As my boys grow up I often breathe a sigh of relief - no more nappies, no more folding and unfolding of buggies and no more sterilising of stuff. Phew! But I also panic often at the thought of them growing up and not being able to do the little things with them anymore, such as giving them piggy backs upstairs, tickling them until they scream and telling them the ice cream van only plays music when it has run out of ice cream. You know, things like that!
One of the things I have loved doing with my boys since they were babies is getting down on the floor and having a good old fashioned play. Jigsaws, cars, building blocks - I have literally spent half of the last six years on the floor surrounded by toys. And although the chunky jigsaws have progressed to much more detailed ones and the simple building blocks have developed into intricate Lego castles, I still spend a lot of my time on the floor.
So, when Lego Duplo invited me to be part of the 2012 Blogger Panel I was delighted. Both boys still enjoy playing with the Duplo Thomas the Tank Engine train set which we started to collect when my eldest was just 2.
The Lego Duplo Creative Sorter (pictured above) is a great starter set for any pre-school child (the suggested age range for the product is 18 months to 5 years). The set comes with 23 colour coded bricks to construct 3 animals: a giraffe, an elephant and a parrot. The clever thing about this product is that it also comes with 3 different sorting plates (which double up as box lids) which help the child sort the pieces they need to construct each animal. This is a great toy for encouraging problem solving, coordination, role-play, shape recognition and, of course, construction skills. And for the non-conformists (!) the bricks can, of course, be mixed up to make the animals differently, or to create an entirerly new species altogether.
My four year old loved this toy - even though he has been playing with the smaller Lego bricks for some time now he really enjoyed assembling the animals and, best of all, he enjoyed slotting the bricks through the sorting plates to put everything back into the box. A clever way to encourage tidying up if ever I saw one!
Our Lego Duplo Thomas train set is 4 years old and has been played with relentlessly. It still looks as good as new, so I can certainly vouch for the durability and quality of this toy. In fact, I would say it is pretty much indestructible.
The Creative Sorter retails at £17.99 in the Lego Duplo shop. I personally think it is worth every penny as this is definitely a toy which will be played with over and over again, and can be interchanged with other Duplo bricks and even with Lego bricks as the children grow up.
All in all, a definite thumbs up and a toy that I especially think would be perfect for the younger end of the suggested age group.
For more information on the Lego Duplo range, click here.
Disclaimer: I am part of the Lego Duplo 2012 Blogger Panel and was sent a set of the Creative Sorter to review. Having said that, I genuinely liked it!