We’re still in the midst of reestablishing back to school routines, and with my younger two, I’m still making sure that most of their education right now is play-based. I don’t want them to think that learning can only happen when they’re following a textbook, so I look for opportunities and resources that are as fun as they are educational.

Learning with Spielgaben - Play-Based Problem-SolvingI’ll be sharing how we’re using the Spielgaben system in our play and homeschool on the second Tuesday of every month, so tune in to see how it can enhance your kiddos’ play-based learning, too. I was provided a set and compensated for my time, but all thoughts, activities, and opinions are mine. I only share what we love.

 

So, for the first few weeks this fall, we’re focusing on problem solving through play. I set up different learning stations and invitations to play for the younger kids and watch them explore, learn, and solve. Our Spielgaben set is perfect for this.

And, hey – if you’re still up in the air about ordering this set, I’ve got a great deal for you. Check it out at the end of the post!

 

Learning with Spielgaben - Play-Based Problem-Solving

Play-Based Problem Solving With Spielgaben Nature Cards

Logan, my 7 year old is an interesting learner, and I know that this is the year that I’ll figure out more about her than any other one of my four kiddos. She’s struggled a lot over the last few years, and now that we finally have diagnoses of sensory processing disorder and anxiety – and know that a few others may pop up as we work with her, we’re seeing such amazing growth as she works through some of her struggles with therapists and we learn to help her better.

She loves animals, so I gave her the Spielgaben Nature Cards and put all of the different sets on the floor for her. She was absolutely thrilled with the idea of mixing the different materials to create animals of all kinds, and spent over an hour and a half making animal after animal.

An hour and a half is amazing. One of the things we’ve been working on with her therapist is what we’re calling ‘stamina building.’ She’s always struggled attending to a task, and so to do anything like this for an hour and a half is fantastic.

 

Learning with Spielgaben - Play-Based Problem-Solving

 

Even more amazing is that she meticulously cleaned up all of the loose parts. She sorted them back into their individual sections of the storage box, and carefully stacked the cards and put them on the bookshelf.

The storage box encourages organization.

She spent another half hour drawing some ideas for using the parts to make animals of her own design, and now is looking forward to pulling the pieces out each day.

Learning with Spielgaben - Play-Based Problem-Solving

 

Play-Based Problem Solving With Vertex Balls and Colored Rods

My littlest tinkerer is only three, but he’s definitely following in his big brother’s footsteps of needing to be challenged all day, every day. For him, I pulled out the balls and rods combo that comes in set 8B.

I let him play with them for a while, and when he started putting a ball on either end of a rod, and calling them wheels, I stopped him to talk about how wheels turn around axles. I then challenged him to try to make a car out of the rods and balls.

He worked for a few minutes and brought me this:

Learning with Spielgaben - Play-Based Problem-Solving

 

I was impressed with his speed and conceptualization — he’s three, after all – and further challenged him to build the tallest building he could with just those materials on the light table. Building challenges and the light table are two of his favorite things, and it kept him occupied for a long, long time. Long enough to quiz my oldest on his Algebra.

 

Learning with Spielgaben - Play-Based Problem-Solving

 

There are so many open-ended and directed problem-solving activities hat can be done with this set of loose parts. I’m looking forward to sharing more with you each month in our Learning with Spielgaben series.

Got a problem-solving challenge idea for us? Let me know and we’ll feature your suggestions! In the meantime, make sure you take advantage of the offer below – It’s the perfect time to get yourself a set and play along. It’s an investment, for sure, but so worth it as it can be used in all sorts of play and learning activities with many, many kids for years and years. Can’t wait to hear your ideas!

 

Spielgaben Deal

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Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.

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