Playtime and Learning with LEGO DUPLO #LegoDuploPlay

As you may know, I was recently selected to be a LEGO DUPLO brand ambassador with Mom Central Canada.  This responsibility comes with several perks, but the best one so far has been the opportunity to see my two kids playing cooperatively and learning together!

The kids and I were anxiously awaiting our package of goodies, and when it finally came we were all SO excited!  Even my husband couldn't wait to check it out.  We picked the box up at the post office, and then went to get gas -- guess who tore the box open while waiting for our gas tank to fill?  Not the kids, and not even me!  It was like Christmas around here for several days.  Included in the package was:

1 LEGO DUPLO Large Brick Box
1 LEGO DUPLO Bricks and Books set
1 LEGO DUPLO Play With Letters box
(and!!!) an awesome Samsung SH100 Digital Camera for me...Love!

D and L play DUPLO with one of our Daycare friends.

By the time we got home that night it was late and there was no time to play.  However, first thing the next morning, we cracked open both of the large DUPLO boxes and we got started.  What a blast!  My daughter D first decided she was going to build a Castle.  She and I worked together to find the appropriate bricks, sorted by colour at her request.  She has known her colours for a long time already, but to watch her put that knowledge into action is always a bonus.  It was fantastic to see her so focused on choosing the right brick size and where to place it to get even sized walls.  She even showed me how to build a roof!  My son L continued to hand us blocks from the bin, one at a time. (Which was rather cute, actually, as he usually likes to try and take whatever it is that D has!)  After the castle was finished, D decided on a flower garden so we made that too!  I put together a small car for L, and he was quite happy to push that around the living room floor for a long time.  Watching him take it apart and then try to stick the bricks back together was great.  At 12 months old he was able to put a few bricks back on, which I found amazing!  It takes a lot of coordination to do that, and I know that toys like DUPLO are ideal for building fine motor skills, especially in children so young.  Once the kids were tired of their new creations, they took them all apart and went to create "the biggest tower EVER!!!!!"  :)  D started a small tower for her baby brother to distract him, and he played with that while she went to work.  She did a pretty great job!  The tower was definitely a good size and she had fun building it.  Of course, her brother had a fantastic time knocking it over.

L adds a cat to my House creation. :)

D beginning to work on her Castle.

We held on to the Bricks and Books set specifically to take to Thanksgiving Dinner.  D wanted to show off some of her new DUPLO, and rather than hauling the big bin over there, I thought I'd allow her to take the book which is a bit smaller.  It also was a great opportunity for D to spend some quiet time with another of our family members as they read it to her.  After we ate, she took the Bricks and Book set over to my Mom and asked for a story.  Together, they went through reading the story and building the adorable characters.  D was very focused on brick placement again, and on following the instructions step by step.  Once they finished the first time, my Mom read the book to her again using the characters as "actors" in the story.  And then D went through and "read" the story to my Mom.  I really like that the DUPLO provides a new level of interaction with the story, and a way to be creative and hands on while reading.  Seeing D so involved with the story was great.  I could see the wheels turning when she flipped through the book and used the DUPLO characters in her own telling of the story.  I love this concept and I hope that LEGO DUPLO will continue with this line and expand it!

Grandma reads the Bricks and Book story to the kids, while they build the characters.

The fact that my kids were able to play together at the ages of 1 and 4 blew me away, and to see them learning through play was fantastic.  They each play differently at this age, but I can clearly see them each develop new skills with LEGO DUPLO.  As a parent, what more can you ask for?       

**Disclosure: I am a LEGO DUPLO Play Agent and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.