FAMILY

LEGO Is Awesome - Just Make Sure You Buy Age Appropriately

Tuesday 28 June 2011, 2:38PM
By Double Black
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Every kid loves LEGO, but choosing the right LEGO set does more than delight. Young children build coordination with LEGO sets designed for their small hands and developing motor skills. Older kids build their creativity with toys fashioned around a favorite movie or book, while all children gain problem-solving skills from piecing together a LEGO set. Just make sure you buy LEGO appropriate for their age group.

Ages 0 to 4

The LEGO Duplo line of toys features chunky, colorful blocks that snap together easily. Bigger blocks won't slip out of little hands. Try My First LEGO Duplo Set for toddlers who like to puzzle things out on their own. The set includes a building plate, a male LEGO figure with a shovel, a pair of LEGO flowers for planting, and DUPLO blocks in a variety of shapes and colors.

To help kids build vocabulary as well as towers, choose the LEGO Duplo Play With Letters Set. This play set has the same grippable Duplo blocks, but with letters printed on each block to familiarize young children with the alphabet. Older toddlers and pre-schoolers can draw inspiration for spelling words from the included figures; a LEGO boy, cat, wagon and flowers add variety to the letter blocks.

Ages 4 to 8

Kids just starting their school years learn volumes of new information every day, and LEGO sets reinforce those lessons through play. Larger Duplo blocks appeal to the younger set, but as kids get older, they'll move to standard LEGO blocks. Give them the tools to improve their motor skills and their imaginations with the LEGO Large Brick Box. Available in pink or blue, the Brick Box suits feminine builders as well as masculine ones.

Older kids develop keen interest in a favorite book or movie. Let them add their own creative play with a themed LEGO set. Kids can imagine being a part of a wizard's world when they play with sets from the LEGO Harry Potter collection. From Hagrid's hut to Hogwarts itself, LEGO sets give kids a hands-on experience with their favorite fantasy realm.

Ages 8 to 12

Pre-teens appreciate sophisticated puzzle-solving. LEGO sets that appeal to older children focus on intricate designs and precision. Since its release in the latter half of the 1970s, the Star Wars movies have captivated kids and adults alike. Give a pre-teen Star Wars fan a complex kit from the LEGO Star Wars collection. The AT-AT Walker set has over 800 pieces and features moveable legs, making it a good choice for a child who enjoys model-building. City-builders will appreciate the LEGO City collection, a series of kits that let them construct an entire cityscape.

Age-appropriate LEGO toys foster creativity, problem-solving skills, and dexterity. Kids don't know that LEGO sets are good for them; they only care that they're fun.