Before you introduce Lego to your child, let me first acquaint you with the power of inarguably the most famous construction toy on Planet Earth : Lego .
Lego bricks come in various themes but mainly in two sizes : Lego classic and Lego Duplo .
The Lego Classic bricks are the literal building block to the world of lego. They are small in size and available in a variety of themes and sets . Although most suitable for ages 5.5 years and above, one can start exploring these anytime after the child’s fourth birthday.
The Lego Duplo bricks are bigger blocks , ideal for toddlers aged 1 to 4 years of age.
Why choose Lego over other bricks?
Lego pieces of all varieties constitute a universal system where each piece remains compatible in some way with existing pieces, irrespective of the year of manufacture or the variation in themes.
Each Lego piece is precise to an exacting degree so that it firmly fits , yet can be easily disassembled.
When it comes to construction toys, this precision is of utmost importance to your kid who doesn’t have to face undue frustration due the inaccuracy of design element often experienced with cheaper alternatives.
Each Lego creation in itself serves as a toy, with its highly detailed design elements including wheels, windows, claws, jaws, joints , mini figures etc . These creations serve as the ultimate playmates to your little ones ,better than any battery operated gimmick on the market, whether it comes to pretend-play sets, automobiles, transforming robots or famous onscreen character related merchandise.
How to introduce Lego:
For Ages 1-3 years
You may build a strong base for Lego by introducing other building or construction toys.
A wonderful option is Mega Bloks by Fisherprice .
Kids can also expore Magnatiles in this age group for 3D construction experience .
For Ages 18 months – 6 years :
Lego Duplo provides the first step to official Lego bricks. These sets come in various themes .
Since they are on the expensive side , you can explore Kinder Peacock blocks which are compatible with
Lego Duplo sets as well.
For Ages 5.5 years and beyond :
Now is the right time to buy conventional small sized Lego bricks for your child.
During the first phase , the child may ask for parent assistance during construction and following the pictorial steps to building something. This phase may get prolonged if you start conventional Lego before the age of 5 years . Most children around the age of 6 and above will be able to create Lego without parent assistance if you buy age appropriate sets for them. Each box of Lego mentions the recommended age.
The first or the must-have Lego set to buy :
I highly recommend buying a univeral application LEGO CLASSIC set for your kid with a 32x 32 baseplate .
It is a good decision to buy a set which comes with a plastic storage box ,because once your child gets used to Lego, storage will be a challenge.
For my twins, I purchased the LEGO CLASSIC 10698 with 790 pieces and a plastic box.
Along with the classic set, a baseplate which forms the base for lego scenes is also essential.
A 32 * 32 or 10 ” x 10 ” baseplate in green is a versatile option. You can buy the original Lego baseplate or Edutoys dupe version from Amazon at half the price .
After the initial introduction to Lego Classic , you are free to explore the world of Lego according to your child’s interest. You can buy themed sets ranging from trucks , policecars, helicopters, planes, icecream trucks etc in Lego City to cyber drones, wild lions, robots etc in Lego Creator sets. You can buy the new DIY jewellery or photo frame building Lego DOTS sets, or more detailed salon , submarine , pirate ship sets under Lego Friends. Lego comes in endless variety , I highly recommend checking Lego Store on Amazon or official Lego website for that.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Right Age To Introduce Lego ?
As I mentioned before, conventional Lego is for 5.5 years above. But a more inquisitive kid can start using Lego 4 years and above . Each box of Lego has recommended age mentioned on it in bold. The Lego Classic brick sets and some Lego City box sets have ‘4+’ mentioned on them and can be considered beginner sets.
For children below the age of 4 , conventional Lego bricks might be very small , which makes them difficult to assemble and disassemble.
Also most Lego sets come with booklets of step-by-step pictorial instructions , which is how kids make the creations as shown on the box. This requires basic instruction following skills, though no reading skills are required.
For children aged 1-4 years , one can introduce Lego Duplo sets . Due to their big size ,they are toddler friendly and less complicated. However , due to their steep price, limited usability and age restriction , instead of Lego Duplo you can divulge in cheaper alternatives like MegaBloks, Kinder Peacock blocks, and magnetic construction sets etc. The intention is to keep them interested in construction toys till they are ready for the conventional Lego.
2. I want to buy Lego but its too pricy . Is it worth it ? Are there any cheaper alternatives ? Will getting it from UK be cheaper?
Agreed, Lego is not cheap. But you can be smart about how you purchase it. During some months, Lego sets in India go out of stock or are restricted, that is NOT the time to buy Lego. If you follow Lego products on Amazon or ask your local toy store to keep you updated about Lego supply, you will easily be able to buy at the right price.
I highly recommend investing in one Lego Classic brick set like the 10698 which has 790 bricks and a plastic storage box. This is the basic set to learn Lego on . You can track its price and when it hits a decent range which is usually 3000 rupees ( because it is a huge set) , make the purchase. If you make the purchase at the wrong time , the same set can cost you Rs. 10,000 + . So, be smart!
There are many Lego sets belonging to Lego City , Creator, Dots series that come in the range of 1000-2000 rupees and are excellent to play with if used according to the age recommended on box.
I DO NOT recommend cheaper alternatives to conventional Lego as nothing can match their design, precision, quality and experience. Better to save and buy fewer sets including the universal classic set than to waste on cheaper alternatives.
Getting Lego sets from abroad is a great idea, if you or someone else can get it for you , go ahead and order. But I think simply tracking the prices on Amazon also works well. Sometimes Amazon offers huge discounts on Lego because the packaging is defective but the block set inside is in perfect condition. I have often ordered such ‘imperfect’ sets from Amazon because who cares about packaging when you are getting a great deal , though I wont recommend this route for gifting purposes.
3. How to pick right Lego sets for adults? Especially as a beginner.
If you are a beginner at Lego , you can go for any set that mentions 12 years + and then gradually move to complex sets with hundred of pieces and 18 + age recommendation. A variety of Lego Technic sets, Harry Potter / Star Wars and other themed sets are meant for adults. You can check out the range at Amazon , Toycra , or a local toy store near you.
You can also check out the Lego website : https://www.lego.com/en-gb/categories/adults-welcome
4. If I introduce it now to my 6 and 11 year olds , would it be of any help? Or I can give it a pass ?
Six years is the ideal age for Lego introduction. So you are definitely not late to the party.
Also, Lego is not a compulsion or cult you need to belong to . Lego is a positive way to include problem solving skills, patience, concentration and creativity in you or your child without it being boring and tedious .
It starts as a construction toy but soon becomes a passion. To be able to create a toy from scratch using the Lego bricks is an experience which is addictive.
We are living in a world flooded with screens teaching instant gratification to one and all. In the midst of all this, Lego is a hobby which pulls you towards fine motor endeavours, away from the ever flashing smart screes around us .
In my five year old son’s words I would like to quote: “When I see a Lego, I want to build it.”
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