Saturday, December 13, 2014

Awesome LEGO® DUPLO® Activities for Preschoolers

Every afternoon at some point I hear a loud crashing sound as my toddler and my preschooler begin dumping out container after container of LEGO® DUPLO® bricks to kick off their creative playtime. Once the toddler is down for his nap my daughter will continue her LEGO playtime during her daily quiet time. Sometimes I join her and we create together. 

LEGO DUPLO (our sponsor today) is an unlimited source of creative play for preschoolers and toddlers. The bricks and figures are the perfect size for little hands to grab and manipulate.

Recently our partners at LEGO sent us the Big Farm set to include in our daily playtime. 

Make sure you scroll down and enter to win a $50 LEGO gift card below so you can buy your own favorite set!

After years of playing with LEGO bricks the kids and I have a little bit of a routine when we get a new set. Our routine sneaks in some great learning activities for preschoolers without them realizing it. If you have your own favorite activities with LEGO bricks, I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

Here is how we get started with a new LEGO DUPLO set...

1. Dump out all of the LEGO bricks into one massive pile (unless they are labeled by number)

Dumping LEGO bricks and listening to the crashing sound is probably my toddler's favorite thing to do. If the bricks are labeled by number (like the more advanced sets) then we just open the first bag. 

2. Free build

We start off our creative building time by just having a free build time for awhile. We make towers, build houses, play with the figures, and just enjoy exploring the materials and checking out some of their details... especially new pieces we haven't seen before. LEGO DUPLO bricks are for kids 1.5-5 so often I'll have all three of my kids (ages 6,4,2) in building with us. During our free build we sometimes come up with simple LEGO challenges for one another too.

3. Sort the LEGO bricks into color piles.

Once the bricks are sorted into color piles it makes it much easier and quicker to find bricks we need as we follow the manual instructions. Color sorting is one of our favorite activities and I love that my toddler and preschooler can both do it together now.

4. Start building!

After we've explored and created for a bit on our own then we open up the instruction manual and start following directions. I love how the instruction manuals are easy to follow and so visual. As we build I can just point to pictures and my daughter immediately knows which pieces to find. We also love how some of the pieces have little drawings on them (like spiders or flowers). It is so fun to hunt around for just the right piece!  

In addition to learning about colors and sorting, building with LEGO DUPLO bricks gets kids looking at shapes, counting, talking about sizes, and working on problem solving strategies. As kids build and are successful at following the directions and creating the project that they want to make, there is also a huge feeling of accomplishment. 

My daughter is always comparing herself to her big brother. She also gets easily frustrated by activities that require her to follow directions and manipulate objects with her hands because her fine motor skills aren't as great as many kids her age. I loved what a successful afternoon we were able to have as she built the Big Farm. She was so proud of her work.

5. Pretend Play time!

Our last activity once a set is built is pretend play time. We grab the animals and figures and act out scenes or have them talk with one another. I find that by participating in pretend play activities alongside my daughter I am able to model how to make the figures interact with one another while I play. This is a great strategy for teaching kids to do pretend play independently.

Nothing makes me happier than walking by her room later in the day and listening to her make her figures chat with one another and go off on adventures together. 

In addition to these simple learning activities that come through daily LEGO play, we also love to go a little deeper and find additional ways to explore and create with the bricks in new and different ways.

Here are 8 awesome LEGO DUPLO activities for preschoolers that we have created...

Click on each link below to be directed to the full tutorial.

Do you love LEGO as much as we do?? Enter below to win a $50 LEGO Gift Card!

LEGO is so kind to give away a gift card to a Toddler Approved reader! You can keep up with news and other fun info by following LEGO over on Facebook and Pinterest and LEGO DUPLO on Pinterest too.

Giveaway Entry Requirements:

  • Make sure to fill in the rafflecopter giveaway entry below.
  • You can get up to three entries by completing all tasks mentioned in the rafflecopter form below, including visiting the LEGO Facebook page and Tweeting your friends about this LEGO giveaway using the hashtag #LEGODuplo.  

Entry Guidelines:

  • This giveaway is open for entry from Sunday December 14th to Sunday, December 21st at 12:00am (PST)
  • The winning entry will be drawn on Sunday, December 21st. I will notify the winner via email.
  • The winner will need to reply to me within 72 hours of my email. If there is no response, a new winner will be drawn.
  • See our Official Giveaway Rules for complete guidelines. US Residents only.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LEGO DUPLO. The opinions and text are all mine.