We love Duplo!
It has so many amazing uses. Usually I am the builder and the boys are the architect and demolition team, my architect is very fussy. Usually I am given strict instructions of how he wants his house to be and I love all the little features he wants to add i.e. you have to be able to drive a toy train through the house, this is not easy to achieve with the limited materials I have, I have been known to stay up after they have gone to bed building things and searching eBay for larger (2 x 10) bricks – I lead a sad life!
What we have seen over the last few months is a real desire to build things that are important to him like our house, we have explored adding rooms for other family members and other siblings who are not placed with us (tricky moments). The main thing the boys love is that they can destroy it safely. Safely doesn’t just mean the bricks don’t break (Duplo is indestructible, some of our bits are over 30 years old) but it means that it is ok to pull it apart and start again. To Tom that is a big step. Something he has struggled with is that he has not had much control over his life and he likes control, he likes that fact that it is ok to get things wrong with Duplo, it is ok if his baby brothers pulls it apart to eat bricks, it’s ok if he gets angry and wants to remove rooms for his siblings or grandparents, IT IS OK. The relief you see on his face when he has successfully built something and then successfully pulled it apart is huge.
As time progresses he is now starting to do more building and is feeling more confident in his skills, he built the zoo (above) himself a few weeks ago and the pride was beautiful, he also loved body slamming it as he pulled it apart (it was messy).
The main thing Duplo has taught my boys is IT IS OK … to make a mess, to be proud of what you’ve done, to change your mind etc. For those reasons I will always be in debt to Duplo for helping my boys explore their emotions, James is too young to engage fully but I can see he is starting to enjoy the building and changing process.
P.s. I don’t work for Duplo but that would be a really cool job. I can’t wait for them both to be big enough not to eat Lego!