LEGO® DUPLO® Deluxe Box of fun Website: https://shop.lego.com/en-US/LEGO-DUPLO-Deluxe-Box-of-fun-10580
This is the LEGO® DUPLO® Deluxe Box of fun. Simple and sturdy construction blocks big enough for children from one to five years of age. It comes with a turtle, a rabbit, a wagon base, two child figures, a door, and two windows. These blocks come in many simple shapes and sizes (rectangles and squares), but also unorthodox ones with slanted or curved surfaces. The blocks are painted in the primary colors (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow), and decorated with numbers or animal pictures. All 95 blocks and figures come packed inside a nice container with pictures so that the child may draw inspiration of what to build next. The LEGO® website advertises that this product will give your child “hours of entertainment,” and that it will “open up a world of learning and creativity.” For $49.99 and five out of five stars by 390 customer reviews in Amazon. I would dare say this is a solid product, educational or not. Unlike most toys nowadays that have some sort of sound or light when the baby touches it, the construction blocks are simple by design. Matter of fact, many of the reviewers explain that the blocks are fun for their children and even more fun for their parents and grandparents. How many toys for children can say that? As a kid, the toys I remember most were the LEGO® blocks. It’s almost 13 years ago, since I began constructing with them and I don’t remember the exact product name. However, I still have a handful of pieces and by far they are my most cherished childhood toys. Since the normal LEGO® bricks are more of a choking hazard than toys for younger children, I opted for the second-best option out there. Not to mention there has been lots of debate regarding LEGO® products deemed educational for children and it caught my attention. Why not do the best of both worlds?
By 24 months’ children already knows basic three-word sentences, and somewhat discriminate shapes. This is all further developed by 28 months were infants have an easier understanding differentiating circles, triangles, and rectangles. With some difficulty regarding the latter two (2). While Piaget argues that children between 18 to 24 months are developing Mental Representation, the imagination of object presence when it is beyond their reach of actual perception. Scientists criticize him for solely relying upon motor development to acquire knowledge, disregarding perceptual and sensory activity. Imitation due to sensory perception also is important and it is argued as an early form of socialization (3). Operant and classical conditioning also occur early as newborns first take their breath. Most conditioning processes, however, have limitations as the child has to be constantly aware of the responses to the stimuli. Habituation also tendencies also begin early after birth. Bornstein mentions that “quicker decay and lower looking time” may be indices of “efficient information processing.” Bornstein further refers that socioeconomic status and intellectual development in children are correlated. These statuses could very well mean a cognitive advantage over other people.
The study, In any way, shape, or form? Toddlers’ understanding of shapes. Infant Behavior and Development delves into a discrepancy seen by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) that prekindergarten children are able to differentiate multidimensional shapes and identify characteristics that define said shapes. Successful identification of geometrical shapes aids in spatial ability, which in turns is linked with arithmetic comprehension. The study gathered 33 two-year-old children, from which 16 were males and 17 females, to undergo a series of videos where infants would have to identify the geometrical shape (rectangle, square, triangle, and circles) through the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm. Results concluded that two-year-old infants possess knowledge of typical and atypical triangles, circles, and squares; knowing no more than the other two shapes and identification of shapes were because of dismissal of the other two options. Ideally, differentiation should be based on the characteristics of shapes and objects. Nonetheless, many children struggled with rectangle identification. The last results being something it may not even fully develop until six years of age. One reason behind the lack of proper shape recognition may be due to the lack of adult instructions of shapes. Therefore, independent spatial play may be inefficient to further learn about shapes unless it is guided by adult insight.
Although LEGO® DUPLO® Deluxe Box of fun doesn’t quite classify as educational. It may yet be helpful for the child if the play is often guided by adult oversight who shares insight of shape identification. At such young age, it could be tough for the parents trying to their children concepts like length and shape characteristics. However, if taught proper characteristic identification there is a higher likelihood that children might advantageously develop spatial and arithmetical skills before kindergartner. Unlike most block games, LEGO® products have the iconic brick like design. Which may aid infants, with the help of their parents, to identify the hidden shape within the brick (a rectangle in most cases, the shape babies struggle with most). Also, LEGO® have more asymmetrical shapes and through sensory input (like touch for example) infants may increase their knowledge of shapes even further than most. Again, this is all possible if the parents are present to guide his/her child throughout these critical stages of spatial development. If no parental guidance is often given the likelihood for further developed spatial ability might be lessened until 30 months or beyond. Regardless, the LEGO® blocks alone allow the infant to explore and develop Hierarchical Integration (3) which will develop finer muscle control.
In the end, the LEGO® DUPLO® Deluxe Box of fun will benefit your child either way. The difference is that if you as a parent get involved with your child to further explain the properties of three-dimensional objects and shape identification. If not, the construction bricks will still be a fantastic way for your child to keep developing finer motor skills while entertaining himself/herself and eventually integrating all of their movements in a coordinated manner.
- LEGO® DUPLO® Deluxe Box of fun. (2016, January 07). Retrieved February 17, 2017, from https://shop.lego.com/en-US/LEGO-DUPLO-Deluxe-Box-of-fun-10580
- Zambrzycka, J., Kotsopoulos, D., Lee, J., & Makosz, S. (2017). In any way, shape, or form? Toddlers’ understanding of shapes. Infant Behavior and Development, 46, 144-157. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2016.12.002
- Bornstein, M. H., Arterberry, M. E., Lamb, M. E., & Lamb, M. E. (2014). Development in infancy: a contemporary introduction. New York: Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group.