November 6, 2014

Lego and Lego Duplo Blocks Reviewed

Lego bricks are a great gift for kids. They inspire creativity and I'm going to tell you why every child should have some and what I think are the best sets to buy.


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I must confess that I love Lego Duplo bricks. Love them. I have buckets full and I still want more. The saddest part is that my youngest is now big enough to want the little Lego bricks instead of the Duplos. But I still might buy some anyway . . . (I still need a Duplo chicken).

I bought Maren her first set of Duplo bricks when she was 18 months old. I had received a gift card from my mom to WalMart and I was so excited to buy some. I would build a square and she would get in the middle and laugh. Pretty soon she figured out how to snap them together and take them apart and then the fun began.

An impressive Duplo Train




A few reasons to love Duplo bricks:


1. They build up quickly, so it's easy to make impressive structures.

2. It's easy to find the piece you're looking for.

3. They are great for imaginative play. Kids can build their own houses and city buildings and play fire fighter and doctor and police and grocery store etc . . .

4. A lot of the sets lend themselves well to creating unique structures rather than there only being one right way to build.

5. Great re-sale value. These blocks last forever and you can sell them on ebay or at a yard sale and get good money for them. OR give them to a friend and make her day. OR save them for your grandkids. OR yourself.

Duplo blocks are not just for little kids. Start collecting sets while the kids are little and your big kids will still play with them, I promise. My kids know that asking me to help them build with Duplo is a sure way to get mommy to play with them.


Love this humongous house Joshua built, complete with garage and airplane landing strip




When my kids starting getting older they started wanting the little Lego bricks as well. I have fond memories of building houses with secret passageways and the like when I was a kid, so I was happy to oblige.

A few reasons to love Lego blocks:


1. They teach kids how to figure out and follow directions.

2. They help improve attention spans. I was amazed when my 7 old spent hours focused on building his Lego castle after his birthday last year.

3. They encourage creativity and pretend play (when you have the right kind of sets).

A couple drawbacks:


1. Many of the sets my boys seem to want seem to be "build one time" types of sets. My boys will build them and then if they break and get mixed in with other sets, the boys never build them again. This drives me crazy! All those pieces not getting used, and then my kids think they need new sets. Not going to happen.

2. All those little pieces are easily stepped on and easily lost.

But like I said, if you get the right kinds of sets Legos are great for creative thinking and playing. I prefer to buy sets that can be used and combined many ways, but we have a fair amount of branded sets from movies that get built only once because the kids are really drawn to those.

My favorite is when my kids build their own Lego houses and cars and airplanes and then play with each other, visiting each other's houses.

I know they are expensive, but you can usually find great deals around black friday or on ebay for large lots of random pieces. They are worth the investment. They give both boys and girls opportunities to engineer their own creations and keep kids' interest for a long time.

Some tips for buying for Christmas:


1. For those who don't have any Lego blocks yet, find sets that are full of generic blocks that can be used for lots of different things.

2. Don't forget the baseplates! Building houses and things is so much easier on a baseplate. We have 4 Duplo baseplates and sometimes I think we need more.

3. The people make it fun, so find sets that have people or buy the people separately. They sell surprise minifigure packs that my kids love and I usually put one or two in stockings or Easter baskets.

4. Check out the Lego Junior block sets for younger kids who want little Lego bricks like their older siblings. They are quick to build up so that if a parent is doing the building it doesn't take to long to rebuild if it gets broken. Nathan (5) loves his!

5. Don't think Lego Bricks are just for boys! Girls love them too (and not just the Lego Friends sets). Maren has always loved building with them and girls need the encouragement to build and create and engineer just as boys do.

Here are some links to great sets on Amazon. These are affiliate links, so if you purchase through them a small amount will go to me without any cost to you. Amazon just pays me for referrals. But I must say that sometimes you can find better deals elsewhere, especially on sets that are no longer made. Sometimes the prices are inflated, and it's hard to tell. You can check the official Lego store online to see if you are getting a good deal or not. I give you these links because it's easy to show you what I'm talking about, but feel free to buy elsewhere. Also ebay and yard sales are fantastic ways to build up your Lego brick collections.

Some favorite Duplo sets:


LEGO DUPLO My First Deluxe Box of Fun 10580 Building Toy
This looks like a great starter set with a couple people, a couple of animals, and pieces to build houses and cars. A great first set for your young kids!

DUPLO LEGO Ville 10525 Big Farm
This set has a CHICKEN! What more do you need? It also has other farm animals, fence, a tractor, a farmer, and pieces to build a barn. Great set! (you can send me the chicken if you don't want it.)

