Quite some time before Christmas I had already decided that one of the presents that I would get my son would be Duplo. He has a real love of 'doing' toys and love to build. He had some Mega Blocks sets that he enjoyed playing with but I felt that he was ready to progress onto smaller sized bricks - and Duplo would be ideal.
I set about finding a set that would be suitable for him as there is so much choice out there! I wanted a decent sized box with lots of different pieces and it needed to be suitable for my son's age which was 18 month - 2 years. This 5507 set met the criteria perfectly and when I saw it for £20 on Amazon I ordered it immediately. It is currently retailing at £35+ so that shows that this was a pretty good buy!
This set is suitable for children aged 18 months to 5 years so I expect that we will get a lot of use out of it. It is a large green plastic tub with a transparent plastic lid which can be completely removed. On first opening, the tub is filled with several bags of bricks. We simply opened all of these and emptied into the tub, which they fill nicely. Contained in this set you get a building plate to use as a base for building on. You also get two figures (one male, one female), windows, a wagon base and various other bricks in different colours and sizes.
My son loved this set as soon as we opened it. He knew instantly what he needed to do and began building as soon as I handed him the base plate and some bricks. The bricks are a decent size for toddlers - they fit in his hand nicely and are not too chunky but not so small that they are fiddly to fit together. They also pull apart quite easily too so this isn't frustrating for my son either. There are a large variety of bricks contained and they are all brightly coloured so very appealing to him too. There are a range of colours contained so these can also be used to develop and reinforce his knowledge of colours and he enjoys to sort them this way too. The little people in the set are a lovely addition too as these bend and can either sit or stand on the bricks. My son loves to build a car using the wagon base and sit one (or both!) of the figures on it and then drive it around the room. He loves vehicles so this is another plus point of this set for us too as it stops it being just a building toy and adds a bit of variation to his play.
My son's building skills and imagination do not quite stretch to a house yet so the windows are not much use to him yet. He does seem fascinated by these though and enjoys opening and shutting them. They have so far stood up well to his heavy handedness and do seem quite robust. This is one feature of the set that I think he will grow in to and build his own houses when he is a little older - or at least let me build them without taking the blocks apart as quickly as I can put them together! The bricks in general are sturdy and robust and ideal for toddlers - very well made and of a good quality.
This is a fantastic set and I highly recommend it. Duplo is, in general, not cheap and the price of this set seems to have rocketed since I bought it. If you can find this at a decent price, I would definitely snap it up.