Playful Learning with Spielgaben ~ September 2014

Playful Learning with Spielgaben is our monthly post sharing Spielgaben in action!  If you missed the introduction to this series, you can see it here and also see links to our past posts.. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  I will be sharing once a month a detailed post featuring Spielgaben.  You can also see my Learning with Ladybug posts to see what my daughter has done with this learning set!

Playful Learning with Spielgaben September 2014



We have had a pretty normal month of school, after a week long vacation during the first week of September.  We are currently doing about 1-2 Spielgaben lessons per week.

Below you will see I have divided the post into 4 categories ~ Lessons We Enjoyed, Free Play, Mommy Inspired Play, and Nature & Inspiration Guide Play It is a long post, I hope these categories help you find what you are interested in reading.


Lessons We Enjoyed

This month we finished up our work with Set 7 and began our work with Set 8. I took small screen shots of the manual for you so you can see how the lessons are laid out.  They are very easy to follow and help me so much. I keep the user guide on my iPad and we use it for the lessons.  She likes that she can enlarge each step if needed to see exactly how something was built. it’s a nice bonus to a PDF digitally instead of printed!

We worked on Lesson 7-7 Tessellation.

Spielgaben Tessellation

This lesson was difficult for her but she enjoyed it.  The final result was really cool and she liked it!

Spielgaben -0838 Spielgaben -0840

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We also completed Lesson 7-8 Center Pattern Play

Speilgaben 7-8

Similar to tessellation, but with a center shape to build around. Again, this was a challenge but one she enjoyed.

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We started our lessons with set 8, beginning with Lesson 8-1, Smiley Sun.

Spielgaben 8-1

After exploring for a bit, we jumped right into the lesson.

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She insisted the sun needed a smiley face wince the lesson was called Smiley Sun.

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A flower…

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Free Play

I walked into the schoolroom one day to find that my oldest son had built a Creeper from Minecraft.

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Mommy Inspired Play

This one was a big flop.  I had hoped to inspire her to count apples with me, build more apple trees, and just have some fun.  Not her thing.  At all.  But still, isn’t it cute? {note ~ the letters are not from the Spielgaben set, but from a bead set we have}

Apple Theme Kindergarten -1315


Nature & Inspiration Guide Play

I have our Nature Guide on the iPad also, I just set it up for her if she asks.  Here she was building flowers in a flowerpot, which she loved.

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Spielgaben -0858

 

In honor of our Selfish Crocodile theme, we built the crocodile again.  below you can see her enlarging the portion she was working on – a great feature of having the guide on the iPad.

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Spielgaben has a special deal for our readers for a new upcoming version.

See the brand new version 4.0 here!

It will be retailed at US $449.50 which will be higher than the current version 3.0 since a lot more materials & processes will be involved when the product is officially launched. But 1+1+1=1 readers can own this new version for over 20% off with a discounted price of US $360 including shipping if you PRE-ORDER before October 21, 2014.

Pre Order Special:  US $360 | AU $400 | GBP $222

Prices are approximate depending on conversion rates. All you need to do to claim your discount is send an email to [email protected] mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon!

If reading this after October 21, 2014, Please check directly with Spielgaben via email for current discount available, prices change with version updates and conversion rates.

Playful Learning with Spielgaben ~ August 2014

Playful Learning with Spielgaben is our monthly post sharing Spielgaben in action!  If you missed the introduction to this series, you can see it here and also see links to our past posts.. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  I will be sharing once a month a detailed post featuring Spielgaben.  You can also see my Learning with Ladybug posts to see what my daughter has done with this learning set!

Playful Learning with Spielgaben August 2014
We officially started school August 11, with a 4 day week, and then a 2 day week.  So yes, we started but we don’t really get into a consistent 5 day routine until after Labor Day. Below you will see I have divided the post into 4 categories ~ Lessons We Enjoyed, Free Play, Mommy Inspired Play, and Nature & Inspiration Guide Play It is a long post, I hope these categories help you find what you are interested in reading.


Lessons We Enjoyed

This month we continued our work with Set 7. I took small screen shots of the manual for you so you can see how the lessons are laid out.  They are very easy to follow and help me so much. I keep the user guide on my iPad and we use it for the lessons.  She likes that she can enlarge each step if needed to see exactly how something was built. it’s a nice bonus to a PDF digitally instead of printed!

