Spielgaben Educational Toys Review

I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to the range of Spielgaben educational toys, an Australian educational resources company which is just about to introduce its wonderful range of products to the UK and USA in August this year.  All opinions in the following review are my own and I can tell you straight away that I’m in awe of the quality and design behind each and every piece! Spielgaben educational toys

I first read about these wonderful toys from my good friend Deb who writes over at Learn with Play at Home and I knew I wanted them immediately for my own children, but I was disappointed to see that they were only being sold in Australia. However, they are now being released for sale in the UK and USA and I couldn’t be more excited to recommend them to you, both for creating a wonderful home learning resource and for a very valuable addition to any classroom, nursery or preschool setting. Spielgaben play kit

Spielgaben resources are all made of high quality wood and natural materials. They come in their own, hand crafted wooden storage trays and the new model (which is being released next month) will arrive in a fantastic wheeled crate to slot each tray into, keeping sorting and storage easy to manage. You can see images of this crate over on the Spielgaben homepage.

When we first unpacked these wonderful toys we were in awe of the sheer volume of pieces, the range of the types of manipulatives and incredible potential for play, exploration and learning by making endless different combinations. As a long time teacher for 4-5 year olds in main stream schools, I was in charge of ordering new resources for our Early Years unit and was often disappointed by the small number of pieces supplied in sets, barely enough for one child to explore let alone a group. Yet these offer a generous amount of each type of toy, allowing children to really develop their play and ideas for as along as they choose and combining them extends the play to new levels. It also allows kids to work together without fighting over pieces, giving them scope to work on games, projects and tasks simultaneously.

These 13 sets allow possibilities for: counting, sorting, shape recognition, pattern making, matching, building 2D and 3D structures, measuring, ordering, using 1:1 correspondence, exploring textures and sizes, creativity, language development and countless other uses beside.

Playing with spielgaben toys

The Spielgaben design is based on the educational theories of Froebel, a German educator who lived between 1782-1852. He was the forefather of later educational philosophies of  Montessori and was the founder of  Kindergarten. He believed in nurturing children’s creativity and allowing them to discover and learn through hands-on, interactive investigation, looking at patterns in nature and experiencing mathematical, spatial concepts in a real way. Einstein himself played with this type of toy as a child! Spilegaben has recreated these 13 sets of materials for modern day child to return to this good quality, distraction free, open-ended way of play, and the possibilities for their use are endless.  They represent absolutely everything I believe in as an Early Years teacher and Mum!pattern making with spielgaben

You receive a guide for using each set of the materials along with pictures pattern cards,  lesson ideas and worksheets (should you want to use them) as well as more information about how each one aids the educational development of your child.

My girls jumped straight into the sets without any need for introduction and wanted to combine some of them immediately. I know some settings encourage just one type of material at a time, but I’m a firm believer in allowing children to direct their own learning with kits like this, so I allowed them to use them as they wished. They spent a lot of time matching and sorting colours into groups initially, finding different shapes, measuring sticks and concentric circles to place together in sets. They were fascinated at how the circles could fit inside each other and were absorbed in that activity alone for over half an hour.

Shape pictures with Spielgaben

They quickly started to make their own pictures using the flat shapes, with pattern making occurring naturally as part of this. Cakie (4) made repeat patterns around some flowers that she created while Pop (3) matched colours and sorted items by size, type and shape.

Every morning they have rushed down to get out more sets to try (there are lots to experiment with!) and they have become very interested int he gorgeous solid shape wood blocks sets, using them for constructing buildings, city-scapes and sculptures with. I found the beautiful structure (below) on the dining table before breakfast one day, set up ready for adding and building on further as the day progressed. I love toys that can be changed and added to, improved on and explored in new ways and that can remain within free access at all times. My Reception/ Kindergarten classroom was set up in the same way, with free access to good quality materials always a top priority. Reggio Emilia philosophies also emphasise the need for the environment and quality materials to be the third teacher, and these tick the box in every single way. If I was teaching now I would order these from my EYFS budget immediately! They are also wonderful for home educators, preschools and for everyday parents to have at home. A set like this is worth a whole play room full of plastic, limited-possibility toys and will last longer and be of more value in the future.