LEGO DUPLO Fire Station
This is a really cool Fire Station! We don't have this particular set (although my son just saw it and said he wanted it for Christmas) but we do have a little fire chief in a truck with a hose and the kids love pretending that a house catches fire and then the fireman comes to save the day. Fun times.

Lego Duplo 10505 Legoville Family House
This is one of my favorite sets! We didn't get this exact one (we got it YEARS ago) but we had something very similar. (our pieces were yellow instead of pink, which clearly is better) The large pieces are used over and over again to build a multitude of structures and we have a lot of fun with playing house.

LEGO Education DUPLO Large Building Plates Set 4570269
These baseplates are a must! It makes building so much easier for little kids. We have 4 and they all get used.

LEGO DUPLO Town Treasure Attack 10569 Building Toy
I'm so glad they're starting to make Duplo castle sets again! These are so fun. I actually bought some off of ebay because they didn't have any when I was looking for my son's birthday a couple of years ago. We got a dragon with ours.

Some favorite Lego sets: 

LEGO Juniors 10675 Police - The Big Escape
Nathan got several Lego Juniors sets for his birthday and has loved them! He loves this police set and the fire station set they sell. The boys have fun pretending with them.

LEGO City Police 60047 Police Station
This cool police set is next on his wish list, when he's a little older. 

LEGO Friends Olivia's House 3315
I understand the issues some people have with the "Friends" line Lego is making, but I think this set is pretty fun. My daughter has it and had a great time putting together the house, making the furniture and the cute little accessories and food items for the kitchen. It's a great set. We did, however, skip the beauty parlor set. We've just got to take a stand sometimes.

LEGO Kings Castle
I love this set. I've always loved the Lego castle sets, and this one is great! Christopher bought it with his birthday money last February and it's pretty neat. I personally think girls would love this set too, although it doesn't have any girl minifigures, which is too bad.

LEGO Education Brick Set 4579793 (884 Pieces)
This is just a set of plain bricks for building and creating. No instructions to follow, no people, but a great set for getting started.

LEGO Education Fairytale and Historic Minifigures Set 4598356 (227 Pieces, 22 Different Figures)
This is a really cool set of minifigures. It has mermaids, knights, a wizard, princess, etc . . . I'd like this set myself someday . . .

LEGO Green Building Plate (10" x 10")
Don't forget the baseplates!

You can find minifigure packs at Toys 'R Us or Target for about $4 each. They are more than that on Amazon. My kids like feeling around in the pack to try and guess which one it is before buying, which can take a long time . . .

But once I was able to score this totally awesome Lego chicken:


Now I just need to get a Duplo one . . .


This post is part of a great Blog hop!  Hop on over to lalymom.com for more great toy reviews!


15 comments:

  1. My daughter still has the big Duplo blocks we got when she was a toddler and still uses them! Definitely a great gift!

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    1. Yes! Duplos last much longer than just the toddler years. Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Love the Duplo Big Farm set. Old MacDonald is very popular in our home!

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    1. I do too! I wish we had it, but I don't have anyone to buy it for now. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. We love Duplo blocks for those same reasons!

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  4. We love LEGOs at our house of 4 girls. I'm in the same fix, I'd like more DUPLOs since they are quicker to build and pick up, but even the youngest (almost 3) prefers the little LEGOs. The girls favorite set is the Heartlake City pool, it has a lot of fun pieces including the basketball hoop that we "HAD TO HAVE"! My favorite minifig that we have is the female scientist from series 11, she even came with 2 little beakers :)

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    1. Oooh, I wish we had found that scientist! Sounds great. The friends sets are a lot of fun. The pool sounds like a good one. Glad your girls enjoy them!

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  5. We LOVE our Legos! So far we have a few DUPLOs, but would like more. Where did you find your base (green) sheets? I didn't know they made them for Duplos! ~Kristen

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    1. I linked in the post to a set of two duplo plates - a green one and a red one. You can also find them separately. Just search for "duplo base plate" on amazon and it should come up with one. They're great!!

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  6. From this post I appreciated specific recommendat8ons of fun sets. My son also loves build it once type sets but I like more open play ones!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting! Glad you found some fun sets!

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  7. Very impressive review and Looking so cool one and I love it.

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  8. My kids love their Duplos. I hadn't realized there were so many options. Adding to my Christmas brainstorming list!

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  9. I love the idea of the general blocks for maximum creativity.

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