We worked on Lesson 7-2 Finding a Parent Shape. Spielgaben 7-2

This was a pretty easy lesson for her, but as usual she enjoyed it. we built parent shapes by using the single shapes.  Gradually we expanded each shape also.

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Spielgaben -0002 Spielgaben -9998

 

We also completed Lesson 7-3 A Building Game. Spielgaben 7-3

Again, this one was pretty easy, as she matched solid shapes to flat shapes. We do lots of talking during these lessons, so even if it’s easier, the vocabulary is learned and reinforced.

Spielgaben -0056  Spielgaben -0057

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She struggled a bit more with Lesson 7-5, Spinning Top Game.

Spielgaben 7-5

First we built different stars together, this is the part that was a challenge for her.

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After we built various stars using different shapes, we added a few small circles to one of them to make a top.  The guide said to use double sided tape but we didn’t have any so we used school glue.

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This was a BIG hit, she loved it.  It was pretty fragile but it did spin well!

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Free Play

I don’t always catch her free play creations, but I did capture this one.  It’s Stitch from Lili & Stitch.

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Mommy Inspired Play

I like setting up different challenges for her.This was a basic color sorting game, with a fine motor emphasis.  At first she told me she didn’t like my game. I nonchalantly said, “OK, I am going to play, you can join me if you want!”

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Look who was with me before even a few seconds passed.  She loved it!  Girl can be so stubborn when something isn’t her initial idea!

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Nature & Inspiration Guide Play

I have our Nature Guide on the iPad also, I just set it up for her if she asks.  Here she was building a butterfly.  This one was difficult for her and she needed a bit of help to get the design going. Spielgaben -0180 We talked a lot about symmetry as she worked on this one! Spielgaben -0195


Remember there is a special discount for 1+1+1=1 readers…

Spielgaben is offering an exclusive discount to 1+1+1=1 blog readers –

AU $374 | US $340 | GBP $205

including shipping to AU | USA | UK, which is over 15% off of the already discounted online price. Prices are approximate depending on conversion rates. All you need to do to claim your discount is send an email to [email protected] mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon! Please check directly with Spielgaben via email for current discount available, prices change with version updates and conversion rates.

Playful Learning with Spielgaben ~ July 2014

Welcome to our monthly Playful Learning with Spielgaben post!  If you missed the introduction to this new series, you can see it here and also see links to our past posts.. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  I will be sharing once a month a detailed post featuring Spielgaben.  You can also see my Learning with Ladybug posts to see what my daughter is doing with this learning set!

Playful Learning With Spielgaben July 2014



This month we have been a bit off of our regular school schedule but have begun to build our Spielgaben lessons back into our school and free time.

Below you will see I have divided the post into 4 categories ~ Lessons We Enjoyed, Free Play, Mommy Inspired Play, and Nature & Inspiration Guide Play It is a long post, I hope these categories help you find what you are interested in reading.


Lessons We Enjoyed

This month we began our work with Set 7.  We only did 2 lessons since we are not doing much planned school time right now.

We always begin with free exploration before starting any of the lessons.  She loves this and I try to give her as much time as she wants, even if it means we don’t actually get to a lesson that day!

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I took small screen shots of the manual for you so you can see how the lessons are laid out.  They are very easy to follow and help me so much. I keep the user guide on my iPad and we use it for the lessons.  She likes that she can enlarge each step if needed to see exactly how something was built. it’s a nice bonus to a PDF digitally instead of printed!

The intro to set 7 included a chance to give each shape a nickname as well as learning the proper name.  She loved this!

Spielgaben 7

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In addition to this we made our own chart and wrote the real names and her nicknames.  She only wanted nicknames for the different triangles.

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In the end, she made some of the shapes creatively!

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Lesson 7-1 was called Explore the Circle, and was all about making different things using the circle and semi-circle pieces.

Spielgaben 7.1

 

First, we made butterflies…

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A caterpillar, a boy and girl too!

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In the end we used the square to add to the semi circle to made hearts.  She then created this square heart on her own.

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Free Play

One day I set the trays on the floor an encouraged the kids to work together to create a game.  After a few minutes of encouraging, they had a blast and set up two different games together.

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The first was a ring toss…

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Then, they turned it into a disk toss.  They used the rings as the targets and the little circles to toss into the rings.

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For both games they used tally marks to keep score {the boys, not Ladybug}.

