Learning Through Play with Spielgaben

playing with spielgaben

I first wrote about Spielgaben educational toys about a year ago; I’m back today to write about the new, three-tray presentation that we were sent to review – it is the same product, but a new presentation, and extended curriculum. Even if you missed my post last year, followers on Instagram will recognize this toy. We play with it several times a week, and I love seeing the ways my kids use this toy!

Spielgaben comes in the three stacking trays that you see above, as well as the wooden lid that my children love to use as a play base. You can pull out a single tray, only a couple trays, or all three. The lid fits on any of the three trays, so it doesn’t matter which order you stack them in.

space shuttle built using Spielgaben wooden blocks

Spielgaben is an investment toy, partly because it is so well-designed and made, and partly because it is really several toys in one. Sometimes my kids focus in on one component – especially the wooden blocks, which they love using to build spaceships (above) and made-up board games (below). The quarter circle pieces lend themselves to some especially interesting board setups!

playing with spielgaben wooden blocks

More frequently, the kids combine different components, like using the rods with the wooden beads below:

beads on wooden posts - spielgaben play

They create incredibly complex games that they play, sometimes adding in a few other toys from the house (usually as board game pieces).

creating a game using Spielgaben

Spielgaben has always come with a curriculum, but they recently updated their curriculum, adding new components and separating it into several separate PDF files – more manageable both for reading on a computer or tablet as well as for printing. In the photo below you can see some grapes and a little chick that Lily made after seeing photos of them in our curriculum, which I printed and put in a binder in page protectors.

building with Spielgaben

Spielgaben is excellent fine motor skills practice! Here, Johnny is teaching Anna how to string beads. She still struggles to do this with the included shoelace.

stinging Spielgaben beads

But she is great at threading beads on the wooden rods!

placing Spielgaben beads on sticks

What are some of your favorite educational toys?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

19 thoughts on “Learning Through Play with Spielgaben”

  1. I always admire creativity of your kids who play so well together despite their age difference. We didn’t have Spielgaben, but we love quality of German wooden toys. I suspect some more German toys will make it to our house from Germany in a couple of weeks :)

  2. I wish I wasn’t too cheap to shell out the money for Spielgaben but also I’m a little embarrassed to say I would be scared my sons wouldn’t play with it. They almost never play with their blocks or other building toys. My oldest only wants to read or look at his sports cards these days and my youngest plays almost exclusively with his toy cars. Then I think maybe I did something wrong that they don’t play with their open ended toys very much!

    1. We have Spielgaben, and my son (age 3) only plays with it a little right now…and only if I’m playing with him. He too prefers cars & trucks. But I think the more I encourage it, the more he’ll use it….and maybe one day use it on his own. Fingers crossed!

  3. Such beautiful blocks for open ended play! And you are keeping everything so tidy and organized! My block area always got so messy and mixed up! I wish I had known about these blocks about 10 years ago!

  4. I would totally invest in them if my kids were younger, but it’s a bit hard to spend that right now with my boys turning 9 in a few weeks. I need to look to see if they just have blocks, because I’m realizing we could expand our play/school stuff a lot more with some good quality blocks.

  5. I remember your post from last year – this set looks amazing! I love that it is keeping all of your kids entertained with some components that are simple enough for the little ones and others that have the older kids creating intricate games – so lovely!

  6. Emma @ P is for Preschooler

    I always look enviously of the pictures of these beautiful sets, but know I could not afford them. Still, they look amazing (and amazingly fun!)

  7. Elisa | blissfulE

    Fabulous!! Our set arrived after Christmas, so now I’m saving it for when the new baby arrives (as the gift to the kids from the baby). That’s perfect since it should provide endless hours of play!

  8. This set looks very interesting. It reminds me a little of some of the Montessori materials from my kids’ preschool. I think I want to learn more about the curriculum.

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