So I have great memories of playing with Lego as a child and it always involved building something for people to use. A structure alone was never enough, it had to be usable by people. My children are similar, most things they build have a use for the people whether they are Duplo people or Lego people or random 'small world play' people.
We only got Lego in the house on Daisy's 6th birthday, nearly a year ago. Yes, I know this is a crime to some people, especially parents with boys but she had not shown any interest in Lego before that. Things have changed now. Rose received lots of Duplo at Christmas time and both the Duplo and Lego have prime position in our living room.
Here Rose is making a hotel for her Duplo people.
I did start to wonder what all the fuss was with Lego and Duplo and did a little research. Here is what I found out:
Benefits of playing with Lego and Duplo
- Creativity: the most obvious choice for me, hours and hours of open ended play with only the imagination as the limit.
- Planning and Problem solving skills: these are developed as children realise a plan in their heads and work towards making it a reality
- Math skills: sorting bricks, finding the correct size brick, thinking in 3D, patterning and proportions, measuring and counting are all part of Lego play.
- Fine motor skills: building and separating bricks takes great dexterity as anyone who has played with Lego knows. (I do want to get my hands on a brick separator!)
- Ability to follow directions: if you use the kits and instructions (we don't tend to)
While I understand the appeal of individual kits with set instructions to build a certain project, I prefer the open endedness of these type of kits:
You can then add base plates and themes kits if you want.
A house, complete with chairs, plants and windows.
Look, a hippo!
This impressive construction is a movie theater Uncle Andy helped build. It was played with for weeks!
The play is never ending as are the opportunities to tie play into current learning themes!
I am a re-enthused Lego and Duplo fan!