Last week, mum of two Melissa ventured to Legoland with 3 year old Isla and baby Esme to explore the colourful DUPLO World of Play. Here’s how she got on:
When my daughter Isla was about fifteen months old she never sat still. Not for more than two minutes. She would not watch television for more than ten seconds, that is not an exaggeration. There were very few activities that engrossed her apart from running off in any direction whenever she could. It was very tricky to get anything accomplished in our house. Then she got given a box of colourful LEGO DUPLO building blocks as a Christmas present. They quickly became one of her favourite toys. At last, Isla would sit still for longer periods while she figured out how to fit them together to make various shapes and towers which grew in size and complexity as she did.
From there her love of DUPLO increased as she moved from the toddler to the preschool phase. Isla is now a lively three and a half year old with a vivid imagination,. She still reaches for her DUPLO as one of her preferred activities. She has evolved from tower building, to creating complicated make-believe worlds involving the LEGO characters and pieces from various DUPLO sets.
The game will usually start in one room and grow to incorporate many areas of the house and, sometimes, even the garden. Whoever is at our house at the time, family members, visiting friends, even her baby sister, are each assigned a DUPLO character. From there Isla spins a magical wonderland out of the DUPLO pieces. The stories range from the adventurous, where the characters escape wild animals and climb to the top of sofa mountains, to the tamer school classroom scenarios, where the DUPLO teacher (usually commanded by Isla herself) teaches the “students” to count or reads them a story. I think her dad and I get almost as much entertainment listening to her pretend games as she does from becoming engrossed in them with the help of her DUPLO collection. We are still working on getting her to tidy up after she’s done with the game, most of the time she is reluctant, mostly because she is never quite ready for it to be over.
When we got the opportunity to attend the DUPLO World of Play Event at Legoland this week, we jumped at the chance knowing how much our LEGO loving girl would enjoy it. And sure enough she had a blast. At the event the DUPLO was laid out throughout the room in big containers with separate storage areas which made it easy to see and for little hands to reach. Isla happily whiled away the time making giant ice cream and burger towers.
There was a nifty DUPLO “scanner” where the kids could see their creations “come to life” on the big screen. After getting a beautiful fairy painted on her face at the face painting station Isla moved on to the princess pieces. She is in quite a girly phase at the moment and the princess sets, especially Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid, are her absolute favourites even in her stash at home.
While her Dad took baby Esmé off for a walk and a nap in the carrier, Isla and I had fun building our princesses a house, complete with tropical garden and a rather impressive vehicle which could carry six DUPLO people. This was then driven all over the room, to the “park”, the “supermarket” and a picnic on a “beach”.
By the end of the event we had all had a fantastic time, even baby Esmé. Isla did not want to leave and would have happily continued playing with the DUPLO pieces until she fell asleep! The blow of leaving was softened, however, when she was allowed to bring the princess car she created with her. So a very happy little girl added it to her DUPLO collection as soon as we were home. And despite having spent the entire day playing with it, Isla continued with the game that evening and into the following day, proving that LEGO DUPLO remains a firm favourite in this house. Any toys that help her learn through imagination and creative play as well as providing endless enjoyment and fun are big winners in our eyes and the LEGO DUPLO range does just that.
Offering a world of play, LEGO DUPLO toys stimulate creativity, encourage role play and conversation, and help towards developing motor skills in pre-school boys and girls aged 18 months to 5 years. Colourful, safe and sturdy LEGO DUPLO is designed for small hands and big imaginations.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by LEGO® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LEGO®.