Girls love building LEGO® sets too!

LEGO® play is by no means reserved for boys.

This couldn’t be better demonstrated than in the fact that Kiddiwinks’ own founder is Bryony Poulter, who herself grew up building LEGO® sets. This Women’s Month, we get talking to her about her insight into the wonderful world of LEGO® bricks.

“LEGO® bricks hold a world of opportunity for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ability. Don’t lose sight of the magic.” – Bryony Poulter, owner and founder Kiddiwinks

Why do you love LEGO® sets so much?

Some of my earliest memories involve creating fantasy worlds with our treasured LEGO® sets that were then carefully packed back into their boxes. I had a piano, a milk truck, forklift and a family of people who had round faces and little knobble hands. Play was simple but all absorbing for hours and hours.

What does a LEGO® brick mean to you?

Playing with LEGO® bricks together with someone else is such an easy way for all barriers to come down. Every skill level has a place to fit in. There is no limit to the scope of imagination.

What fuels your passion for LEGO® products?

There is a bond formed between people when they sit and build together. You can make a world where you can mirror reality or create an entirely new existence. LEGO® life is simple and yet infinitely complex. Your imagination is given free rein.

2018 will be Kiddiwinks’ 18th year. What would you say has been your biggest motivator during these past 18 years?

LEGO® System 4561 Railway Express was the first set to be brought in by Bryony for her oldest son in 2002. Then a clothing business, Kiddiwinks quickly evolved into a LEGO® shop.

We started the business because we couldn’t purchase a LEGO® set that we wanted. This was the driving force for so long – to source and supply sets that people were looking for. As more and more businesses started stocking bigger ranges of sets, it became more important to grow a family of customers based on a mutual passion for a product. This is the most important thing I ask for in my staff members – to display the passion for the product that more people can enter this amazing LEGO® world, and in doing so can experience the same magic that we experience every time we build.

What was it like to open your very first Kiddiwinks store?

With my mother predicting the doom and gloom of financial failure, I signed a lease for a shop in a very surreal moment. It was terrifying knowing that I had committed to paying tens of thousands of Rands every month and I was entirely dependent on people buying products. I still sometimes feel like I am playing shop-shop.

LEGO® sets haven’t always been so gender-inclusive. 

Our website used to have a category called Girls. One day I received an email from a young girl who complained that this limited her LEGO® options as she felt compelled to choose sets from this category as this is what was expected of her. She said she far preferred the sets that her brother was allowed to choose such as cars and boats where there was actual construction, instead of the fantasy play of the pop stage or kitchen counter and food sets that were labelled for her. We removed the category in response to this and, in addition, sent a message to The LEGO Group asking for more construction sets with girls in mind.

If you had to choose one, what would be your favourite LEGO® set of all time?

I think I have always been more drawn by the little details in sets as opposed to the vastness of an impressive construction. The simplicity of a LEGO® duck put together with 4 basic pieces is awesome. If I have to choose, I think the set that held the most magic for me was the Medieval Market Village 10193.

Tell us one wonderful memory you have of LEGO® bricks and your family.

We went overseas in 2007 and spent a glorious week in LEGOLAND Windsor. We camped in a borrowed tent and were first in the park every day, living LEGO® bliss in all its glory. I was pregnant with my youngest and he constantly reminds us that his turn is still to come….

Kiddiwinks has been instrumental in sharing its passion for LEGO® products through LEGO® parties, LEGO® exhibitions, robotics training and competing in the FIRST LEGO League challenge. Tell us a bit about how this empowers LEGO® fans.

So often assumptions are made about LEGO® sets. There is the assumption that everyone has knowledge of the product, and yet, at probably every third party we run there is a kid who has never played with a LEGO® set before. It is presumed that LEGO® bricks are for children, and yet the scope of how the LEGO® robotics components and skills can be used in university labs is mind-blowing. Every exhibition or display reminds us of how LEGO® creations open a world for people which is unlimited in its magic.

What’s your LEGO® wisdom? 

Find the moments to create a dinosaur that looks more like a horse or build a castle for a king. Don’t be limited by the “I can’ts” that the world teaches us.

Find out more about where Kiddiwinks started at our About Us page or simply shop for your favourite LEGO® sets over at shop.kiddiwinks.co.za.

This is how you should be storing your LEGO® collection

Turn dreary clean-up time into a fun activity for everyone with these amazing LEGO® storage pieces from ROOM Copenhagen.

There’s no question that LEGO® sets are an absolute essential in every household. But, ask anyone who’s stepped on a stray LEGO® brick and they’ll tell you just how important it is to pick up those sneaky little pieces.

