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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 FIRSTLEGO® 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.
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.
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.