Why LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are the bridge for better building

It’s a common question many parents have when it comes to introducing their toddler to LEGO® bricks:

Should we start with LEGO® DUPLO® sets or skip straight to LEGO® sets?

The general assumption is that kids are likely to play with LEGO® bricks from toddler to teenage-hood. We often don’t even consider that LEGO® DUPLO® bricks offer the same longevity. After all, their design is compatible with LEGO® bricks and therefore a valuable element in the building process. There are even convertors which allow for LEGO® DUPLO® bricks to be used with other older LEGO® sets.

Adults love LEGO® DUPLO® pieces too

Many adult fans of LEGO® (AFOLs) make use of LEGO® DUPLO® pieces in their MOCs usually to fill out a large structure, since LEGO® DUPLO® bricks interlock with LEGO® bricks and are also the same colours. Brick Blogger expands on how LEGO® DUPLO® sets will grow with you.

This LEGO® DUPLO® cow jumping over the moon is done by Build with me blog.
This LEGO® DUPLO® cow jumping over the moon is done by Build with me blog.

 

 

 

Build with me blog also created this clever version of the woman who lived in a shoe.
Build with me blog also created this clever version of the woman who lived in a shoe.

Kids need to play safely

While we all love LEGO® play, introducing LEGO® sets too young not only poses something of a safety risk for children under three years of age, it also hinders their ability to make developmental progress on their own.

It can be a frustrating process for parents too as the smaller, more intricate LEGO® bricks will require that parents facilitate play, which can interrupt precious moments of discovery for your child.

DUPLO Friends castle, horse and carriage


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LEGO® DUPLO® bricks helps kids learn

LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are something of a developmental bridge for your child. Here are four broad ways that LEGO® DUPLO® play is beneficial for young children:

Fine motor skills

They offer the opportunity for kids to improve their fine motor skills through repetitive motions using blocks that are designed to aid and encourage play for this very reason.

Toddler building with DUPLO

Social skills

Playing with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks helps kids to build on their social skills through role play, sharing and teamwork.

Figure out the world

Kids spend a lot of time trying to figure out the world through experiments and deductions. LEGO® DUPLO® play encourages these thought processes and gets them to match up things like shapes and colours too.

Creativity and problem-solving

Two absolutely essential aspect of human thought are developed from a young age. LEGO ®DUPLO® bricks offer endless possibilities for experimenting and creating, offering kids the means by which they might follow one train of thought to resolve a burning question about the world, only to pursue yet another thought, seamlessly.

Consider including some LEGO® DUPLO® sets in your collection for a versatile, fun way to bridge the gap for young kids to learn through play and adults looking for great LEGO® building options.


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Clean your LEGO® bricks the right way

From time to time, your LEGO® collection will need some freshening up. We take a look at various methods that people of the web have shared, as well as a few ideas of our own.

What The LEGO® Group says

First off, The LEGO® Group recommends that you wash your LEGO® blocks by hand using a mild detergent (something akin to Sunlight liquid) in water temperature of no more than 40℃. They add that you should take care to rinse the detergent off properly to avoid any discolouration. Let them dry naturally, or carefully dry each brick using a soft dry towel

Using mild bleach

This one is for those badly soiled LEGO® bricks. The LEGO® Group recommends that you use a very mild bleach and perhaps it’s worth also saying that you shouldn’t leave the bricks in to soak for longer than a few minutes.

Brighten up yellowing bricks

Older bricks tend to yellow if exposed to too much sunlight – especially the white, blue and light grey LEGO bricks. You can rectify this using hydrogen peroxide. According to Brothers Brick, the bricks undergo a chemical reaction to the H2O2, that effectively helps to bring the colours back up. You can get 100ml bottles of hydrogen peroxide from Clicks for about R16. Here’s a step-by-step whitening method that AFOL John Tooker swears by.

Darth Vader in the bath

Stick ‘em in a laundry bag and into the washing machine

If you’re pressed for time and needing a quick cleaning solution, then this might appeal to you, however, be warned that there’s a high chance that your bricks will sustain scratches. The LEGO® Group itself warns against putting your LEGO® bricks into the washing machine or dishwasher. But, some LEGO® users attest to this method, adding that they run the machine on a lower temperature wash. This LEGO® cleaning method is probably used most by parents that need a way of getting sticky food stuff off their kid’s LEGO® bricks quickly and with the least elbow-grease.


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Keep clear LEGO® pieces shiny

Since tiny scratches show up more on the transparent LEGO® pieces such as windshield, so do keep them separate when you give your LEGO® bricks a good clean. To restore these pieces back to a shinier version of themselves, someone has discovered the wonders of wood floor cleaners. Andy Taylor has written an entire post on the subject over at The Brick Blogger, offering a step-by-step guide using Pledge WoodCare. It is the liquid acrylic that you want, which Andy later explains is “a clear very dilute acrylic medium based floor polish.”

Cleaning those minifigures

LEGO Minifigure doing his laundry

In order to keep the printed details of your minifigures intact, it’s critical that you take the utmost care when you go about cleaning them. Ebay has a great post on how to clean vintage minifigures, which is worth applying to newer minifigures.

Got any other LEGO® cleaning ideas up your sleeves? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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