BABY STEPS (UP TO 2 YEARS)
The first weeks and months of a baby’s life are truly magical. From first smiles, to first steps and first words, babies are constantly learning and developing with the help of their parents and those around them.
One of the most important ways a child develops is through play. Play is essentially a child’s job, and is where they learn everything from social skills to refining motor skills to negotiation and of course development of their imagination.
From around 18 months, you can begin to use LEGO® DUPLO® bricks with your child. Before long, your child will have developed their fine motor skills enough to do some basic stacking without any help.
Play tip: As well as showing them how to stack, you can use DUPLO® to talk to your child about colours, practice animal names and even getting them to help pack away will help with their development.
ENGAGING IMAGINATIONS (2 YEARS)
By now your child is really starting to grow up – they have development imaginations, and love to engage with other people. Around now, your child will start to mimic everyday activities through play – for example going shopping, feeding a baby doll or doing the washing up. In doing this, children are starting to make sense of the big wide world around them.
At this point, your child will likely begin building small towers with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks (and will probably knock them over immediately, so that they can start over again!) In repeating this, your child is learning that “practice makes perfect”, which in turn will lead to more difficult and creative building as well as knowledge of colours and shapes.
Play tip: Continue to make use of your LEGO® DUPLO® animals by creating stories and talking about the noises they make, where they live and the food they eat.
LITTLE PEOPLE (3 YEARS)
Your child is now becoming their own little person, with the ability to question and discuss their own needs and wishes. Language will be developing at an ever increasing rate, meaning less frustration and emotional outbursts as they can communicate much better.
Play at this age is still hugely important, although they will need less involvement from you at this stage, but praise and encouragement can help make everything seem more exciting and worth learning about.
At this stage, although LEGO® DUPLO® bricks and animals will still be an important part of your child’s play pattern, imaginary play and role playing will likely firm favourites. Don’t therefore be surprised if you overhear some funny conversations between DUPLO® figures along the way!
Play tip: Tap into the love of role-playing and pick a DUPLO® figure to act out scenarios with – maybe they can go shopping with your child’s DUPLO® figure? Or have a tea party, or even visit a zoo?
UNTAMED CURIOSITY (4 YEARS)
A 4 year old is full of curiosity, and will ask questions constantly about the world and everything in it! This is their way of finding out about the world, and learning how things work. (And you’re likely to hear some spectacular questions that leave you baffled!)
Four year olds are much more socially advanced, and love playing with friends. This is where they will truly come into their own in terms of creative building using their LEGO® DUPLO®. And, because each LEGO® DUPLO® set comes with ideas to help get you started, you should have no problem getting going!
Play tip: Why not try mixing LEGO® DUPLO® sets to truly spark some imaginary play? What happens, for example, when a superhero rides the number train to the farm? Or when a dog decides to drive the train for a day?