Storing LEGO® bricks and other pieces certainly isn’t as fun as building with them, or at least it wasn’t until ROOM Copenhagen introduced us to its amazing LEGO® storage units. Using the LEGO® brick blueprint, ROOM has extended the LEGO® experience to lunchboxes, drawers and large storage boxes, turning clean-up time into an awesome game of “build the oversized LEGO® bricks”.

SHOP LEGO® STORAGE

Not only are these bricks proportionate to the LEGO® two-by-two and four-by-two bricks, they are buildable just like your normal LEGO® bricks, making them that much more appealing to your average LEGO® fan. Colours that are currently in stock at Kiddiwinks include blue, red and yellow. 

As if oversized LEGO® bricks and lunchboxes weren’t enough, ROOM has also introduced the iconic LEGO® minifigure head with the trademark LEGO® smile. Open up the top and store your odds and ends, or simply use it as a cute decor  accessory.  You can even use the large version as a fruit bowl, as per a suggestion by ROOM!

The LEGO® Iconic Storage Head makes a quirky fruit bowl.

“Though made first and foremost with children in mind, our products are sure to please parents as well as any adults with a soft spot for the LEGO® brand,” explains ROOM on their website.

The storage pieces are created with a strong focus on quality and functionality, making them ideal to add to your home. The items are BPA and Phthalate free, and no PVC is used.

Take your LEGO® adventures one step further with this awesome range from ROOM and finally get the family to clean up after themselves!

SHOP LEGO® STORAGE

What to get up to in the winter school holidays

School’s out for… winter! Which means there’ll be plenty of screen-time, sleeping in and maybe just a little bit of boredom. Avoid the dreaded moans of “I’m bored” by getting your kids stuck into building that challenging LEGO® set they’ve had their eye on all term.

Get engineering

For the older kids, LEGO® Technic™ offers advanced building. Each detailed model is inspired by vehicles from the real world, with loads of cool, working features. From pneumatics to motors, LEGO® Technic™ gets kids not just building but also engineering.

For the month of June, we’re running an amazing 20% off promotion on all LEGO® Technic™ sets, so get the sets you’ve been dreaming about and share the fun with your family and friends!

Get 20% off all LEGO® Technic™ and Power Functions sets, as well as the LEGO® BOOST Creative Toolbox and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3, until the end of June!

Pay a visit to our four stores to check out the amazing LEGO® Technic™ displays in each!

Turn boredom into fun these winter holidays with LEGO
Turn boredom into fun these winter holidays with LEGO® sets.

An a-MAZE-ing LEGO Idea

After the heart-stopping adventures of Maze Runner, there’s really no reason why anyone wouldn’t want a go at creating their own maze from LEGO®, right? The LEGO® Ideas Maze is great, not only because it was created by LEGO® fan designer Jason Allemann from Canada and then selected by LEGO® fans, but also because it’s customisable. Yes! You can build your own maze to challenge yourself and friends, and there’s the awesome medieval-style maze which includes assorted buildable cottages, archway and castle.

Shop for the LEGO® Ideas Maze here and watch Jason talk about his design here:

Tots’ time

kid playing with lego

When it comes to keeping the very youngest members of the family occupied, there’s nothing more lovely than an outing to Kiddiwinks to get the LEGO® set of their choice. In fact, there’s a whole choice of June releases that will see them spending hours building, imagining and playing.

Pay a visit to our Habitat Centre store in Somerset West to spend time in our amazing play area too!

The LEGO® DUPLO® Train Bridge and Tracks set is great to add to any new or existing DUPLO® train set and develop early construction skills as your toddler builds the tall bridge and arranges the toy train track pieces in any way they like.

Kiddiwinks LEGO Train Bridge
Young fans of Unikitty’s universe can spend hours reliving favourite moments from the happiest, most sparkly and colourful TV series around with the LEGO® Unikitty™ Unikingdom Creative Brick Box.

Unikingdom Creative Brick Box

 

 

What are you waiting for? Turn winter school holidays into a delight with Kiddiwinks for those exciting LEGO® sets and enjoy hours of uninterrupted fun!

Great LEGO® build ideas for the holidays

It’s the summer holidays. While the kids might be jumping for joy, parents can’t be blamed for feeling just a little overwhelmed at the idea of keeping the kids entertained and out of trouble for 7 long weeks. We have you covered, with a few fun LEGO® and LEGO DUPLO® projects that offer up plenty to keep the kids occupied for at least some of the time.

Count down to Christmas

Visit this link for the full instructions.

Build a Christmas tree…

Click here for the full infographic.

