LEGO DUPLO: Your Child's First LEGO Set

Published: 18/11/2020

Considered a colourful staple of every toy box, the LEGO range has been helping foster youngsters’ imaginations for over 50 years. Twice the length, height and width of traditional LEGO bricks, these chunky building blocks are perfectly sized for tiny hands to handle - making them the ideal option for your little one’s first LEGO set. Which LEGO DUPLO box or set is best for your tot, you ask? Read on to find out!


The history of LEGO DUPLO

When LEGO DUPLO bricks were first introduced in 1969, the colour range was limited to red, yellow, blue and white - a far cry from the rainbow of shades today’s children are spoiled with! More colours were slowly added over the years, alongside different shapes like the small four-wheeled wagon and half arch. 

Deriving from the Latin word ‘duplex’, LEGO DUPLO bricks were scaled up to be twice the size of regular LEGO blocks. The minds behind this popular toy wanted the new, larger bricks to fit into the LEGO System in Play, so Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (a second generation LEGO Group owner) cleverly suggested the idea of hollow studs.

One of the first ever larger-brick sets to be released was the 510, aimed at younger children; it formed the beginning of the LEGO DUPLO box we know today. It wasn’t until the late 1970s, however, that the company decided to market LEGO DUPLO as a separate brand - bringing with it the birth of the famous red LEGO DUPLO bunny logo found on every LEGO DUPLO box today.

While LEGO DUPLO sets continued to evolve over the years, what remained constant was the desire for all the elements of the LEGO System to fit together and provide endless play potential for years to come.


LEGO DUPLO sets today

LEGO DUPLO sets

Remaining true to its core, LEGO DUPLO sets continue to inspire young builders with new, innovative designs for the next generation and the same unlimited possibilities of the simple plastic brick. 

Today you’ll find LEGO DUPLO sets with a plethora of themes - from under-the-sea adventures, to fairground days out - and bricks in every colour imaginable: vivid pinks, sky blues, various shades of green (very important for distinguishing between shrubs, trees and lawns!) and browns, to name a few. 

Themed collaborations with Disney, Marvel and DC tap into the interests of today’s young architects, with LEGO DUPLO sets showcasing well-known characters and scenes from popular animations. With princess castles, locomotive modes of transport and birthday parties galore, there’s a themed LEGO DUPLO set for every fascination. 

As well as LEGO DUPLO sets, it’s also possible for parents to purchase a handy all-in-one box. Containing a selection of individual bricks in multiple colours and shapes, a LEGO DUPLO box is ideal for starting your tot’s foray into building. It can also be used to supplement an existing set with additional bricks to expand the realms of your little one’s imagination!

Supplying the tools needed to spur creativity and essential thinking skills, it’s no wonder these brightly coloured bricks are approved by parents and loved by children. Keep reading to discover what makes them so great and which LEGO DUPLO box or set is best suited for your aspiring builder!


What to build with LEGO DUPLO

best LEGO DUPLO sets

Less intricate than regular LEGO bricks yet just as rewarding, LEGO DUPLO blocks provide little builders with the tools to bring their imagination to life. Aimed at tots between the ages of one and five, LEGO DUPLO sets come in lively colourways with various themes that allow your youngster to create everything from castles, houses and jungles to trains, race tracks and emergency response units! 

Whether you opt for a LEGO DUPLO box or one of the many LEGO DUPLO sets available, you’ll be helping your little builder to pick up essential skills through the fun act of play. Not only brilliant for developing fine motor skills and problem solving, LEGO DUPLO sets also encourage social and emotional development through role play. 

Using their LEGO DUPLO box or set, little architects can construct playhouses, bakeries, fire stations and even superhero labs, to name a few. After mastering dexterity with LEGO DUPLO bricks to build their settings for playtime, they can use the LEGO DUPLO figures to carry out various pretend-play scenarios. 

