I am so excited to introduce to you the wonderful range of educational toys from Spielgaben. I am passionate about open ended, natural toys. No buttons. No batteries. Toys that spark curiosity. Toys that invite investigation, exploration and discovery. Toys that encourage creativity. Toys that have longevity because they are multi-functional and can be enjoyed by all ages. Toys that encourage learning in the most playful and natural way. Can a toy really do that? Spielgaben does all that and more.
When the Spielgaben set arrived, I was amazed at just how much is included in the full set. As we opened each box, both R (5 yrs) and I were delighted by what was inside. The materials are so beautifully made, they just invite you to touch, build and explore. R was into them and creating pictures and structures before we had even opened all of the boxes. He couldn’t wait to get started with them.
This was the scene in our living room just after it had been delivered. Boxes lined up along the floor, wrapping discarded to the side and R just getting in there and playing.
There is a wonderfully comprehensive guide book that comes with the Spielgaben set. It is full of inspiration cards that can inspire all sorts of creativity and learning but I love that these loose parts are so intuitive that R started using them right away, without ever having seen them before. That’s the beauty of toys like this. There is no right or wrong way to use them. There are endless possibilities for how they can be played with.
The full Spielgaben set comprises thirteen different boxes of manipulatives. They can be used individually or combined and they provide learning opportunities for pattern making, sorting, counting, colour, shape and size recognition, one to one correspondence, spatial concepts, problem solving, building structures and so much more. They foster creativity, imagination and language development. R even began narrating stories about his pictures, changing the design to fit the story. It was so wonderful to watch. We have also used these pieces on our literacy table to make words and letters.
There is a huge array of tessellation blocks in the set and R loves creating geometric patterns with them. I can’t wait to try these out on the mirror for some Reggio inspired play.
There is also a threading set which is perfect for developing fine motor skills, pattern making, sequencing, colour and shape recognition. The colours are so bright and inviting and they are beautifully tactile.
I am so impressed by the sheer quantity of materials that are included and the limitless possibilities that they offer. This box of threading materials became a long snake which R moved around the room. So what began as a fine motor activity soon became some wonderful imaginative play, gross motor fun, storytelling and language development.
There is an array of natural wooden building blocks that comes with the Spielgaben set. R was thrilled with these. He asked for the inspiration cards when it came to these blocks but he used them as a starting point only and then created his own designs. I adore the wooden trees that he made for the castle’s garden below.
The Spielgaben blocks inspired me to set up a designated block building area for R. I placed some of the larger lids from the play sets on the floor as a nice flat building base, lined up the boxes of loose parts along the side, and set out a cushion and a mirror to add a special dimension to the area.
R loves this play space and the Spielgaben toys have really added a new dimension to his creativity. These pieces truly inspire new ways of building and creating.
I think R’s favourite part from the set would have to be this wonderful toy that teaches spatial awareness, physics and geometrical concepts. There are some dowels that fit together to form a stand. You then tie some geometric shapes to a string and spin them. There are several shapes provided and each one has several hooks. Changing which hook is used changes the direction of the spinning. As the shape spins, there is an optical illusion that transforms the shape. So the cube will look like an octagon for instance.
It was impossible to capture the spinning effect in a photo but R is enthralled by it.
We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the amazing possibilities that the Spielgaben set offers. I know that these will be used in our family for years to come for two reasons. Firstly, they are so beautifully crafted that they will stand up to years of play. Secondly, they are so engaging and offer so many different learning possibilities that they will still appeal to R as he grows. While he currently uses them for creative and imaginative play (although there is so much more learning going on that that), I can see these being very useful to teach hands-on maths concepts throughout his school years.
You can read more about this amazing set of education toys, as well as what others have to say about it on the Spielgaben website. There is a second version of the set being released next month – just in time for Christmas! The contents of the new version are the same as the original version but it has a fantastic storage tray which will help with keeping everything organised and in its place. The complete set has 3 storage trays made of American Walnut that fit on top of each other. The Spielgaben toys are recommended for ages 3-12 and are ideal for families, grandparents, and classrooms.
Disclosure: I was given a set of Spielgaben educational toys to review. I did not receive any other compensation for this post. All words and opinions are my own.