the distance, will not break easily (if ever), and appeals to a child’s senses. LEGO DUPLO is definitely a product that meets all these requirements, and I will have no issues in recommending this in the future if asked.
Reviewer: Jess, Mentone, VIC
LEGO has to be the greatest toy of all time. It caters to every level of childhood development. I love that they are playing with the same LEGO that my husband played with his whole childhood. It really lasts a lifetime. When this opportunity to test and review LEGO DUPLO came up I jumped at the chance to give my children a chance to play with a new and different set.
I have three boys. Hamish is four and currently attends four year old kinder. Last year he was diagnosed with autism. Toby and Cormac are 2 years old (28 months to be exact) and are fraternal twins. They are all very active boys and find it hard to stay still and play at one activity. LEGO DUPLO is one of the only activities they will play at for a decent amount of time. I think this is because you can play with LEGO DUPLO in so many different ways. You can sit still and build towers and buildings or you can build a plane and fly it around the room.
You should have seen the look on the childrens’ faces when the LEGO DUPLO arrived! They have been playing with the 1980s LEGO DUPLO (it mainly contains farm animals, the little square people, planes, boats and cars and, of course, hundreds of blocks). When they saw that this was a Jake the Pirate/Peter Pan themed set they couldn’t believe their eyes. Hamish asked if this was boys’ or girls’ LEGO DUPLO. I was so glad to reply that LEGO DUPLO is for everybody. It is entirely gender neutral.
I must admit that I felt very nostalgic opening up the package. It took me right back to the Christmas days of my childhood. This set even has exactly the same little red boat that I played with.
We mostly focused on building stories and making adventures; using famous screen favourites to play out stories and create new ones. They use role play and act out different scenarios to learn about the world around them, confront scary or difficult situations, develop social skills and consolidate other important “real-life” skills.
I found it very interesting to compare the way that a four year old plays with LEGO DUPLO compared to the two year olds. Hamish began to use the instructions and the picture on the box to guide his play. He wanted to make his LEGO DUPLO look like the pictures he saw. Once he had achieved this (or as much as he could with the little ones stealing some of the pieces) he began to use the character pieces to act out scenarios. For example, the pirate was tired so needed to be tucked into his bed. He would give a running commentary of everything that was happening. When I presented a scary situation (the crocodile was coming to eat the pirate), Hamish had to figure out a solution. He made the pirate walk across the bridge to a higher safe area. I played with the Peter Pan figurine and presented different scenarios to fuel his play. For example I said, “Quick Jake the Pirate! I think I hear the evil captain coming. What should we do?” Hamish would then respond, “We should climb up the tree and hide”. Then I would say “Great idea Jake”, and the play would continue.
Sharing the LEGO DUPLO with his younger brothers forced Hamish to deviate from his play based on the picture on the box. When the little boys stole the boat for their own game, Hamish had to find a different solution. He decided to build his own bed with bricks. The pirate would not balance which caused Hamish to become very frustrated. With a little adult assistance he was able to tuck the pirate into bed. I feel that activities such as this are great for teaching children to remain calm and to persist with their ideas.
When Toby and Cormac were presented with the LEGO DUPLO, they gravitated towards the figurines, the crocodile and other “toys” that were familiar to them such as the boat, the door, the treasure chest and vine. They explored these things with their hands and mouths. Toby chewed on the vine while pushing the boat around making tooting noises. Cormac was inseparable from the treasure chest. He spent ages discovering what would and would not fit inside the box. When he was able to close the lid he enjoyed shaking the box to see what sound the item inside would make. For example, a brick inside will make a noise when shaken but the blanket won’t. They both loved chasing each other with the crocodile saying “he’s getting you- snap snap” and they though it was hysterical to make the crocodile eat the bricks, blanket and vine. They also enjoyed opening and closing the door and saying “open- shut” and “in – out” and putting bricks through the door. Overall their play seemed more sensory in nature whereas Hamish seemed to use more role play.
Using the bricks, Hamish made houses, bridges and towers and used them in his role play with the pirate and Peter Pan. The younger boys were happy enough stacking the blocks on top of each other, then knocking them down. They really enjoyed this cause and effect style of play.
During these LEGO DUPLO sessions the children had to share with each other. They had to negotiate by taking turns and swapping pieces. For example, Hamish would tell the twins that, if they gave him the treasure chest, he would let them play with the crocodile that he had been playing with.
I could really see that this “pretend play” that the children used when playing with LEGO DUPLO was helping them to develop socially and cognitively. They were able to work through real life situations and consolidate the things that they have learned. The younger boys practised their fine motor skills and really enjoyed the sensory aspects of LEGO DUPLO. Hamish used his imagination and developed his problem solving skills.
Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of this LEGO DUPLO review.
Reviewer: Kelly, Corinda Beach, NSW
“Yo, ho, ho!” Jake calls out to his little green hooded companion Peter Pan. “Let’s use this treasure map to help us find lots of treasure!” squeals my four year old, holding onto the Peter Pan figure. “Right, let’s go! Jump in my boat. You can’t swim. There is a crocodile lurking in these parts!”
This week my four children, aged 7, 4, 2 and 1 have been swept away with many adventures using LEGO DUPLO. The set we explored was Jake and The Never land Pirates. Of all the various LEGO DUPLO themes available, none could have been more perfect for our household right now. Jake and his little pirate buddies are HOT stuff, according to my two boys. So popular in fact, that my two girls were also thrilled to play along.
Whilst some might think that play is just how children pass time, it is in fact the best platform for them to learn and explore their world. Play is the work of childhood.