Depending on the LEGO DUPLO box or set you opt for, it’ll either come with some friendly human figures, adorable animals or beloved animation characters to allow for plenty of interaction between them. So, no matter if your tot will be running a successful construction business, in charge of a busy airport, or hosting a delightful tea party, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to practice communication and foster creativity.

Ticking off just about every interest, below are some ideas of what your aspiring architect can create with their LEGO DUPLO box or set:

  • Cosy homes for their LEGO DUPLO families
  • Magical castles for their favourite Disney princesses
  • Animal wonderlands: jungles, zoos and farms
  • Role-play settings: shops, building sites and emergency services
  • Vehicles: airplanes, cars, locomotives, boats and submarines
  • Just about anything your toddler can think of!

Of course, it’s inevitable that one day your tot will grow out of LEGO DUPLO and want to move on to big kids’ LEGO bricks. Thanks to the original philosophy behind the LEGO System, LEGO DUPLO box and set bricks are compatible with their smaller counterparts. This means that when your youngster begins to transition to classic LEGO bricks, they can combine the two sets for even more building fun!



8 best LEGO DUPLO sets for your tot

Now that you know all about these clever little bricks and what your tot can create with their LEGO DUPLO box or set, it’s time to pick one that’ll appeal most through our round-up of the 8 best LEGO DUPLO sets!

LEGO DUPLO My First Playhouse 10616

LEGO DUPLO My First Playhouse

Key facts:

  • Recommended builder age: 1½-5 years old
  • Number of pieces: 25
  • Perfect for: introducing building skills

With its bright colourway and chunky pieces that slot comfortably in little hands, My First Playhouse is a lovely introduction to the LEGO DUPLO universe for the youngest of tots. The set comes with two child figures and specially decorated bricks depicting daily routines, like breakfast time and brushing teeth. 

Providing lots of potential for fun scenarios, little ones will love reenacting their day-to-day life at home and having a go at putting together their very own playhouse with the 25 pieces included.

LEGO DUPLO Tropical Island 10906

LEGO DUPLO Tropical Island

Key facts:

  • Recommended builder age: 2 years and above
  • Number of pieces: 73 pieces
  • Perfect for: emotional development and STEM skills

Filled with monkeys swinging on trees, exotic fruit and colourful plants, a faraway archipelago is the ultimate exciting adventure for animal-loving tots. With the Tropical Island set, they’ll get to construct their very own slice of paradise complete with endearing characters and innovative features.

The jungle tree house showcases a pulley system to demonstrate the concept behind this popular mechanism, while the turning bridge is bound to excite aspiring engineers. Alongside the three DUPLO figures, the set comes with baby animals and their mums that’ll encourage plenty of nurture and interaction.

LEGO DUPLO Number Train 10847

LEGO DUPLO Number Train

Key facts:

  • Recommended builder age: 1½-3 years old
  • Number of pieces: 23
  • Perfect for: learning numbers through play!

Introducing your tot to numbers through interactive play, the LEGO DUPLO Number Train is equal parts educational and fun! Its striking colourway is ideal for catching the attention of inquisitive young minds while the spinning wheels ensure they’ll stay engaged.

Containing a mix of plain bricks in different shapes and decorated blocks with the numbers 0 to 9, the set provides oodles of learning opportunities: from counting, addition and subtraction, to logic and shape recognition.

LEGO DUPLO Ariel's Undersea Castle 10922

LEGO DUPLO Ariel's Undersea Castle

Key facts:

  • Recommended builder age: 2 years and above
  • Number of pieces: 35
  • Collection: Disney Princess
  • Perfect for: social and emotional skills

An oh-so-charming collaboration with Disney, Ariel’s Undersea Castle brings seabed adventures to your youngster’s toy box. Perfectly designed for toddlers, the set’s manageable 35 pieces (including some exciting additions like a spinning carousel and beautiful flower decorations) allow for oodles of creativity without overwhelming young minds. 

