It might seem chaotic – and almost always messy - but being creative isn’t just about finger painting, or hiding under a table pretending to be in a spaceship on the way to Mars. It’s about your little one growing the ability to think in unusual ways, solve problems and ultimately pave their way to becoming an adult.
By the time they are three, your child’s brain has formed an incredible 1000 trillion connections between neurons, which is why it’s so important for your pre-schooler to embrace curiosity and their natural sense of wonder. Creative play stimulates this amazing fizzing brain, and with a little help from you they can thrive - whether they want to be an artist or an astronaut.
1. Encourage simple creative conversations
There’s nobody your child learns more from at this age than you, their parent. Encourage spontaneous creative conversations as part of day-to-day life, and imaginative thinking will come more naturally to them. This can be as easy as playing word association games in the car on the way to the shops, or making up a simple story together before bed. Try using story prompts: questions like “Where would you go if you were a bird?” provide a jumping off point to see where their incredible imagination takes them.
2. Let them lead the way
Every once in a while, set aside some time to let your child “take control”. This could be as simple as going to the park for half an hour - and walking at their pace. Tell them they can make the plan and encourage them to talk about all the fantastical things they could do once they get there. Follow them as they explore the world – asking about what they can see or imagine. And if you do end up spending your afternoon chasing imaginary dragons or pretending to eat mud pies? All the better.
3. Talk about your favourite part of the day
Introduce a simple and quick bedtime ritual which encourages you both to talk about positive experiences in your day. As you are putting them to bed, share your favourite part of the day first and then ask them what theirs was. Doing this lets them reflect on (and helps you understand!) what they enjoy doing, often creatively, from a young age. If you don’t always have a lot of time, this is a simple activity to help your child think in a playful way.
4. Don’t over plan playtime
Play doesn’t need to be rigorously planned – and in fact, freedom to play in an unstructured way is vital for every pre-schooler’s development. For example, give your child a box of bricks and watch what they build, rather than suggesting what they create. Afterwards, ask them to talk about what it is and what it can do (A fearsome dragon? What does he eat?). Try and be specific with your praise to make it feel more genuine, highlighting details such as the shape or the colours.
5. Encourage them to make creative mistakes
Young children are really just mini scientists experimenting all the time. Sometimes what they create may look a bit unusual - but what you may not realise is that in the process they learned a new way to mix two colours together, or felt how a new brush moved on the page. Encouraging their creative endeavours helps build their confidence. The most important thing is that your child has fun: play is a wonderfully effective way to learn.
6. Don’t worry about mess (too much)
A little messiness can be a good thing once in a while. Instead of standing guard worrying about the carpet, set aside space and time (and even protective plastic sheeting) so that your child can be free to get messy to their heart’s content. Feeling safe to try whatever comes into their head will help your little artist feel more confident in their creative abilities. And if you’re really lucky, you might be able to convince them that tidying up is a fun game too.
Perfect for small hands and curious minds
LEGO DUPLO bricks are double the size of the regular LEGO brick; twice the length, height and width making them easier to handle for younger builders aged 1,5-5 years old. But the great thing is, they are completely compatible with traditional LEGO System Bricks so as your child grows they can continue to use these bricks for their more advance building projects.
Here are some 16 AMAZING LEGO DUPLO Ideas and Life Hacks for Parents! Activity Ideas & DIY for Home and School
LEGO DUPLO is available at all good toy retailers including Toys R Us, Kiddiwinks & IMPORT A TOY plus online stores such as Takealot. And of course, our very own LEGO® certified stores!
LEGO DUPLO Steam Train (10874)
If your little one loves trains, they will love this set packed full of fun. Place the 5 coloured action bricks along the track to sound the horn, turn the lights on and off, pause and refuel, change direction, and stop the train. With a train station, coal tipper, 2 figures plus an animal figure and a simple toy train track included in this LEGO DUPLO set, pre-schoolers can enjoy classic, fun train play!
LEGO DUPLO My First Car Creations (10886)
Pre-schoolers will love to build and rebuild these colourful vehicles. Help them sort the colours to build a toy helicopter, taxi, garbage truck and Fire Truck for toddlers, or mix up all the bricks and create endless easy-to-build car creations together by combining just a few chunky LEGO DUPLO bricks, developing fine motor skills as you go!
LEGO DUPLO Alphabet Truck (10915)
Inspire kids to build, play and learn with 26 letter bricks to sort, stack and transport on the truck. Toddlers share imaginative adventures with the boy, girl, and cute bear as they deliver the blocks in the truck. Pre-schoolers become familiar with all the letters of the alphabet and soon learn to spell basic words!
LEGO DUPLO Airport (10871)
Play out real-life scenarios in LEGO DUPLO Town: a recognizable world with modern DUPLO figures. Help your little pilot get ready for take-off! It’s easy for pre-schoolers to build the boarding gate, luggage slide and revolving air traffic control tower.
Toddlers will love to help the pilot get all her passengers aboard the buildable plane and head for the skies!
LEGO DUPLO Mickey & Minnie Birthday Train (10941)
Celebrate a toddler’s birthday in style with this delightful LEGO DUPLO set. Packed with developmental activities and featuring favourite Disney characters, this premium building playset is the perfect way to introduce pre-schoolers to numbers, creative construction, and Disney magic!
LEGO DUPLO Fire Helicopter and Police Car (10957)
Always ready for fighting fires, rescuing, and helping wherever they can! Fire helicopter and push along police car playset is perfect for action-packed roleplay and strengthening social and emotional skills. Buildable vehicles are decorated on both sides and are easy to construct, also building cards are there to help!
LEGO DUPLO Unicorn (10953)
Everyone’s favourite magical creature comes in a new gift packaging!
Playset includes a buildable unicorn, two stars, a rainbow and two push along carriages. You will also find there building cards that help kids position bricks. This cute set is not only fun, but also a perfect tool for teaching kids colours and shapes!
LEGO DUPLO Number Train (10847)
This bright and fun train is a colourful introduction to numbers and counting. Your toddler will love to build and rebuild this chunky train, learning early number recognition as they go! With two child DUPLO figures and a cat figure for added role-play opportunities, this set provides endless building, driving, and learning fun!
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by LEGO DUPLO.