My son had his second birthday, and he was given Duplo Lego blocks as a gift. These blocks changed the play environment of our home. Beatrice (3 1/2) loves them just as much as Vinny, and quickly adopted them as a vehicle for her imaginative play. Rather than using toys that appear to be what they represent to her (i.e. a stuffed bird is a real bird) she has made the jump to using blocks to represent the bird she imagines she needs. This has really opened up the possibilities for play beyond the confines of the toys she owns. She continues to feel very possessive over the objects she believes she is using. Vincent has noticed how his sister is deeply absorbed in the blocks and continues to seek out ways to enhance her play with his own ideas. He offers blocks to serve specific functions, for example adding a ladder to a house so the toy can climb up to the roof. (Can you tell he loves to climb?) Bea has been receptive to his ideas, and they are becoming a more effective imaginative team. She has not yet opened herself to adding much on to his ideas, but she uses the concepts he presents in her own train of thought.
I like how the blocks came with suggestions for things to build with simple wordless instructions on how to build the items. We enjoyed building an elaborate three story rainbow house with a balcony and flower garden together as a family. The kids used this home built toy as a jumping off point for further imaginative play. I was so happy to see those two kids expanding their spatial awareness, problem solving skills, ability to understand directions, and creative team work for an entire day with these blocks. I am so pleased to have brought such an outstanding early childhood learning toy into our home, even if it does hurt like a xxxxxx if you step on them.