LEGO bricks and playsets can be used for structured and unstructured play. First, consider LEGO bricks as something fun that lets children and adults be children just having fun and relaxing. Then, look at the benefits gained from playing with LEGO building sets and bricks.
LEGO bricks help develop fine motor skills. LEGO had three sizes of bricks. Quatros, introduced in 2004 and discontinued in 2006, were softer, four times the size of Duplos, had rounded corners, and were intended for one to three year olds. Quatros can be found at second-hand sources. Duplos are four times the size of LEGO regular bricks and are intended for one and a half to five year olds. LEGO bricks and playsets can be used by children as young as three.
The educational benefits include learning colors and the relationship between numbers. Children learn that two 2 x 2 bricks can be substituted for one 4 x 4 brick. If children have an idea, they learn to plan and experiment. They develop problem solving skills, such as how to add a window to a wall. Other STEM skills, such as math, engineering, mechanical abilities, and spatial thinking, are developed.
In group play, they learn to share, communicate, work with a team, and develop other social skills.
The instructions in kits help children learn to read and follow instructions. LEGO Junior sets, intended for four to seven year olds, have less complex instructions. Children also learn patience, focus, and develop their creativity.
At times, adults can structure LEGO play by focusing on some of these specific benefits.
City sets are based on a life style and are compatible with other LEGO sets. The Mining Experts Set is part of the construction sets. These sets allow children to build part of the set and then, play with the items in the set. This set includes a mine system with a track, a grinder/crusher with a raising arm, a dump truck with a tipping bed, a loader with a raising shovel, a rotating chute, a mining cart, and a mobile lab. Accessories in the set include a bear, a glow-in-the-dark spider, pieces of gold, and six figures that can hold accessories in their hands and that have movable arms and legs. The gold can be scraped off the wall, loaded in the mine cart, transferred to the dump truck, and hauled away to be processed. The LEGO City Mining Experts Set contains 883 pieces and is intended for children between ages 7 and 12.
Children can assemble parts of this camping set and then, go camping, no matter what the weather is. The set includes a pickup truck with a removable roof and a detachable caravan trailer with an extendable support leg, a removable roof, and a side that opens. The mother, father, and son figures with movable arms and legs can hold a variety of the accessories that can be removed from the camper to set up a camp. The accessories include a table, chairs, mugs, fry pan, cooking stove, a fish, a crab, crab trap, a lantern, camera, and toy sailboat. The LEGO City Pickup and Caravan Set includes 344 pieces and is intended for children between 5 and 12.
This 894-piece LEGO City Police Station has a three-story police station with three offices that have desks and computers, two cells with cots, a watch tower, and a heliport. The set includes three policemen, a policewoman, three crooks, and a police dog. The figures can hold accessories and have movable arms and legs. Vehicles include a police car, a police motorcycle, a police helicopter with rotating blades, and the crooks tow truck with a rotating, extendable cherry picker. Other accessories include a camera and handcuffs. The police station is 9 inches high x 14 inches wide x 14 inches deep. The LEGO City Police Station is intended for children between 6 and 12.
The three-story LEGO City Fire Station has a watch tower, a garage, an office, and a living area. Vehicles included are a fire off-road vehicle with hose, a water scooter, and a drone with four rotating blades. It also includes a fire chief, three firefighters, and a Dalmatian. The people can hold accessories and have movable arms and legs. The fire station is 11 inches high x 8 inches wide x 10 inches deep. The fire truck is sold separately. The LEGO City Fire Station has 509 pieces and is for children between 6 and 12.
The three-story LEGO City Hospital includes a reception area, an x-ray room, a baby delivery room, a garage, and a helipad. All the rooms have the expected furnishings. The three doctors, two paramedics, three patients, receptionist, mother, and father figures can hold accessories in their hands and have movable arms and legs. There is also a baby and a skeleton. Vehicles in the set include an ambulance and a helicopter with rotating blades. Accessories include a gurney, a wheelchair, a baby carriage, and a food cart. The hospital is 10 inches high x 8 inches wide x 5 inches deep. The 861-piece LEGO City Hospital is intended for children between six and 12.
