Teachers and parents agree that play is fundamental for children’s growth and development, assisting in improvement of fine and gross motor skills, communication and social skills, cognitive development, independence, and focus.
Recent research conducted by LEGO® DUPLO®, which spoke to South African parents and teachers to learn more about how our toddlers play, found that, even though pre-school children prefer outdoor play, indoor play with construction toys is immensely beneficial too – particularly during the colder winter months.
“Even though toddlers mostly engage in types of activities rather than playing with specific types of toys, the most popular toys among children under the age of three are bath toys, and construction toys,” says Miroslav Riha, Country Manager for South African and Sub-Saharan Africa for the LEGO Group.
“Construction toys help stimulate imagination and creativity assist in laying the foundations of learning letters and numbers. They can help teach colours and are often just as much fun to break down as they were to build!” Riha adds.
- Children under the age of three tend to put everything in their mouths, which is why it’s so important to buy toys that have been specifically designed for them, to avoid choking.
- Look for toys that are big enough for small fingers to manipulate – and construction toys that integrate with one another, so that they can build creations as big as their imagination!
- LEGO® DUPLO® offers a big start in creativity, a super useful skill not only in childhood but in adulthood too. Pick a set according to your child’s interests - it doesn’t matter where they start, whether it’s animals, cars, trains, DisneyTM characters or superheroes, just see what they build and marvel at the stories they create!
- Children at this age love to pull things apart, so choose construction toys that only come apart in ways that they’re meant to – avoid glued on extras, for example.
- Choose a construction toy that has a longer ‘play’ life than the label on the box – and remember that there’s no age limit on having fun… adults can have just as much fun building with bigger bricks as they do with smaller ones!
- Look for construction toys that are easy for children to tidy away – the act of sorting and tidying up is also a fun and learning experience, preparing them for number and letter sorting and laying the foundations for reading. It also makes moms’ and dads live easier!nd laying the foundations for reading. It also makes moms' and dads live easier!
- Finally, look for toys that help build children’s emotional and interpersonal skills. LEGO® DUPLO®, does just this as kids can build whatever they want in a special world where there is no right or wrong. Just a world of possibilities! They are free to become whomever and whatever they imagine in the LEGO® DUPLO® roleplay, expressing their emotions freely and raising their self-awareness.
The research also found that, despite much of the toy market being linked to trends or TV content, construction toys are timeless, and ideal gifts for birthdays and other celebrations. Big bricks like LEGO® DUPLO® sets are one of the best choices to ignite children’s passion for construction play, and helping them discover a world of versatile and never ending play.
LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are great for little fingers to practice their fine motor skills because they are double the length, width, and height of traditional LEGO bricks. The larger size also means that that they’re not a choking hazard for children older than 18 months because they’re effectively eight times the size of regular bricks.
Despite their larger size, they’re still compatible with the smaller bricks, which makes them a great toy time investment: children can still include them in their LEGO builds when they’re old enough for the sets with smaller bricks. LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are also made in the same colours as the smaller bricks, and they interlock easily with them too.
“The beauty of construction toys is that nobody is ever too old to play with them – which means that moms, dads, and caregivers also have fun while they’re helping their toddlers build,” Riha explains. “There’s nothing quite as magical as plotting and planning a big build with your little one, and then playing through an imaginative game afterwards, using it as the centrepiece.”
LEGO® DUPLO® is available at all LEGO® Certified Stores and all other leading retailers.
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Lego.