LEGO DUPLO is genuinely one of the safest, versatile and creative toys on the market. Watching my children play with theirs over the last week, I have become far more aware of what my children are actually doing whilst playing. LEGO DUPLO is always such a popular choice for play in our home that often I will get it out for quiet play, and use that time to do ‘mummy jobs’. But this week I played along, and used the time to really focus on my children’s play. I discovered where their social strengths and weaknesses are, which child has an amazingly vivid imagination, the fact that one of my children seems so much more advanced in the way she is able to play and use her language skills and was able to describe how to build the various scenes depicted in the instructions. Whilst there were so many positive things happening in their play during this play, I also noticed the areas of development in play that were lacking. Although I already knew that my child with Autism struggled to read emotions of others and regulate his own emotions, I never realised the extent to which it affected playing with his own siblings. I watched my son become frustrated at trying to negotiate the play. It seemed like such hard work for him. At a later time when I allowed him to play on his own, I discovered that he was brilliant at creating with the bricks, and that his earlier difficulties were probably because he was so focused on wanting to play with LEGO DUPLO and act out the adventures from one of his favourite shows that he simply wasn’t able to interact with his siblings the way I thought he would.
Whilst my older children are quite excited at any opportunity to play ‘little LEGO’, I was really happy to see that they were both able to enjoy playing with the larger sized LEGO DUPLO despite their age. I think the larger size bricks and figurines enable them to design something much faster, and then their imaginations run wild with pretend play.
My two youngest children also had a fantastic time playing with LEGO DUPLO. My youngest is only 1, but she very much enjoyed making tick tock croc chase Jake and Peter Pan around trying to snap up their treasure!
I think it’s pretty safe to say that there will be a fair amount of LEGO DUPLO found under the Christmas tree this year!
Reviewer: PIP, Willaura, VIC
I was very excited to review LEGO DUPLO with my children as my children have not had much exposure to LEGO DUPLO before. We don’t own any LEGO DUPLO, so my children have only played with this at childcare or at friends’ house. So I wanted to see their reaction to it. In the past I have been hesitant about buying LEGO DUPLO as I felt the children would grow out of it quickly and progress to LEGO. Then what would I do with the LEGO DUPLO we still had? This has been a wonderful opportunity to watch my children enjoy this product.
I have two children, Henry is 3.5 years old and Matilda is 1 year old.
It was interesting to note that as soon as I opened the LEGO DUPLO, pretend play started immediately. Henry started reenacting the breath testing which he has seen on TV. He was breath testing the motorbike rider and then putting him in jail! He became very vocal about this, making very loud siren noises and saying in a stern, police officer like voice, “You’re going to jail!”
Whereas Matilda was making loud ‘broom broom’ noises and kept putting the LEGO DUPLO man in and out of the car. Something she has experienced often.
Over time, the stories varied from Henry putting people in jail, into shopping. Henry would go to the bakery to buy cakes and pretzels. Or to the bank to get some money out! Similar to how Mum goes to the ATM. Something he has also experienced often.
I first opened the product on a Thursday evening, after bath time. My initial thought was, ‘uh oh lots of little pieces!’ But those thoughts went out the window when I realized how large the pieces are, perfect for little hands and for busy parents to scoop up and throw back in a box. The LEGO DUPLO bricks are bold and bright, the colours seem to capture the little ones attention for longer. The little LEGO DUPLO people were fantastic, my children love pretend play with people. It was great to see two men in the box as it meant Henry could create conversations between the two men and get a great game happening.
Matilda really enjoyed the LEGO DUPLO, both my husband and I were surprised by her reaction. I moved the LEGO DUPLO up onto the train table so the children could stand up and play. My husband commented to me one evening that he hadn’t seen Matilda move away from the table or the LEGO DUPLO all week! She loved the car and the little man and really enjoyed putting the man in and out of the car. As well as making car noises.
Then later on in the week Granny came for a visit, the first thing Henry wanted to show her was his new LEGO DUPLO. Together they played with the LEGO DUPLO for half an hour, which is a long time for children so young. Watching and listening to the conversations they were having I could see the children had learned so much in the past week. Henry was building confidently and making buildings and rockets! Matilda was taking the man from the car, into the jail, then back to the car. She was also trying to build and sometimes she managed to build a very small, wonderful creation! It is a fantastic toy for sharing and parallel play. There are enough pieces for children to focus on their own creation yet play with another when they are ready, then focus on their own creation for a while. I think Granny enjoyed it more than the kids!
Often when playing with children it can become a bit boring and repetitive, but when playing with LEGO DUPLO it crosses the age barriers and everyone enjoys creating and playing. I know personally, I tire of playing trucks and cars, hide and seek, but because you can create with LEGO DUPLO it is fantastic for playing and bonding with the little ones. As an adult I enjoy it!
I would definitely purchase the product, in fact I will give my children more for Christmas. As I can see they really enjoy playing and creating with LEGO DUPLO. I can see myself giving this to others as gifts as well.
I was having a conversation with a friend about this product review and she proceeded to tell me her children who are 8 and 10 years old still play with their LEGO DUPLO. How fantastic is that?! What a great product! Thank you for the opportunity to review, we have all had a ball!
Join us next week for more LEGO DUPLO inspired play ideas and reviews.
You may also like: 8 Fun Ways to Play with LEGO DUPLO
LEGO DUPLO are giving Mums Lounge readers the chance to win this fantastic LEGO DUPLO prize packs (valued at $160).
The prize pack includes:
1 x LEGO DUPLO Creative Animals
1 X LEGO DUPLO Pater Pan’s Visit
1 x My First Police Set
1 x My First Shop
Just imagine how much fun will be had beneath the Christmas tree this year with this awesome collection of LEGO DUPLO!