Brick by brick, LEGO® DUPLO® helps preschoolers build friendships

LEGO® sets have long been cherished by parents and educators for their ability to spark creativity and cognitive development in young children. But beyond their educational benefits (of which there are many!), these iconic building blocks play a crucial role in fostering bonds and strengthening relationships between preschoolers and the adults in their lives—all through play. 

At first glance, LEGO® sets may appear to be simple, colorful bricks. However, to the keen eye of a parent or caregiver, they represent a world of opportunity for meaningful connection with their little ones. As children explore the open-ended possibilities of building and storytelling, their friends and grownups can easily join in on imaginative adventures, creating shared experiences that lay the foundation for lifelong bonds.

Whether you’re hosting your preschooler’s next play date or diving into some quality parent-kiddo play time, here are 4 collaborative games to play with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.

mom and toddler playing with LEGO DUPLO set - collaborative play

1. Building the tallest tower together

When it comes to playing with building bricks, stacking is practically second nature. As soon as the LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are out, my daughter instinctively starts building towers to the sky. But you know what can make it even more fun? Adding a playmate into the mix. Take turns adding bricks one by one, seeing how high you can build together. And when the tower takes a tumble (which it always does!), just rebuild and aim to beat your last height record!

Tower building isn’t just about reaching new heights—it’s also about building friendships through collaboration, communication and problem-solving. As kids team up to construct their skyscrapers, they learn to share ideas, take turns, and cheer each other on. They develop important social skills like teamwork and cooperation, and have an absolute blast doing it.

2. Sorting and matching games

Sorting and matching LEGO® DUPLO® bricks is a fun collaborative activity for preschoolers and their friends. It’s like embarking on a colorful adventure together, exploring the vast world of colors, sizes and shapes while simultaneously strengthening their social-emotional skills. One easy way to approach this activity is to let each kiddo pick a color and then work together to sort and build creations using only that hue. Or, for an extra challenge, tackle a creation together, with each person adding to the build using only one color brick. Whether they’re crafting a rainbow tower together or making monochromatic masterpieces side by side, you can bet the fun of teamwork and creativity will light up the room.

Beginning preschool can be a challenging time for toddlers, but LEGO® DUPLO® bricks come to the rescue as an invaluable tool for breaking the ice in a new environment. As children dive into partnered play with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks, the fear of new experiences melts away, paving the way for natural and effortless bonds to form with unfamiliar peers and new caregivers, setting the stage for your preschooler’s success.

3. ABCs and 123s

When it comes to playing and learning together, LEGO® sets can be the literal building blocks of education. Preschoolers will love teaming up with their buddies to correctly assemble The Number Train in sequential order, or flaunt their ABC skills with The Alphabet Truck set. Grown-ups can get in on the fun too! As your preschooler’s interest grows, see if you can use the letter blocks to spell their name or short words together. 

Not only are these activities fantastic for learning, but they’re relationship builders too! As kids and caregivers collaborate to piece together their trains and trucks, they can sing the alphabet song, exchange high-fives, and practice effective communication. It’s a playful way to bond and learn all at once.

4. Tell me a story

LEGO® sets are like treasure chests bursting with animals, characters and settings that spark imagination, setting the stage for some pretty epic storytelling. Encourage preschoolers to adopt a single character or animal and have them work together to come up with stories involving their characters. Maybe they’ll tell a story about welcoming a new baby with the 3in1 Family House, reenact their adventures with friends and caregivers with the Life at the Day-Care Center, and or take turns manning the machinery with the Truck & Tracked Excavator set as they tell a tale about working at a bustling construction site. With each set offering endless possibilities, everyday play becomes a grand adventure!

Storytelling and role-playing for preschoolers not only fosters creativity and enhances vocabulary and comprehension skills, but also allows them to explore fictional relationships while building genuine connections with their playmates and grownups. This type of collaborative play promotes social and emotional growth as preschoolers learn to empathize, navigate conflicts, and collaborate during shared storytelling experiences. 

In summary, LEGO® sets are so much more than mere building blocks; they’re bridges to meaningful connections among preschoolers, their caregivers, loved ones and peers. While their educational merits are undeniable, LEGO® DUPLO® play also makes it possible to nurture family bonds, build trust with new caregivers and encourage collaboration with friends that truly sets it apart. So while it may seem like your little one is busy building towers, castles and endless imaginative creations, they’re also building skills that will enrich their lives for years to come.

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