… and a reindeer

Just click here for the full infographic.

6 fun activities from LEGO®

These smart ideas are all simple tasks that invoke the Christmas spirit in us all. Get the kids making adorable Christmas cards and decorations and you’ll be ticking more than just “Keep the kids occupied” off your list.

A post shared by LEGO (@lego) on

Checkmate!

LEGO chess set

Now here’s a fun building challenge for that budding chess player in the family.

Get them to create their own chess board out of LEGO®. This will certainly help them remember better how each piece is allowed to move on the board and, well, it’s kind of cool too!

Get all the instructions at teachbesideme.com

Got some of your own ideas on how to keep the kids busy with LEGO®? Share with us in the comments section below!

Discover your LEGO® favourites the old-fashioned way

Our fast-paced technological age means that kids are spending more time in front of a screen and less time learning to solve problems with their own hands and ingenuity.

Technology certainly has its place and knowing how to use it is an essential skill for kids these days. But so too, is the ability to create, discover and learn spatially.

We’ve all heard the long list of benefits of LEGO® play. Not only does it improve fine motor skill, (an essential and often under developed skill in young children), but it also helps kids to interact well with each other, forming relationships based on sharing and teamwork.

LEGO® play is versatile

It can be about teamwork or solo problem solving. It can be totally fantasy-driven, focused on free-building to create whatever you dream up, or it can be about following instructions.

It’s about being in the moment

Playing with LEGO® blocks and sets is always interactive and demands focus right then and there. Watch any young child absorbed in their LEGO® building task and you will understand the importance of losing yourself in the creation so completely, discovering the laws of physics and geometry and the wonders of creativity along the way.

Visit our stores to discover, play and learn

That’s why we’ve taken care to set aside interactive play areas in three of our four stores. We also hold regular LEGO® builds, as all of this encourages kids (and adults!) to immerse themselves in the wonders of LEGO® play.

What you’ll find:

  • Interactive LEGO® wall with troughs of bricks for free build activity that includes mosaic building
  • LEGO® Play tables
  • LEGO® DUPLO pit
  • LEGO® Club availability to sit and build one of a selection of complete sets provided for building on-site at tables

These school holidays, stop by our stores in Habitat Centre, Somerset West, Blue Route Mall and Willowbridge Shopping Centre where you’ll find piles of LEGO® blocks to build from. It’s a good diversion for the kids, and by good, we mean genuinely constructive learning through play!

Our interactive areas are always overseen by a designated Kiddiwinks staff member, and we encourage parents to stay and even join in.

Find a store near you by visiting shop.kiddiwinks.co.za

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


Shop LEGO® DUPLO® sets


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.


Visit the Kiddiwinks online store


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Kiddiwinks joins Expresso to talk about The LEGO® Batman™ Movie

We joined Expresso early on Friday, 10 February, to talk about the release of The LEGO® Batman™ Movie.

Ernest De Wet of Kiddiwinks Willowbridge took Expresso presenters Katlego Maboe and Ewan Strydom through the building the The Joker™ Balloon Escape LEGO® set.

The set itself is a re-enactment from a The Joker’s escape scene in the film itself, complete with his detachable balloon backpack, and Batman’s grappling gun.The Joker Balloon Escape LEGO setThe LEGO® Group has released approximately 15 different sets for The LEGO® Batman™ Movie, many of which you will find over at our online store.

Kat and Ewan were in competition to see who would complete the set first, with Ewan saying he is thankful that he has spent time building LEGO® sets with his son, because it means he has an advantage on Kat, who appeared to be struggling to keep up.

Watch the videos below to find out who completed the set first.
Pay a visit to our physical stores situated at Blue Route Mall, Willowbridge Mall and Palmyra Junction to get your favourite LEGO® sets.

Get the store addresses and contact details.

Spend at Kiddiwinks and earn back some luxury bucks

In 2015 Kiddiwinks joined Legacy Lifestyle, a premium rewards programme that has over 200 high-end partner stores and counting.

The developers of this programme have taken care to make it as easy as possible to earn points with a simple registration process and no need for a card. In fact, when you register with Legacy, your own cell phone number becomes your membership code which you enter during your transaction at a partner store.

It’s a hassle-free way to make the most of your shopping spree, which is exactly why Kiddiwinks is now a partner store.

Whenever you spend at a partner store like Kiddiwinks, you earn points known as Lifestyle Rands. Each partner store sets the percentage of Lifestyle Rands you can earn with them. The value of 1 Lifestyle Rand is equivalent to R1. For example, Kiddiwinks has set its percentage at 4% which means that for every R100 you spend at our stores as a Legacy Lifestyle member, you earn 4 Lifestyle Rands.

