LEGO DUPLO. So many ways to play and learn.

Oct 9, 2014

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This post is sponsored by LEGO DUPLO and Nuffnang

In this post we show you a variety of different ways to play and learn with LEGO DUPLO.

LEGO DUPLO has been a part of my life since my earliest memories. My brothers and I played DUPLO a lot while we were growing up, before they moved onto LEGO and I got lost in a world of books.

My kids (aged 2 and 5) play LEGO DUPLO often now as well. I couldn't wait to bring out the set that I used to play with as a child. My kids started playing with that set (just as I had) and have since added to our collection.

I love using the mix of old and new LEGO DUPLO. We've bought a few little additions and received a few sets as gifts. The sets make great gifts as you always know you're going to get lots of use from them. The LEGO DUPLO we have (including the 30ish-year-old LEGO DUPLO) will all be moved around the family and then onto the next generations. I hope that one day I get to see my grandchildren enjoying the same LEGO DUPLO sets we once used.

Playing and Learning with DUPLO

There are so many different ways to play and learn with LEGO DUPLO. Here are a range of different play ideas for you to try with your little ones.

Build Stories

Imitating life is part of your child’s play experience and helps them to learn about everyday life.

My children love engaging in pretend play, as do most children. It is a chance for them to play out real life situations, face fears, learn to share, cooperate, compromise, develop speech and so much more.

The range of LEGO DUPLO sets and the open-ended nature of construction means there are many possibilities for pretend play.

Children can be farmers, families, chefs, builders, parents, animals, firemen, pilots, construction workers, pet trainers and the list goes on. Use the themed sets available to match your child's interests and then leave the rest up to their imagination.

Create & Share

Social interactions teach your child basic human skills and contribute to the creation of their identity.

Working cooperatively with other people is a skill that requires development, and for children, is best learnt through playing together. Playing with and sharing the same materials with others provides many opportunities for peer learning. Peers can sometimes be the best teachers, as they are able to connect with one another in a different way than a conventional teacher/student relationship.

When presented with materials that pose a challenge, children can learn from one another by seeing how others engage with the materials and by asking for or offering help.

Usually my children just free build which means they can often work around challenges without needing extra assistance. We loved getting this new set as working with a manual was a new experience for my children and provided them with many peer sharing and learning opportunities.

Having a material like LEGO DUPLO that both my children (aged 2 and 5) enjoy using and can both use safely and independently is a real plus.

Play & Discover

Discovery through play is fun for your child when there is a balance between their ability and complexity 

LEGO DUPLO is such a fun, simple and versatile material, that it is perfect to use for engaging children to enhance their skills and knowledge in a variety of areas.

Here are just a few ways that you can learn with LEGO DUPLO.

LEGO DUPLO can help children learn about letters, numbers, words, colours, shapes and so much more.

The most obvious way of learning with LEGO DUPLO is of course by building with it. Using cognitive and fine motor skills to coordinate pieces together and create a standing structure. Learning about gravity, architecture, design and more whilst constructing designs either by following directions in a manual or by using their imagination and creativity.

Using a manual encourages children to practice reading numbers and following steps in a logical order to replicate a design.

This more structured building required my children to think more about colours, sizes, types and amounts. They found sorting and classifying helpful in building their design more easily.

Other than building with LEGO DUPLO. Here are some sightly different ways to use LEGO DUPLO to help develop and consolidate a range of skills.

Help your toddler learn more about colours and one-to-one correspondence with this simple toddler colour matching game

Use LEGO Duplo to learn about patterns with this fun Invitation to Play.

Learn more about counting and numbers by downloading your own copy of these printable LEGO DUPLO number cards that we made. There are lots of fun ways to play and learn with them.

Make counting and learning about numbers fun with this simple LEGO DUPLO number game. A great one for toddlers.

Mix it up a bit by pairing LEGO DUPLO and an egg carton in this fun egg carton maths game

Make Adventures

Being creative is an integral part of your child’s play that needs stimulating toys and tools

For us, being creative generally means thinking outside the box; making their own adventures. Seeing new and different uses for things. Trying new ways of doing things and looking for different ways to create or solve problems. For me, I would rather my children grew up as creative thinkers than academics.

In order to develop creativity, I think that children benefit from having access to a wide range of experiences and materials and the ability to manipulate these in varying ways. I tend to stay away from any toys that have very limited uses and instead look for toys and materials that we could use in a variety of different ways.

Open ended materials such as art and craft supplies are always good, as are other toys such as LEGO DUPLO, wooden blocks, playdough, loose parts, balls, imaginative play sets, dress-ups and so on. These are the sorts of toys that I like to own.

It is often from combining some of these open-ended materials that the versatility of their scope for play, creativity and learning is really displayed.