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Mommy Inspired Play

I set this up to go along with her You Can Read unit, she loved seeing her words made with her Spielgaben pieces.  I had hoped she would be interested in recreating them, but she wasn’t!  She just enjoyed reading them!

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I set this up to inspire the kids to add onto it.  I am not sure which kid even did the adding on, but I saw some additions later in the day, but then it was destroyed by another kid!

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I made the yellow spiral in one of the rings, using Wikki Stix.  Ladybug was immediately drawn in and made her own, on the right.

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The play continued and became a big creation.

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Little houses, people and lollipops.

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Nature & Inspiration Guide Play

I have our Nature Guide on the iPad also, I just set it up for her if she asks.  Summer keeps us busy so there’s not much down time, but she did build this adorable dragonfly one day!

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Remember there is a special discount for 1+1+1=1 readers…

Spielgaben is offering an exclusive discount to 1+1+1=1 blog readers –

AUD 370 | USD 337 | GBP 200

including shipping to AU | USA | UK, which is over 15% off of the already discounted online price. Prices are approximate depending on conversion rates.

All you need to do to claim your discount is send an email to [email protected] mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon!

Please check directly with Spielgaben via email for current discount available, prices change with version updates and conversion rates.

Playful Learning with Spielgaben Plans

If you are new to our monthly Playful Learning with Spielgaben posts, you can see our introduction here. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  I will be sharing once a month a detailed post featuring Spielgaben.  You can also see my Learning with Ladybug posts to see what my daughter is doing with this learning set!

Spielgaben in Homeschool Kindergarten

We are not actually using our Spielgaben set for formal lessons right now, and honestly I haven’t been using my camera much so although the kids are using our set for free play, I don’t have anything to show for it!

Since I don’t have a plethora of photos of the set in action,  this month I wanted to share my plans for incorporating Spielgaben into our Kindergarten. We will begin lessons again soon, and I have put together a loose plan for how our Spielgaben lessons will fit in.

Last year for preschool, we worked with Play Guide 1 and will continue on with it right where we left off. The really cool thing is that the section we are up to, begins the “Advanced” work recommended for ages 5 and up. 

Spielgaben Advanced Package ages 5  and up

 

Our first lessons will begin with set 7, which features tablet shapes. She already loves these for free play, so I know these lessons will be a hit.  Here’s a peek from the introduction lesson.

Spielgaben Exploring Shapes

I looked through the lessons and plan to do all 8 of them.  They are the perfect step up from the lessons prior to this! I also love that with this transition we are now into the colored sets.  We worked with only the wooden brown sets last year for our formal lessons, I know she will be excited to learn with the colored sets too!

My plan for the Kindergarten year is similar to last year.  We will do 1-3 formal lessons per week, and tons of free play. We will also use the pieces for other things too, like we do now.  You can see many uses here in our Spielgaben, Is it Worth it? post.

We DO use the worksheets from the packs. Below are just 2 I have chosen to use to go along with set 7. One of the awesome ways Spielgaben has responded to parent/teacher concerns and requests is by now offering the full color version of the worksheets with NO background color {to save on ink}.  This is such a great change, everyone loves to save money on ink!  One way you could save even more ink is by slipping the set into sheet protectors and using a dry erase or Vis A Vis marker, so you can reuse the same worksheets with multiple children! 

 spielgaben 7 1 white   Spielgaben 7 white

 

She knows when it is Spielgaben lesson time, and loves it. I love it because it is so Spielgaben Tessellationdifferent than anything else we do.  It is more abstract, more playful, and more fun.  It teaches things I sometimes don’t even realize! Honestly, it would be easy for the Kindergarten teacher in me to put this type of learning aside and opt for the way I taught school {when I was a classroom teacher}, but I know how valuable this type of playful learning is and how much she loves it. I may not be able to check off a box that says “developed combination skills and an artistic sensibility through tessellation play”  on a normal Kindergarten checklist, but man is it cool that we get to learn and play this way!

I know many of you purchased Spielgaben recently,  I am curious to know what YOUR plans are for using your set. Please share in the comments, and also any questions you have about our plans.  I will be blogging once a month, so you’ll continue to be able to see exactly what we are doing with our Spielgaben learning set!


Remember there is a special discount for 1+1+1=1 readers…

Spielgaben is offering an exclusive discount to 1+1+1=1 blog readers –

AUD 370 | USD 337 | GBP 200

including shipping to AU | USA | UK, which is over 15% off of the already discounted online price. Prices are approximate depending on conversion rates.  All you need to do to claim your discount is send an email to [email protected]mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon!