Wooden block sculptures

Spielgaben is offering a limited-offer special discount for the first 200 readers from the USA and UK who sign up on their new site by clicking the button to “register interest.” Because of the high quality nature of the resources they will be making them to order and using crowd-funding to gather enough interest before packaging and posting. So if you’re interested for your home or school get your name down quickly to get in the special group offer!

 

 

spielgaben toy boxes

We have barely scratched the surface of the materials here in this review and haven’t even written about the scientific possibilities of exploring the spinning spheres kit or the gorgeous knitted balls. Hopefully we will be writing a little more about them soon, but first we need many hours of play and discovery time using the sets, which I am very happy to have over this summer!

[I was sent a set of Spielgaben products to review for this post. All opinions are my own and very genuine!]

29 comments to Spielgaben Educational Toys Review

  • WOW!!!!!!!!! How much would I have loved these in my classroom!!!!! They look gorgeous – endless possibilities for play/numeracy/literacy etc…. Every teachers/parents dream to have resources like that :-)

  • Sarah

    Hi,

    These look really great. I’ve tried to register on the website but it doesn’t seem to let you register. The registration screen stays up and I’ve had no confirmation to my email. Is there any chance that you could contact them to check whether the link is working as there doesn’t seem to be a “contact us” on their website?

    • Jim

      Hi Sarah. Thank you very much for letting us know that it is not working. It has been working for last couple of weeks and we noticed that it is not working since yesterday. We are on it right now and will fix asap. Meanwhile, you can send me an email at jim@spielgaben.com and I will manually add you into the list. I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by this, Sarah.

  • These look amazing and I’ve regiatered my interest but there’s no prices anywhere? How much is it and how do I actually buy them?

  • Charlotte

    Looks fab! As mentioned though there are no prices. Would It be possible to have some
    Prices please?

  • Love all the play opportunities there are for these resources as a childminder they would cover so many areas and ages

  • They looks amazing, I have registered my interest. x

  • Jenny

    These look amazing! We just bought my stepson a set of Cuisinaire rods, and he amused himself with those for quite a while – measuring and counting without being prompted. I can only imagine what he would do with these. It was interesting to learn that these were created by the creator of kindergarten.

  • Monika

    hi these look fab!!! but no price so it’s very hard to sign up to something we have no clue on costs…..

  • Christina

    Cannot find price….they look awesome!

  • Katherine

    How frustrating! I’m really interested in this but I can’t find a price anywhere. Anna can you help please?

  • Sarah Haig

    I had a quick look at the Australian website and in Aussie dollars the complete set is 495 I make this very roughly 300 pounds.

  • Kim

    Looks awesome, scared to find out the price though :p When you register they say in a week all the details will be released.

  • Wow. These are GORGEOUS! Makes your head spin with all the possibilities!

  • Heather C

    I will be interested to see the price and availability in August. I am excited to buy some of these for our homeschool!

  • Mary

    Ah, I can’t wait to get these in the USA! I hope they are available separately and not just as the whole lot…it would be easier to buy these one by one rather than all the $ at once…!

  • These look very fun and seem to keep kids interested and increase their imagination.

  • charlotte

    These look amazing, do you know of any other learning toys that are similar to these but not as expensive, just there’s no way we could ever afford those sort of prices :(

  • Venus Jones

    I was so sad to see the email today to see that it doesn’t say a price and it won’t be released to us till December?
    If you have any more information on this, please share.
    The link really confused me?
    Thank you!

  • What glorious photos of the sets in play. I too love to first see what the kids will do with them first before introducing explicit ideas and concepts. These sets really epitomise the concept of learning through play! So glad you and the girls loved them! :)

  • Yanic

    Just pre-ordered our full set for the kids Xmas present this year. I’m so excited about this.

  • Janet

    Please can I have more info about these lovely sets? As a Registered Childminder I can think of many uses for them and I am sure my charges will add their ideas also!

  • [...] runs, and Legos, and I’ve been drooling over the Spielgaben set from afar since I first read this stunning review by Anna at The Imagination [...]

  • Clare Littlejohn

    Wow! These look like another fabulous idea/resource… Thank you! X

  • emma

    This looks amazing. What an amazing Christmas present this would make for my little ones…. endless (educational!) fun!

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