You could try combining paint and LEGO DUPLO. Use the finished products as wrapping paper, display as is or cut out letters or pictures to create your own individually designed art work.

For now we love the look of the whole piece so are displaying it as is with some patterned paper tape sticking it to the wall. Eventually we will take it down and probably cut out an animal shape (perhaps a spotty one?!), mount it on some solid coloured paper and then frame it.

When we combined playdough with LEGO DUPLO, we discovered the different types of patterns and imprints  we could create with it and other everyday items. Exploring these materials in a new way led us to all sorts of realisations, new questions and other creative ideas.

As you saw above with the pretend play, we combined various kitchen play items with LEGO DUPLO and my son enjoyed "cooking" with them.

There are so many ways to play creatively with LEGO DUPLO. Just try pairing a few different items with your DUPLO and let the kids' creativity do the rest. There is such a great range available for kids these days, from Superheros, Construction and Police sets, to Creative Picnics, Ice Cream making and Animal creation. There is sure to be a LEGO DUPLO set just perfect for your kids to base their adventures around.


Thanks to LEGO DUPLO we have this fabulous set to giveaway. To enter, answer the following question in the comments below, *Please note. This competition has ended. Congratulations to our winner Amelia Shepherd.


This competition is for Australian residents only. It begins, 9.01am AEDST Thursday 9 October 2014 and will continue until 5:00 pm AEDST on Friday 17 October 2014. See here for full terms and conditions.  If the profile you comment under isn't linked to way to contact you, or if you're commenting anonymously, please leave a name and email address with your comment.

You can see the full range available on the LEGO DUPLO website.

Happy playing,
Debs :)

{Disclosure: this is a paid post for LEGO DUPLO sponsored by Nuffnang. We received a farm set to use for the post. The rest of the LEGO DUPLO pictured already belonged to us. As always, opinions expressed in this post are my own and my children's.}

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  1. We absolutely love lego DUPLO and there really are so many different ways to play with it. Great post! My little girl loves to simply group them together and match their colours and then make different buildings with each of the colours. LOL

  2. My son loves to build things up and then break them down, he loves to find the different colours and has to match them up, and loves to take his duplo animals to bed. He also loves to set traps for mommy and daddy when we try and get to him at night.

  3. Using the blocks as cookie cutters to make duplo shortbread cookies is the newest favourite here lately!

    We have also used lego to make shapes in clay then oven dry it then paint to make xmas decorations, but of course the favourite thing usually is simply to see whose "tower" gets tallest and whose falls to pieces first :)

    1. That's a great idea kat78! Don't forget to leave a contact email so we can contact you if you win!

  4. We adore Lego and Duplo and these ideas are so fun!

    My kids love to play with Lego by making elaborate homes and worlds for their favourite toys!

  5. My daughter loves to spend ages creating a zoo out of duplo for all her animals. This farm set would make a great addition and could be used as the petting zoo section and zoo keepers!

  6. My daughter loves to build high towers and then watch them fall. She is interested in sorting and likes to sort them by colours. She also enjoys pretending that they are cupcakes and will 'bake' them for us and then have us eat them. There really is an unlimited amount of creativity that can be done with Duplo. I'm sure my daughter hasn't done them all (painting is a new one for us) but each time she plays, there is something new she will do or make.

  7. We love Duplo in our house!

    My daughter loves naming all the little people first followed by setting up them up in little 'families' and organising by colours.

  8. Duplo was always a favourite go to toy when my kids were little…lots of fun and creative play…building the highest tower was always a popular activity.

  9. So many great ideas here Debs. My kids create the most creative/crazy stories with their LEGO DUPLO. Cracks me up what they come up with. xo P

  10. We printed with Duplo a few years back and made Christmas wrapping paper... everyone loved it!

    My kids love using Duplo and Lego as part of imaginative play!

  11. Wow! So many ways to explore play with Duplo, thank you so much for sharing! My family day care kids will just love exploring some of these, we already use your Duplo number cards a lot! At the moment my twins are loving turning their Duplo into castles and farms....interesting combination I know but that's what I love about Duplo, so many possibilities for each child to explore their own imagination and creativity.

  12. My boys and I ADORE Duplo! We have quite a few sets so have played in numerous ways but lately we have been using them for role play. We built a house and put various rooms in the house for many different family members, and we have role played to prepare for our new baby coming in a few months. It's such a long lasting and creative toy, and has been a great investment.

  13. Firstly all the Duplo must be tipped out all over the floor then the sorting begins and anything with wheels must be thoroughly inspected then the imagination kicks in and all sorts of games and places are created :) our Duplo is entertaining its second generation now

  14. My son just loves to build cars with them or let me build cars and then drive them through the whole house. Or he stacks them on top of each other to build a high tower just to throw it over :-) and sometimes he just sits in the box with all the duplos and waves his arms and legs giggling and laughing and the sounds and the feel of the duplos.