Please check directly with Spielgaben for current discount available, prices change with version updates and conversion rates.

Spielgaben ~ Is it Worth It?

Recently you may have seen our new blog series, Playful Learning with Spielgaben, We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  Today’s post is a little different and is focused on the overall value to help you make a wise decision for you family.

Spielgaben ~ Is it Worth it

One of the best and most common questions I get about Spielgaben is about the cost.  It is most definitely an investment and most of us don’t have extra money to throw around.  I hope this post helps you decide if it is worth the price for you.  For us personally, the short answer is – YES!


What is included?

Before we go into my thoughts, let me share exactly what you get when you click order.

The current Spielgaben set looks a bit different than mine, this is v3.0.  They update the version frequently which is why you may see different things on different blogs.  The most current set right now contains an addition that I personally don’t have, the peg board and lacing supplies.Speilgaben Complete Package

The set comes looking like this, with wooden trays and a top.  Ours is a flat top, the new set has the top that works with the lacing and pegs addition.

The boxes have handles, and balance nicely.  They are a bit heavy, but I like that since I don’t allow my kids to just dive into it.  I leave ours closed like this when it’s not available for free play.

 

Here’s images of the inside of the trays. You can read the exact details about each tray here on the Spielgaben website.

Speilgaben Tray 1 Spielgaben Tray 2 Spielgaben Tray 3

 

Play Guides

In addition to the amazing learning manipulatives, you also get a plethora of digital guides.  These come in an email and you download them yourself.  You can choose to print them or use them on an e device, which is what we do.

Play Guide

There are 4 user guides, called “Spielgaben Play Guides”  Thinks of these as the curriculum manuals.  You can see them in action each month in my Playful Learning with Spielgaben posts.

We have only scratched the surface using the first guide. We have 3 that we haven’t even touched yet, but we will!

Below you can see more details about each digital guide. We are currently working our way through Play Guide 1 {Basic Play}.

 

Play guide Part 1 (Basic Play) : Focuses on how to play with each Spielgaben set in order to build competence in sensory, fine motor skills, basic math and problem-solving skills. Ideal age group: 3 to 7 years.

Play guide Part 2 (Creative Play) : Focuses on progressing creativity, self-expression and language skills to further develop your child’s brain. Ideal age group: 5 to 9 years.

Play guide Part 3 (Mathematical Play – Arithmetic) : Covers mathematical concepts that your child will learn at school from Years One to Six. It provides a solid basis for understanding arithmetical calculations, measurements. Ideal age group: 7 to 12 years.

Play guide Part 4 (Mathematical Play – Figures) : It covers mathematical concepts such as 2D & 3D figures, angles, weight and volumes that your child will learn at school from Years One to Six. Once your child has mastered all of these concepts shown in these User guides, your child will excel at mathematics and ready to tackle more advanced problems in senior school. Ideal age group: 7 to 12 years.

 

Worksheet Packs

in addition to the Play Guides there are worksheet packets.  For each Spielgaben set there are 3 worksheet packs. These packs are organized by level, you can see my file below to give you a feel for how many packs there are. Each pack has about 20 pages.

Spielgaben Worksheets

 

Nature & Instpiration Guides

Two of our favorite downloadable products are the Inspiration Guide and the Nature Guide.  These have provided hours and hours of play at my house.

Spielgaben Inspiration Guide Spielgaben Nature Guide

There are also Story Mats, we personally haven’t used those yet.


We use our Spielgaben set in a few different ways…

  • Guided Lessons {1-3 per week with Ladybug during school year}
  • Free Play {when mom allows the trays to be opened, all kids love to dive in}
  • Nature/Inspiration Guide Play {Ladybug does this a LOT}
  • Mommy Inspired Play {I set up something to draw them in}
  • Along side of other curriculum {especially K’s 2nd grade math}
      I am a visual person so instead of more written lists, I wanted to share a visual list with you. Here are a few images with the different categories labeled for you to see some examples.  If you

click on the photo it will take you to the blog post

    where I explain what we did.

