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Building constructed of Kapla blocks

Kapla is a construction set for children and adults. The set consists only of identical wood planks measuring 11.7 cm x 2.34 cm x 0.78 cm. This 15:3:1 ratio of length:width:thickness is better than more traditionally proportioned building blocks (such as unit blocks) at building features such as lintels, roofs and floors, and great stability can be achieved without the use of fastening devices.[1]

Name origin[edit]

Individual Kapla blocks

"KAPLA" is an abbreviated form of the Dutch phrase "kabouter plankjes," which means "Gnome Planks."


KAPLA was invented in 1987 by Dutchman Tom van der Bruggen who studied the History of Art and always dreamed of building a castle. Inspired by and having fallen in love with an old ruined farm on the Tarn River in the South of France, Tom van der Bruggen decided to fulfill his dream and set about converting the old farm into his dream castle, complete with carriage entrance, fountains and towers. To help him visualize the finished construction of his castle, Tom van der Bruggen used wooden blocks, but soon realized that they would not be suitable for certain aspects of the construction, such as the lintels, roofs and floors.


KAPLA requires no glue, no screws and no clips to fix the planks. Each plank is simply placed one on top of the other. The planks are held in place by gravity and balance alone. You can use Kapla planks in 3 different ways:

  • Flat
  • On the side
  • Standing up (vertically)

Same KAPLA constructions can create different assemblage:

  • Piled up as bricks: embedding
  • Piled up as spiral stairs: stacking

KAPLA allows children to build, create and experiment by using their own imagination. With Kapla planks a child can safely build alone or together with friends and family.


KAPLA are made of pine wood and are available in different colors. They are sold in sets ranging in size from 40 to 1000 pieces.

Construction and art[edit]

KAPLA has created four art books, fun and educational, they constitute a real source of inspiration for all creators. This game encourages the apprenticeship of geometry, physics and technology, while initiating the child to the world of art, forms and volumes. The child engages himself to realize on his own or accompanied creations that are unique and demanding. He chooses and arranges forms following his own imagination. Playing with KAPLA planks request fantasy and discipline.


  1. ^ "About Kapla". Kapla Website. Retrieved 2016-03-26. 

External links[edit]