Members also benefit from exclusive promotions, deals and competitions that aren’t available to regular shoppers, not to mention being able to get a hold of super LEGO® sets at great prices thanks to the Lifestyle Rands you’ll have earned.

In fact, Legacy is running a giveaway right at this moment. Members need to earn or spend Lifestyle Rands at Kiddiwinks or other kids partner stores before 11 January 2017 and you could WIN a family weekend stay at Kruger Park Lodge. Get all the info here.

To register, simply visit the website and go through the 5-minute process or if you happen to find yourself at one of our stores, why not ask for assistance to register right there using the credit card terminal? You can also get the app, which will enable you to track your points, personalise your profile and view the latest promotions on your mobile.

Once you’re ready to redeem your points, enter your cell phone number (which also happens to be your membership code) and secret 5-digit pin into the credit card terminal, and voila! It’s as easy as that.

Find out more right over here.

Solve the world’s problems one LEGO® brick at a time

It’s no secret that there is an ongoing need for engineers, scientists, problem-solvers and those who just know how to get the job done.

It’s also widely known that in many countries, children are not performing as they should in math, science and technology – subjects critical to their and our future in this ever-advancing world. We know, for example, that the USA has seen a major drop in math and science skills in school over the past few years. In South Africa, the situation is dire, with a vast majority of school-goers having little math and science skill.

“[Science] is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world…” – Former President of USA, Barack Obama, March 23, 2015

It’s a situation that needs to be rectified, and that’s exactly what FIRST founder Dean Kamen and LEGO® group owner and deputy chairman Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen set out to do in 1998 when they started FIRST LEGO® League.

Every year, 28 000 teams of students aged 9 to 16 from many countries around the world are given a real-world challenge that they are required to solve using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. The challenge not only helps them develop those important skills, it also gets them involved with others young people, teaching them presentation skills and helping them to learn how to tackle problems constructively.

This year, the teams were briefed to identify a real-world problem surrounding the interaction between humans and animals and then set out to solve it.

The brief describes the process in detail: “They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game.  Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST LEGO® League signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism®.”

South Africa is one of 11 countries from the Africa and the Middle East that’s involved with FIRST LEGO® League and currently, regionals for 2016 have just taken place, with the Kiddiwinks Dream Team taking an overall fifth place in the Western Cape regionals on 5 November. Kiddiwinks was also involved in coaching the Forres Preparatory School team #MadScientists.

The Dream Team investigated the threat of American Foulbrood disease on bees in South Africa and proposed a solution that involved exposing the bees to phage therapy that would kill the disease and result in the hives not having to be burned.

Forres’s #MadScientists went local and looked at how to improve the lives of the rabbits at their school by encouraging more interaction from the kids, by planning rosters and moving their pen to a more central location.

Forres Preparatory School Kiddiwinks #MadScientists First LEGO League South Africa

Both teams performed exceptionally well with the Dream Team taking the Robot Programming Award as well as placing third overall, and #MadScientists receiving the Robot Performance Runner-Up Award and Research Presentation Award as well as placing fifth overall.

Both teams are into the FLLSA finals which will take place in Johannesburg later this month. The winner of this national competition will qualify to attend the international FIRST LEGO® League competition.

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We all live in a yellow submarine!

The Beatles fans can rejoice because LEGO® Ideas have at last released images of its latest amazing model: the Yellow Submarine.

The design also includes minifigures of original band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to turn this exciting release into a collector’s dream. The set contains 550 pieces and these four wonderful minifigures.

“The Yellow Submarine is bright, fun, and colourful, which also made it a good subject to translate into LEGO® form.” – Kevin Szeto

LEGO® fan Kevin Szeto is the man behind the creation of the set. “The creation of the Yellow Submarine model was really my way of showing my affection for The Beatles, as well as trying to pay a small tribute to The Beatles phenomenon,” he explained in a recent article on the LEGO® Ideas portal.

Kevin’s idea was refined by LEGO® designer Justin Ramsden, who is just as enthusiastic about The Beatles, adding “to see The Beatles in LEGO® form is a dream come true.”

Those eager to get their hands on a set will have to be patient as the release date has yet to be finalised, but is set for some time in November and in South Africa, it will be available exclusively at Kiddiwinks!

LEGO® Ideas is a great initiative that gives LEGO® fans all over the world the opportunity to offer up their own ideas for new sets, vote for their favourite designs and then stand the chance of seeing these designs become official sets by LEGO®.

Watch the video here:

Be sure to keep an eye on our online store for the release in November as only limited stock will be available.

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