Home Preschool -6457 Spielgaben -7612Spielgaben_-4 Spielgaben -5635Spielgaben -5680 Home Preschool -5245Spielgaben -6353 Home Preschool -1642Home Preschool -9499 2nd Grade -0573Home Preschool -1727 Home Preschool -8323Spielgaben -5442 Home Preschool -84972nd Grade Homeschool -6485-2 Home Preschool -6590Spielgaben -6338 Home Preschool -5487Home Preschool -6441 2nd Grade -8221


FAQ

Now that you know all that is included, and have seen exactly how we use it, here are some FAQ I have gotten regarding the value. Some of these have been posted elsewhere but I wanted to share them in this post too so you don’t have to jump around.

Can’t you just duplicate this with other more inexpensive toys?

This is a question I get and have seen a lot.  Honestly I thought this before I had the set. Now that I have had the set for almost a year, I can definitely say the answer is no. It is a complete learning program, not just another set of toys.  The Play Guides are another aspect that make this set unique.  That’s the short answer.

My question is, now that you’ve used it for 6 months or so, would you personally find it a good investment to buy outright if you had a 3 yr old and 6 yr old, or would you use that money towards other similar “toys” and curriculum?
If I had a 3 and 6 year old, I would buy it if money were not tight, for sure. I understand it is a huge investment so if money is tight, it can be a hard decision that only you can make.
The toys themselves are amazing, and worth so much, but the digital guides are invaluable.  It truly is a full curriculum, not just a set of toys. It takes the guess work out of how to use it in MANY different ways.  Plus you have the amazing benefit of the open ended free play. If you desire only the toys, maybe it wouldn’t be a good investment, but if you desire the guides and having that kind of helpful direction, it is definitely worth it.

I don’t feel the same idea can be duplicated with other various toys and curriculum, but it is an investment so you have to desire something like this {a play based curriculum}.  If you have the money to invest, definitely buy Spielgaben and forget getting other toys with the money. I would gladly give up many of the toys we had before Spielgaben {in fact I have} that are somewhat similar. The other toys have always been just free play toys, but Spielgaben is all interconnected and I love that.

We only use the guides 1-3 times a week, mostly we enjoy the free play.  But the guides have empowered me to introduce concepts to Ladybug that I would never think of {symmetry, open and closed spaces, 3D shapes, etc.}.  I truly enjoy the guides beyond what I even thought I would!

This is a set we will enjoy for years.  I am already excited about using it more for Kindergarten next year with Lili, and I use the manipulatives all of the time for my 2nd grader during math!

Do you use Spielgaben daily?

Yes, almost! Formal lessons 2-3 times a week {during school year}, free or guided play usually several times a day! I actually have a hard time keeping Ladybug away from it, she is in a stage of wanting to sit at our free play area many times per day and often asks me for my iPad for the Nature/Inspiration Guide.

In your opinion do you think it would be worth the money for a 5 and 7 year old.

If I had a 5 and 7 year old, I would buy it if money were not tight, for sure. But, if these are your only kids and you aren’t planning on having more I would think more about the purchase, especially if money is a bit tighter.  I am using it a lot with my daughter who turned 5 in April, and can see us using it for years. She loves this style of learning.  My 7 year old loves it too, I am not using the lessons with him {although I might start next year} I understand it is a huge investment so if money is tight, it can be a hard decision that only you can make.

The toys themselves are amazing, and worth so much, but the digital guides are invaluable.  It truly is a full curriculum, not just a set of toys. It takes the guess work out of how to use it in MANY different ways.  Plus you have the amazing benefit of the open ended free play. If you desire only the toys, maybe it wouldn’t be a good investment, but if you desire the guides and having that kind of helpful direction, it is definitely worth it.

This is a set we will enjoy for years.  I am already excited about using it more for Kindergarten next year with Ladybug, and I use the manipulatives all of the time for my 2nd grader during math!  I think you would get a lot of use out of it, especially if you like the idea of the guides, and your kids would enjoy this type of learning and free play.

Here’s a post from Homeschool Creations sharing specifically hos she is using it with her 4 kids, all 7 and older

Here are a couple more reviews focusing on the value from other bloggers who have reviewed Spielgaben…

Remember there is a special discount for 1+1+1=1 readers…

Spielgaben is offering an exclusive discount to 1+1+1=1 blog readers –

AUD 370 | USD 337 | GBP 200

including shipping to AU | USA | UK, which is over 15% off of the already discounted online price. Prices are approximate depending on conversion rates.  All you need to do to claim your discount is send an email to [email protected] mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon!

Please check directly with Spielgaben for current discount available, prices change with version updates and conversion rates.