The brightly coloured DUPLO blocks have always been enabled my older four-year-old to engage in imaginative play around food.
He often pretends to be a chef who takes my orders and whips up a sumptuous meal of corn (yellow blocks), carrots (orange blocks), broccoli (green blocks), and rice (white blocks).
If you find this familiar, then the latest range by DUPLO will get you excited.
The LEGO® Group has launched a new LEGO® DUPLO® Garden range, designed with fun narratives, bright colours and engaging characters that will enable parents to facilitate conversations with your toddler on balanced diets and cultivate healthy eating habits.
Amanda Abel, Melbourne-based paediatric psychologist and registered Sequential-Oral-Sensory (SOS) feeding therapist has been working with The LEGO Group through digital media network TotallyAwesome to help parents cultivate creative and educational play with their toddlers through LEGO DUPLO bricks.
The objective is to help parents keep mealtimes relaxed for little ones while allowing them to learn about food and vegetables through imaginative play.
Ideas on creative play using LEGO DUPLO Garden range
Here are some fun, actionable ways she had suggested for parents to incorporate active and creative play into mealtimes with sets from the new LEGO DUPLO Garden range:
- Play a fruit and vegetable guessing game by placing items from 10982 LEGO DUPLO My First Fruit and Vegetable Tractor (S$29.90) in a bag and allowing children to guess the item by touching it.
- Ignite your child’s imagination by roleplaying as an owner of a market stall utilising 10983 LEGO DUPLO My First Organic Market (S$44.90).
- Expose children to the food rainbow and a wide variety of produce through questions such as what colour is the carrot in the 10981 LEGO DUPLO My First Growing Carrot set (S$14.90)? What are other orange foods you can think of?
- Spark a conversation on growing organic produce at home by roleplaying with 10984 LEGO DUPLO My First Organic Garden (S$69.90).
Of course, these are just some basic ideas that can get you started – the possibilities are endless. They can even be done using other DUPLO blocks not from these sets if you get a little creative with them.
Putting the ideas to action
These DUPLO sets are designed for children aged 1.5 years old and above and it was easy to introduce them to my almost 22-month-old because of their bright colours that immediately grabbed his attention.
Because he can’t speak a lot yet, most of our play involved me doing most of the talking.
He really enjoyed the My First Growing Carrot set. It’s very easy to put together, so he could do so himself with minimal assistance.
He had fun pretending to tend to the carrot plant; watering plants was something that he had observed me and his grandparents doing so it was rather intuitive for him.
I seized the chance to share with him that the carrots that we often cook for him are grown in a farm and tended with care by farmers, just like what he was doing.
We also pretended to harvest the carrots and “cooked” them for a meal.
He was very engaged and amused by the pretend play and couldn’t stop “serving” me more carrots.
I can’t wait to continue using these sets to improve his relationship with food and eventually make conversations around healthy-eating especially when he gets a little older. I can certainly see these sets accompanying him for many more years before he “graduate” to other toys.