Imaginative Play with LEGO® DUPLO ®

I am really loving the age that Emma Kate is at right now. Just in the past month, her language has exploded, her motor skills have gotten a lot better, and she has gotten way more imaginative with playtime, which is also really fun for me! One of her new favorite things to do is to play with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.

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These preschool building toys are specially designed for little hands (ages 1½ – 5 years old). They are much larger than regular LEGO® bricks (twice the size!) Making them safer for toddlers and preschoolers and easier for them to handle.

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I have to admit, playing with these toys brought back so many childhood memories for me, I love how LEGO® bricks have stood the test of time, and more than 25 years after I played with them in my living room, now my daughter is playing with them in our living room!

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As soon as Emma Kate opened the box, I was down on the floor next to her, helping her set up the “choo choo train” and building tall towers that are “so high” (her favorite). I think it’s so important to not only let a child’s imagination grow, but as parents, we should be partnering with our kids in playtime, showing them the ropes and encouraging them to learn new things. Kids learn by playing, touching, and experiencing new things. It is my job to guide Emma Kate on this learning journey, and LEGO® DUPLO® just makes it a lot of FUN! The nice of the legos is that you can build anything you want, there are few toys like that, for example a spinning toy that you can learn how to build your own.

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LEGO® DUPLO® offers so much flexibility and open-ended play for each stage of your young one’s development. You can do things from build towers, to trains, to buildings and more. There are even figurines like cute dogs and little people to put in the structures.

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Ready to be inspired for playtime with your little ones? Head over to LEGO.com/Family and see what you can do to help nurture your child’s imagination.

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QOTD: What is your family way to play with your kids and help their imaginations grow?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tech Toys Then and Now

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I will admit that I am kind of a tech nerd, and I really hope to have passed on some of my nerdi-ness to my child. My mom tells me that when I was growing up, I always wanted the toys for Christmas/birthdays that involved batteries, moving parts, and “life like” characteristics. I had a dog that really walked next to you on a leash, (go go my walkin’ pup anyone?) as well as a baby that cried and you could feed her a bottle. I also have a PJ Sparkles, and when I was a pre teen the very first Game boy came out. Let’s just stay we had a healthy supply of batteries in our house for all of my toys. I still remember when the JC Penny Christmas catalog would come out every year and I would spend hours circling the toys I wanted. All tech toys of course. Much to my parents dismay, these toys were also the most expensive since the “real life” tech toys were so new.

Of course, “tech toys” have changed a lot since the early 1990’s, but I am still intrigued by them and was excited to introduce Emma Kate to the Code-a-pillar.

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This toy was created by Fisher Price, and is available at Best Buy. The premise behind this little guy is that you can hook all of his pieces together in any order you choose, and make him crawl in different directions all around your house. He also lights up and really cute music plays as he is “working”, and Emma Kate loved chasing him around seeing which direction he would go next.

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My favorite feature is the fact that the Code-a-pillar has endless possibilities. It really makes the kids (and adults!) think about which way they want him to go, and what arrangement of pieces you would need to make him end up in a certain spot. For example, you can set up an “obstacle course” and see what configuration you would need to make him go under a chair, around a table, and to the other side of the room without running into anything. It’s a lot of fun!

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I would definitely recommend this product for anyone who loves gadgets, and for those wanting to help teach their kids about problem solving, coming up with solutions, sequencing, and using their imagination (which should be EVERY parent!) Even though Emma Kate is still young, she was so curious and engaged and even helped me take apart the pieces and put them together in a different order (they are really easy to plug into each other).

This toy encourages experimentation as well as problem solving. Each section lights up as the action is happening (when he turns right, the “turn right segment lights up and blinks”.) It is designed for children ages 3-6, but Emma Kate still enjoyed this toy even though she isn’t three yet. I can’t wait to see how she changes the way she plays with is as she grows.

QOTD: Do you think this is a cool toy? Did you like tech toys when you were growing up? What was your favorite?