Planks for Block Play
Wooden blocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. KAPLA Blocks are unique. Harvested from sustainable pine forests in the south of France. Laser-cut for precision in Morocco. Each unfinished pine plank measures precisely 4 1/2″ x 1″ x 1/4″. As a result, planks adjoin perfectly for balance and even weight distribution. Children have to figure out how to use identical planks to build well balanced structures that don’t fall down. These simple planks fascinate both children and adults. That’s what makes KAPLA Blocks appealing for intergenerational play.
Origins of KAPLA
In fact, Tom van de Bruggen invented the blocks so that he could create three dimensional models of architectural drawings. Because he wanted to see what the structure he was designing would look like. He based his plank on the progressions of the uneven numbers 1:3:5. That’s why the planks are three thicknesses for one width and five widths for one length. KAPLA is an abbreviation of Kabouter Plankjes, Dutch for gnome planks, a perfect name for wooden planks for building models.
Blocks and Children Grow Together
Playing with blocks is a universal early childhood learning experience. One that builds skills in every area of human development. What begins when a baby picks up a block and throws it evolves as she grows. The composition of the blocks changes as the child ages. Lightweight, soft, and squeezable cubes gradually give way to classic wooden blocks in a variety of shapes and sizes. Initially young children arrange blocks in rows, then progress to stacking. Block play and children grow together. From the beginning blocks invite children to explore and discover. As they do, they build skills. Gradually they acquire more skills, and the way they play changes. Building becomes more complex.
Block Play Is Invaluable
Block play involves all areas of human development at all ages. It develops gross and fine motor skills: balance and coordination, grasp and release, dexterity, eye-hand coordination. As well as creativity, logical thinking, organizing, planning, and problem solving. In addition, spatial awareness develops as structures take form. Because obstacles arise, successful projects also require focus, patience, and perseverance. Learning to deal with setbacks is essential.
In addition children learn basic principles of mathematics and science. Specifically an awareness of shape, dimensionality, and volume. As well as an experiential understanding of balance and stability and the unyielding force of gravity. Along the way they begin to figure out how many planks they need to build what they’re planning.
Block play can be solitary or in a group. Working with others develops valuable social skills. From attentive listening while communicating clearly to compromise, and cooperation. With KAPLA, the key to success is building a solid base. Doing so requires and refines all these skills.