Independent play, STEM activities, open-ended toys, creativity, imagination, and exploration. There are so many reasons that DUPLO blocks are on my list of top three BEST toys. But what do you do when you run out of things to build?
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As my oldest has gotten older, it has become more and more important to keep that busy learning mind of his active.
He’s always been our most intense child. Have you ever heard the poem about the little girl “who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very very good, when she was bad she was horrid”?
That’s Arthur to a T.
ALL of his emotions (and actions) are BIG. He is the sweetest, funniest, most creative kid. But he also has the biggest meltdowns when things don’t go how he expected.
We have learned a lot about parenting as we have worked on handling and helping him through all of these big emotions.
But as you know, parenting isn’t a thing you “figure out” and then you’re golden. Just as soon as you learn how to navigate one stage, your kid moves onto another.
And his latest thing is if he’s bored or we’re not paying enough attention to him, he starts punching someone. Because he knows it’s a sure-fire way to instantly get mom and dad’s undivided attention.
We’re working on it. It’s been a blast.
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about DUPLOs!
As you can imagine, we’ve been working hard on finding positive ways to prevent him from getting to that place to begin with. Making sure we’re giving him lots of positive attention. And making sure he has good sources for independent play.
That’s where these instructions come in.
I know that he loves to build. But he has a very analytical mind (like his momma). He’s all about doing things the RIGHT way. He’s much more interested in following step-by-step instructions than just randomly creating things that he comes up with himself.
But the instructions that came with our blocks weren’t fitting the bill.
Some were too complicated for him to do without my help.
There were only a few things, so he’d get tired of making the same things over and over.
And worst of all (in his mind) some of the instructions were more like ideas, meaning we didn’t necessarily have the exact bricks in the exact colors that the picture showed.
So I decided to find as many simple creations as I could and create these cards for hours and hours of independent fun!
They are all two-dimensional, making them especially straight-forward to assemble, but still just as fun to play with.
There is an assortment of shapes, animals, vehicles, dinosaurs, flowers, and more!
I kept to basic blocks as much as possible, not specialty pieces, so if you have any basic DUPLO (or compatible) sets, you should be able to build just about everything.
And best of all, the instructions are all in black and white, so the builder can decide which colors to use. No meltdowns because they can’t find the exact right orange square.
To prepare your cards:
- Print double-sided, flipping on long edge. There are two versions of the PDF printable: one for printing on cardstock and one for if you want to laminate them. The only difference is that the laminated version cards are slightly smaller so that you can fit four cards in a single laminator sheet.
- Cut cards on the lines. Laminate if desired. (I’ve had this Amazon Basics laminator for a couple of years and love it!)
- Store in a 3 x 5 recipe card holder. The finished cards are the perfect size!