LEGO prides itself on being a toy for every age group. There's DUPLO for the really little ones, then regular LEGO for the "big kids." But what about that in-between phase, when your kid's motor skills aren't quite ready for those teeny bricks? That's where LEGO's 4 and up sets — featuring bigger bricks and fewer pieces — can really come in handy.
DUPLO is designed ideally for ages 1 1/2 and up, ending around 3 years old. So while many 4-year-olds may enjoy their DUPLO for awhile, some might get bored by the chunky bricks and are ready to move on to something a little more challenging. Which is when parents should look for LEGO sets that feature that big red and white "4+" on the packaging.
These sets have slightly larger building elements, and again, not as many blocks. For example, the Cinderella Castle for 6 to 12-year-olds features 585 pieces, whereas the 4+ Cinderella Castle Celebration set features a mere 168 pieces.
This is such a good idea, as the jump from DUPLO to regular LEGO sets can sometimes be frustrating for little builders. It's just a lot of little pieces to deal with. Having a smaller set that doesn't overwhelm the child makes loads of sense. It greatly increases the chance of a kid being able to successfully snap the pieces into place, and decreases the chance of them throwing a handful of teeny rainbow bricks across the room in a rage.
Recently, at the New York Toy Fair, Romper got a peek at some of the newer 4+ LEGO hitting stores, and it's a nice mix of character-themed sets as well as just standard play themes, like trucks and bulldozers.
The aforementioned Cinderella's Castle Celebration set is super cute, and features turrets, a princess and her animal friends, as well as a teeny tea set.
And I kind of love this Construction Bulldozer set, as it even comes with it's own little wrecking ball. I mean, there's only one thing more fun that building with LEGO, and that's destroying your creations, so little masters of destruction are sure to get a kick out of this kit.
Or maybe your 4-year-old is a super health conscious surfer gal and would be more into this Friends Juice Truck? It comes with all kinds of fun accessories, including a blender, a pineapple for said blender, and a little surfboard for when you need a break from your daily cleanse.
Perhaps your little one has an older sib, and badly aspires to play Ninjago just like his big brother. If so, this Kai's Fire Dragon set could be the answer. It still totally features little Ninjago guys, but is only 81 pieces, making for much simpler play.
Maybe your kid isn't a fan of characters or juicing or wrecking balls. Maybe your child just likes... the color blue. Well, then this Classic Creative Blue starter kit is an excellent choice. The 52 pieces allow them to make a little blue whale, blue robot, and blue train. And it's only $4.99!
It's just so fun that popular sets featuring Disney, Marvel, Minions, and more, can be accessible to younger kids who are just getting into the building bricks. Here's hoping these simpler sets lead to more building for your kiddo, and to fewer LEGO bricks jammed under your sofa and stuck in the vacuum.