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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Create your own Spielgaben for less

By now most Moms have seen Spielgaben somewhere on the internet. It has been reviewed by many bloggers, but is it really worth the price?  

I say NO! 

If you look closely at both the new and old sets of Spielgaben on their website, it looks like a bunch of common toys all of our kids most likely already have,  The new set they are advertising comes with these pieces that look exactly like the old classic, Tinkertoy. They also mimic Superstructs and Lakeshore's build and learn construction set. The bubbles effect that they show in the picture on the Spielgaben website, is easy to mimic. Just have your child build something with any of those types of building toy, or even magformers and dip the creation into bubbles. Easy as pie!

Why would anyone spend $500-$600 dollars on a bunch of "loose parts" when you can find everything in the set for pennies on the dollar, especially if you are shopping at garage sales and thrift stores. Everything in Spielgaben can be replicated by something equally as great, if not better.  I was able to create a Spielgaben set for my 6 year old twin boys for FREE! I will show you how!

I had to do my video in two parts because it would have been too long for one. I hope you will watch and enjoy the videos. 

Here are lots of great ideas for making your own Spielgaben set!
You may have some of these at home already, you may find some of them at garage sales or thrift stores. Many of these suggestions are toys from the videos above. Some are other items that I highly recommend. You can make your own Spielgaben any way you want to!  You can Spielgaben from toys your child already has, or maybe a combination of some new items and what you have at home. If you do happen to make your own Spielgaben set, please email me some photos!  I will be happy to add your photos to this blog post!

Learning Resources Magnetic Letter Construction

Twig Blocks

Lacing beads by Alex
wood shapes

Grimm's elements set

Blocks by Melissa and Doug

Grimm's wood marbles



Melissa and Doug lacing beads

Rainbow Fluff Balls

Plan Toys Geometric Peg Board

Lakeshore's color rings sorting board

Lakeshore's Fill it up! Fine Motor Jars

Lakeshore build and learn constructions set


Plan Toys Geometric Sorting Board

Tinkertoy, (a classic)

ABC stringing beads by Alex
Geometric solids
Grimm's Mosaic Squares
Alex pipe cleaner party
Manhatten Toy Skwish

Create your own Light Table Spielgaben

Follow Kristen (Epic Childhood)'s board Epic Black Light Play on Pinterest.


  1. I've admired the Spielgaben set for sometime - but you're absolutely right! You can put together your own set for MUCH cheaper!

    1. Thanks for the great comment!! Oh and I keep finding more potential items and adding them to the post!! I think that a lot of parents will already have many of these things or similar at home already!!! A lot can probably say holy cow I already have Spielgaben equivalent at home!

  2. If we didn't own Spielgaben (prebuy deal, not one of those special folks who got a set free to blog about)....I would wholeheartedly agree with you. I tried hard to recreate something but came up empty and honstly for not much less than a real set. The more we use our set the more I realize it's depth is unmatched with other sets. The scale/graduated sizes/proportions of this set and their ability to quickly discuss very high-level math skills are remarkable. The concentric rings and sticks alone make this set stand out. Just this week my son's Kindergarten teacher asked me to help her create some new engaging math sessions. This is a breeze when just throwing come together off the cuff coupled with searching for specific concepts within learning resources and worksheets included. Now using in a school I am even more blown away. (That said, if we would just use these for free play without any kind of structure; you are probably right that it's best just to provide lots of neat blocks.) My children really resonate with the idea of this "special set that we treat with respect"

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I love Spielgaben and Grimm, but I do not like the prices, as we just don't have that kind of money. In holland we have a simular site to ebay and I have been able to get some old, but timeless (Montessori) schoolmaterials through that site; the kind of materials actualy used in the Spielgaben sets. It feels good finding it as second/third/fourth-hand treasures, not just because of the price, but also because all that stuff is already around and not being used. I realy find that a shame, my daughter enjoys playing with it and they have their use again. I'm still looking hard for cheap Geometric solids and wooden sticks and rings, and those 'buds'... The they are not to difficult to find online, its just a case of finding a site that sells all three, and preferably in the coloured version. I love your ideas on some of the other stuff, so easy to find things just as good, if not better to include and extend your set. :-) Good luck to everyone else making their own version of the Spielgaben set!

  5. I really tried to create my own spielgaben, too--but as an educator (5+ years as an elementary educator and 2+ years as a pre-k educator) I really see the value in the Spielgaben set in its entirety. It's a quality, long-lasting, open-ended product and even though I don't regularly spend that kind of money, I absolutely see that it's worth it to buy the set rather than cobble one together with materials not quite as worth-it. We all have to do what works for ourselves and our families, but I see lots of people spending bib bucks on things like tablets and miniature motorized vehicles for their kids--so I don't know why it seems crazy to spend less than $500 on a set of beautiful materials that will build critical thinking, fine motor skills, promote open-ended play, and (especially if you get the manuals, too!) prove their worth over and over again. A spielgaben is absolutely worth it and while cobbling a set together is better than nothing, it certainly doesn't compare to the real deal, unfortunately.

  6. BIG bucks...not bib bucks. Haha sorry.

  7. Just wanting to add that I purchased our Spielgaben set as a Christmas gift for my kids--there was a special where you could get the printed manuals and the newest set for $470, free shipping. Since I probably spend that much anyway at Christmas when all is said and done, we just went for it. Best decision we have made in regards to our children's education so far. (And we already have lots of neat blocks and wooden toys) ;)


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