Santa had a bit of a challenge determining which toys he should bring for S this year. After all, he's the youngest of three boys; what could be gotten that hasn't already been gotten once, if not twice?
Santa went DUPLO. Specifically, he got two sets for S: 5497 LEGO® DUPLO® Play with Numbers and 6051 LEGO® DUPLO® Play with Letters, along with 5636 Bus.
I wasn't entirely sure how these would go over with S. He turns two on New Year's Day, so I worried that stacking and locking the bricks could be a bit of a challenge for his little hands.
It turns out that I was all worried over nothing. The LEGOs were quite the hit with S. Of all the toys he received, he has played with the LEGOs far more than any other toy. As I watched S play with the bricks, I realized what it was about them that worked so well for him.
If you click on the links above, you'll see that the number and letter bricks are twice as tall as a regular LEGO brick. This made it much easier for little hands to grab and manipulate. While stacking the bricks was easy, it did take a few tries to master how to lock them together. Once S got the hang of interlocking the bricks, he was able to make tall towers that he could knock down (by far his favorite part).
In addition to a fun building toy, LEGO also promotes the numbers and letters sets as educational (which, truth be told, was a factor in Santa's decision to gift these sets to S). Letter bricks can be put side by side to form words, or put into alphabetical order. The number bricks come with "partners" - like-colored bricks with the corresponding number of objects on them (one teddy bear, two rabbits, etc.). These can be used to play a "memory" game (flipping over bricks to match a number with its corresponding picture), or have the child stack a number brick atop the corresponding picture brick.
I don't know how I'll use the LEGOs for the above games, but I do appreciate that LEGO offers an alternative to character-driven sets (Toy Story, Cars, etc.).
It's only two days after Christmas, but the LEGOs are by far S's favorite new toy. Mom is very happy about that.