Me, Baby H and Mr C recently visited Legoland, Windsor to attend the Lego Duplo World of Play Event – and it was a really entertaining day out! Driving for 4 hours to get there, we were greeted at the themed Lego hotel (a child’s dream with everything from Lego patterned walls and carpets, and a pit of…well, lego!) where the little ones played with Duplo at little play stations and basically got a chance to run riot!
There’s a lot of detail at the hotel and theme park – obviously a real treat for Lego fans. Mr C has been a life long Lego fan (guess who really really wanted to attend?!) and Baby H has already got a few Duplo kits that he enjoys scattering all over the floor every single morning for me to trip up on.
Children of varied ages were invited to the event in order to try out some new Duplo releases, and it was interesting to see how kids of different age groups interacted with Toys. At 18 months, Baby H is at the ‘entry level’ for playing with Lego, whereas some of the other children were more sophisticated at building models!
In a large room kids were given the freedom to run around and explore what was in each playstation (different kits, somewhere the new food themed sets, some were trains and there were lots of traditional blocks). There was also face painting (H was too young for this plus he wouldn’t sit still enough to have his face painted but other kids loved it) and a large projection which was interactive.
[A flower from the Hotel bar - yes, it’s made out of Lego. At least they’ll never need to be watered?!]
Once again, H didn’t understand the projections but he sure loved touching the screen and getting his spiky hair on there!
Lego Duplo Toys
I started acquiring Duplo for Baby H very early on – Mr C was an avid lego collector as a child and has many sets that are still pristine that he wants to pass on to Baby H one day, so I wanted to start collecting pieces for him earlier rather than later. In my mind, Lego, Lego Duplo toys hold their ‘value’ so to speak – they can be passed on to future children or to friends, they can always be played with and aren’t part of any ‘trends’ and won’t date.
When Baby H got his first set (it was a basic Duplo set with a dog and cat, and a storage box) he didn’t do much with it – chewed a few pieces, scattered them everywhere…now that he is 18 months, he has started clicking pieces together, and pushing around Duplo cars. It has helped with his dexterity (he has always been excellent with his fingers and has a great pincer grip), but now he is improving his accuracy with the help of the bricks.
He also has his own way of playing with Duplo – he likes holding the bigger pieces and banging them to make noise, and he likes picking out green blocks – his favourite colour I think!
The way he has played with the set has changed over these last few months from being more passive to actively engaging with the process of building and making things. As Duplo is suitable for children up to age 5, there’s further learning to come! For now I am going to continue to grow his Duplo bricks and move on to Lego when I know he is past the ‘chuck everything out of the brick box first thing in the morning’ phase!
At the event he had lots of different shapes and styles of Duplo to choose from so I found this helped him with his creativity – in that, he could literally do whatever he wanted with this vast selection of bricks…and he tended to go for two of the same thing, and bang them about. What I liked about it is that he had the chance to make his own decisions and do what he liked with the bricks – a lesson in decision making, my son! Here he is with those brown cones he refused to let go…
To be honest I was a fan of Duplo before this event and I am still very much a fan of the range. What I know now is that the range extends beyond just basic bricks for building cars and houses, and there are other shapes and types of Duplo available. At the moment he is getting to grips with clicking the pieces together so it won’t be long before he is building, then eventually, he will transition to Lego.
Dressed like a dinosaur, and about to cause mischief in the Lego Pit;
The Theme Park
This was my first time visiting Legoland Windsor! Unfortunately it was a rainy and cold day, and being only 18 months, H was asleep within 10 minutes of our entry (too much excitement in one day I think!). Still there were sights for us adults, such as the vast mini-land, which had lego created replicas of real cities from around the world:
We also picked up a Lego lunch box from the shop and had it personalised for Baby H as a souvenir.
My favourite New Releases…
In the first half of 2014 Lego Duplo will be releasing some new sets (which H and I have had a play with and really like!). Creative Ice Cream (£12.99), Creative Picnic (£19.99) and Creative Animals (£12.99). I haven’t seen Duplo in this style before (food) and it’s great for kids who enjoy role play or for using with toy kitchens.
Yeah…that is just my kind of ice cream! All those layers!
Verdict: The Lego World of Play Day was well worth spending over 9 hours in the car for as H had so much fun, got some new Duplo to play with and me and Mr C got endless coffees and a chance to look around Legoland. I am gong to pay more attention the next time I go to the Lego store and see what other interesting ranges I can buy to add to H’s collection.
Offering a world of play, LEGO DUPLO toys stimulate creativity, encourage role play and conversation, and help towards developing motor skills in pre-school boys and girls aged 18 months to 5 years. Colourful, safe and sturdy LEGO DUPLO is designed for small hands and big imaginations.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by LEGO® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LEGO®.