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Kapla is a wooden block construction toy for children and adults. Each block is an identically sized and shaped piece of pine, with dimensions in the ratio of 1:3:15; i.e., 1 unit high, 3 units wide and 15 units long.
Kapla blocks are intended to be stacked and remain in place thanks to gravity. They do not have snaps or interlocking parts and are not meant to be used with glue.
The blocks are precision cut to a single size and shape, which assists in the stability of larger constructions. Each block is a cuboid in the ratio 1:3:15. The length of the longest side is 12 centimeters (4¾ inches). The blocks are certified green from renewable forests of Marine pine near the Bordeaux region of France. The blocks are not varnished or treated. Colored blocks are stained with non-toxic water based paints of six different hues.
In French schools and kindergartens the blocks are used as educational toys. There are many videos on the Internet of large and tall Kapla constructions by adults.
The idea behind Kapla developed around 1988, when the Dutch art historian and antique dealer Tom van der Bruggen moved to France in search of an old castle to restore. During renovation, Van der Bruggen was inspired by the original wooden beam design of his old farmhouse and used small planks to fashion a scale model of the castle of his dreams. Those small beam planks became the game KAPLA. The name Kapla comes from the Dutch term for "gnome planks", Kabouter Plankjes.
Kapla comes in boxes of 100, 200, 280 or 1000 blocks. Color sets come in boxes of 40 pieces. Several of the sets include hardcover idea books, but step-by-step construction guides are not provided. Models are also available on the official website.
- KEVA planks, maple planks made in the USA, their dimensions are slightly different from Kapla planks
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