Lego Group celebrates 50 years of Lego® Duplo® building fun

Honoring five decades of introducing builders as young as 1½ to the LEGO world of play, creativity and building.

The LEGO Group celebrates the 50th anniversary of LEGO® DUPLO®, its large building brick for small hands first introduced in 1969. LEGO DUPLO products are carefully designed to inspire and help toddlers unlock their full potential through creative, playful experiences that will further shape their future.

Deriving from the Latin word ‘duplex,’ meaning double, LEGO DUPLO bricks are twice the size of classic LEGO bricks on all dimensions. The desire was for all LEGO bricks to fit into the LEGO System in Play, but finding the 2:1 scale solution was no easy task. The company explored a 4:1 and 3:1 scale before Godtfred Kirk Christiansen – the company’s second-generation owner – in 1968 came up with the idea (during his sleep!) to hollow the studs on LEGO DUPLO bricks. This meant they could be combined with classic LEGO bricks, and thereby formed the basis for safe and more age-appropriate LEGO building experiences for the youngest children.

Throughout the years, LEGO DUPLO products have offered open-ended creative building opportunities through bricks that help children learn by stacking, sorting, matching and counting. Additionally, a variety of play themes have introduced structural building and character-based role play in themes most familiar to the youngest children – such as farm, police, fire, and zoo. Each theme has also delivered an array of animals and DUPLO figures that children can relate to – farmers and policemen, doctors, cowboys, scientists, and hipster parents. A variety of hot global properties have also been introduced to capture the imaginations of young builders, bringing them into the LEGO world through their favorite characters, super heroes, and animated stars. There’s something to inspire every little builder’s imagination and help facilitate storytelling and role-play.

The building blocks of life

Play is a natural way for children to make sense of the world. Through play, children learn how to express themselves, share ideas, and build relationships with others. From birth to the age of four, children undergo an intense transformation. The most rapid period of learning and development a human being will ever experience takes place in those four years and by the end, a ‘blueprint’ has been drawn for the adults they will become. Over its 50 year history, LEGO DUPLO has helped parents engage their children in simple building activities that contribute to their development – honing fine motor skills, developing language skills, learning the value of socializing, collaborative storytelling, and most importantly, building confidence in expressing their original ideas.

In a recent LEGO Play Well Report, 9,000 parents from around the world shared sentiments about the LEGO system of play:

  • 94% say it stimulates their child’s imagination
  • 93% believe it helps their child be creative
  • 91% affirm it helps their child learn and discover new things
  • 91% see it as a fun activity for the whole family
  • 84% indicate it helps their child develop life skills

Product Quality and Safety

Across physical and digital play experiences, The LEGO Group works from a safety-by-design approach and age grade to ensure children have a fun time while being challenged at their appropriate level. Putting LEGO products in the hands of the world’s youngest and most creative geniuses means they must withstand being bitten, dribbled on, thrown across the room in a tantrum or stepped on by determined young explorers.

The next 50 years and Beyond

As play patterns become ever more fluid, products like the LEGO DUPLO STEAM Train are helping toddlers move seamlessly between physical and digital play like never before, introducing little builders to early coding, color recognition and accompanying apps full of fun activities – all with the key aim to encourage and enhance the physical play experience.

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