Complete with a slide, pretend xylophone and a sunken treasure chest to spark their curiosity. With its appealing colourway and friendly faces, the set makes a lovely choice for little Disney fanatics.

LEGO DUPLO All-in-One-Box-of-Fun

LEGO DUPLO All-in-One-Box-of-Fun

Key facts:

  • Recommended builder age: 1½-5 years old
  • Number of pieces: 65
  • Perfect for: fostering imagination and creativity

A LEGO DUPLO box with an impressive 65 pieces, the All-in-One-Box-of-Fun offers open-ended play for building and rebuilding. The set comes with a boy LEGO DUPLO figure, a dog, wagon base, two windows, numbered bricks and a wide selection of other LEGO DUPLO bricks to allow your little one to utilise their imagination to its fullest. 

Between opportunities for emotional development, problem solving and learning to count, it’s the ideal choice for the youngest of LEGO DUPLO builders and older ones alike. Presented in an iconic LEGO brick-shaped storage box, it’ll also encourage little ones to tidy up after playtime!

LEGO DUPLO My First Fun Puzzle 10885

LEGO DUPLO My First Fun Puzzle

Key facts:

  • Recommended builder age: 1½ years and above
  • Number of pieces: 15
  • Perfect for: matching, building and stacking

Designed with the littlest architects in mind, My First Fun Puzzle contains just 15 pieces (yet endless learning opportunities!) for a gentle introduction to the world of LEGO DUPLO. Each buildable animal puzzle showcases a trio of bricks in vibrant colour with a different animal on each: a tiger, giraffe, crocodile, zebra and flamingo. 

Little ones can sort the blocks by colour, match them up and sort them in the right order to form their animal. Once they’ve mastered these vital educational skills, you can mix up the blocks and encourage them to get creative with their own made-up animals!

LEGO DUPLO Mickey's Vacation House 10889

LEGO DUPLO Mickey's Vacation House

Key facts: 

  • Recommended builder age: 2 years and above
  • Number of pieces: 57
  • Collection: Disney Junior Mickey
  • Perfect for: social and emotional awareness

Have your little one join some of Disney’s most beloved characters in this delightful Mickey’s Vacation House playset. Showcasing a clever two-in-one design, the LEGO DUPLO set comes with reversible roof bricks to represent two seasons: a scorching summer and a cosy winter!

From sleighing adventures with Goofy to watering flowers with Minnie Mouse, the set can be enjoyed all year round and used for introducing new concepts to your tot. Ticking off fine motor skills and construction practice, the 57 pieces provide double the fun with the ability to switch between seasons.

LEGO DUPLO Large Playground Brick Box 10864

LEGO DUPLO Large Playground Brick Box

Key facts:

  • Recommended builder age: 2-5 years old
  • Number of pieces: 71
  • Perfect for: role-play and creativity

Showcasing a slide, swing, bendy spring and tons more movable features, the Large Playground Brick Box makes a superb choice for adventurous tots! Inside the nifty LEGO brick-shaped box, your little one will find all the tools needed to build and rebuild their very own play area - complete with two child LEGO DUPLO figures to enjoy your tot’s exciting development.

With a generous 71 pieces in total, they’ll have everything at their disposal to create a kids’ back garden paradise, local town play park or an exciting school playground - as they see fit! The flexibility of this LEGO DUPLO box offers endless possibilities, ensuring maximum creativity potential and oodles of fun time and time again.


Final thoughts

Providing the building blocks to unlocking your child’s potential, a LEGO DUPLO box or set encourages youngsters to develop essential skills through the fun act of play, such as thinking, problem solving, and social and emotional awareness, to name a few.

Specially designed for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, LEGO DUPLO is a lovely introduction to the LEGO universe for the littlest of aspiring architects. With a plethora of thrilling themes to opt from, there’s a LEGO DUPLO box or set for every youngster. Which will catch your budding builder’s attention?