  15. We love Duplo and now Lego. I use our Duplo a lot in class too - it's perfect for so many different math concepts. Making patterns, addition, rainbow facts, symmetry, fractions. One of our favourite games is to make small teams, roll a dice then build a tower using the same number of Duplo blocks then the next person roils and adds their blocks to the tower and on it goes. Of course you can't beat Duplo for their small world play sets. I'm going to be gifting one this Christmas to a new family member :)

  16. So far my daughter loves to take them out of the box one by one and transport them around the house in different containers before (luckily) putting them all back in their box. We also stack them up as high as we can before they fall over. I love the easy access they provide for naming colours and counting and can't wait to put all your ideas to use as she gets older, especially Duplo painting!

  17. The ideas are endless! I absolutely adore all your ideas and will definitely be adding the LEGO DUPLO number game with the dice and play dough printing to our list of things to try :)

  18. My grandsons love to build houses and use the Duplo people as members of the family in imaginative play situations. They also love to build a tower using colour combinations to see if they can build a tower taller than themselves before it falls down. We have used them also for colour recognition and counting.

  19. We love to build with Lego in the traditional sense, BUT, I'm loving your idea of pushing the Lego into the play doh. Its something I've never really tried, but am excited to look at doing with my kids. I'm imagining us making play doh Lego! Now that's cool!

  20. We love to play with duplo and our fave is playdoh we pretend it's mortar sometimes lol love playing with the kids with them great for quality time with the kids and also amuses them for hours while I get other things done and yes work lol

  21. They like building and playing with the air-plane and the train and the 'big' truck........ happily and quietly together needing nothing more than their hands and imagination.

  22. My daughter is 15 months old and has never owned a set and I know she would love it as she loves to build and loves animals!

  23. My son is learning through duplo play, imagination and construction skills. He is learning tactile play, pulling things apart, putting them together, where bits go and how things move. A block and some wheels can be an awesome car with him learning to put sounds together with actions.

  24. My girls love Duplo and are lucky enough to have a few sets of my childhood favourites. A the moment they love telling stories with their Duplo... Both making up stories and re-telling actual events. Love seeing their imagination grow!

  25. Duplo is one of the most played with toys in our house. My kids love playing with it independently all the time, and sometimes we've mixed it with paint or play dough or in the bath or whatever. But I find that it is also a great icebreaker for when we have visitors. It's such a collaborative toy (or you could even call it a manipulative) that can work well with a variety of ages - even intergenerational. One of the first things my daughter asks when my parents visits is "do you want to play Lego with me Pop?" And of course the answer is always yes.

  26. My kids love making huge towers, my son likes to make it a competition. He makes houses and garages to incorporate his other toys and there's a couple of duplo blacks that stay in our play dough box.

  27. I really need to get more creative with my duplo playtime. We love to build homes for our prince and princess surrounded by gardens and shops and playgrounds. We then tell a story about what they do and how they met and what adventures they get up to. By the end the story morphs into having some sort of monster destroy the village (cue miss 2!). I love some of your ideas though and am off to follow that pinterest board to remind me to be more creative.

  28. Oh my goodness - just found your pinterest page - it is kids playtime ideas heaven!

  29. Towers, counting, colour recognition too,
    With Duplo there's so much kids can do!
    CJ loves imaginative play,
    His Duplo something new each day!

    Kylie Embury

  30. My grandsons love playing with their Lego Duplo and so do I. I am unable to get down on the floor so we sit at the table and build all sorts of things. It was the one consistent play thing my own five kids played with when they were small.

  31. When my kids play with Duplo it is the only time that my kids actually get along working together listening to each others ideas and having fun!

  32. At the moment my son will suck and chew on the blocks while I build with them. I'm looking forward to the time when they can be used in other ways such as imaginative play, sorting by colour and size, adding stickers to make word families, counting, painting and playdough. The list of possibilities is endless and I hope my love for anything Lego has been passed onto my son. Love your page and Instagram account!


    1. Sorry, it wouldn't let me finish.

  33. My son loves to make towers, aeroplanes and trains with his own designs using duplo. He loves it when i click his pictures with his duplo creations. He is learning the name of colours and counting up to 10 using his duplo bricks. When toys teach kids in fun way then learning also becomes fun for them and as a mum i love it when my son learns while playing.

  34. This is absolutely brilliant, I love it. And such a great sensory and educative activity for the little ones. Thanks for sharing !

  35. Another great set of teaching tips. Would you consider evaluating SNAPO too. Many teachers are excited with theunique ability for the blocks to snap together on ALL sides plus slide and rotate. SNAPO maximizes fine motor development while encouraging imaginative play. Visit

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