The LEGO Heavy Cargo Transport set includes a helicopter with rotating blades and a heavy-duty flatbed truck to haul the helicopter. The cab on the truck and the helicopter cockpit open. Children can build pieces of this set and then play with it. A truck driver and a helicopter pilot that can hold accessories and have movable arms and legs are included. There is a chain to hold the helicopter on the flatbed truck. The truck cab is 3 inches high x 5 inches long x 2 inches wide. The flatbed trailer is 1 inch high x 10 inches long x 1 inch wide. The helicopter is 3 inches high x 8 inches long x 1 inch wide. The LEGO Heavy Cargo Transport includes 310 pieces and is intended for children between 5 and 12.
Besides the donut shop, the LEGO City Donut Shop set includes a toy shop. A lever releases the donut on top of the donut shop so that it rolls off of the building. With hands that can hold accessories and movable arms and legs, the figures in the donut shop set include two baristas, the toy shop owner, the truck driver, a taxi driver, a reporter, a cameraman, a crook, Duke DeTain, and a child. Vehicles include a truck with a crane trailer that can be used to lift and replace the donut after it rolls off the building, the news van, a police motorcycle, a taxi, and a bicycle-powered food cart. Accessories include items used in the shops, a microphone, a TV camera, and a toy wagon. The 790-piece LEGO City Donut Shop set is intended for children 6 to 12.
With the 273-piece LEGO City Space Mars Research Shuttle set, children build a replica of the space shuttle and a Mars rover with a grappling hook. The cockpit and the bay doors open on the space shuttle. Two astronauts with hands that can hold accessories and movable arms and legs are included. Accessories include a helidrone with blades that rotate and a storage drone. This space shuttle set could create a child’s interest in the space program. The space shuttle is 3 inches high x 9 inches long x 8 inches wide. The 273-piece LEGO City Space Mars Research Shuttle set is intended for children 5 to 12.
The LEGO City Arctic Air Transport Set includes a quadrocopter with rotating blades and a winch for children to build. There is also an all terrain vehicle (ATV). Frozen in an ice cube is a prehistoric sabre tooth tiger in a crate that can be picked up with the winch. Two Arctic explorers with hands that can hold accessories and movable arms and legs are included. The Quadrocopter is 3 inches high x 9 inches long x 11 inches wide. The LEGO City Arctic Air Transport Set has 277 pieces and is intended for children between six and 12.
While LEGO sets come with enough people and accessories for great play value. It is always fun to have extra items. This Outdoor Adventures people pack includes 14 people with hands that hold accessories and movable arms and legs along with a baby and an eagle. In addition, with this set, there is a tent, a mountain wall, a mountain bike with a ramp, a dinghy, and a lot of camping gear accessories. The people and the camping accessories will complement many of the sets mentioned previously, especially the LEGO City Pickup and Caravan Set and the LEGO City Arctic Air Transport Set. The LEGO City Outdoor Adventures People Pack has 164 pieces and is intended for children between 5 and 12.
It’s harvest time in LEGOland and LEGO provides the necessary equipment with the LEGO City Great Vehicles Harvester Transport set. The set features a toy combine harvester with an articulated unloading auger and a removable harvesting tool, a detachable trailer with a ramp, and a toy truck cab that opens and has a hitch for the trailer. A farmer and a truck driver with hands that hold accessories and movable arms and legs are included. In addition, there is a buildable scarecrow and a rake. The truck and trailer are 3 inches high x 12 inches long x 2 inches wide. The combine is 3 inches high x 6 inches long x 3 inches wide. The LEGO City Great Vehicles Harvester Transport Set has 358 pieces and is intended for children between 5 and 12.