Friday, November 20, 2009

building with imagination - Kapla

Kapla blocks

3 years ago, on a 1st grade field trip to the Lawrence Hall of Science (in Berkeley), we stumbled upon a room with millions of these amazing planks.  Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but really, there were tons of these pieces of wood.  They are 100% wood and machine made to be identical.  They are amazing for play from 1-100 years old.  No two buildings will ever be the same is their website.  They have some amazing photos of what their planks can build (a million times more complicated than my family's work above).  The website also has some fun information about the planks...
"This is an abbreviation of "Kabouter Plankjes" which means gnome planks in Dutch. With the KAPLA planks kids as well as adults can now build and create all kinds of different architectural constructions, animals, extraordinary creations..."

At my house, they are primarily used for building aircraft carriers, ships and roads.  Every now and again, we'll have a building or structure of some sort.  We have a box of 1,000 planks that were gifted to us for #4's 2nd birthday by her grandparents.  It was truly a gift for the whole family, a gift for a girl who needed nothing!  Her nickname became "Godzilla" because she liked to wreck everyone's buildings.  We instituted the rules that you cannot get mad at the baby for breaking your building, nor can you be upset when your building eventually collapses or tips over.

So, if you get a chance to visit the Lawrence Hall of Science, you can play in the Kapla room.  They also sell the blocks and have a 10% discount in their gift shop for members.  There are also tons of places to get them on line.  Get enough so you don't have to hamper imagination because you ran out of planks.