The KAPLA® story is fascinating. Born out of a personal project to renovate a French castle, it evolved into a toy that promotes creativity and logical thinking. KAPLA® is a great tool for children and adults to explore their imagination and develop their skills.
It all began with a personal project initiated by Dutch artist Tom van der Bruggen in the late 1980s. He purchased a small castle in France with the intention of renovating it. During the restoration process, van der Bruggen realised the need for a construction toy that could be versatile, simple, and yet capable of creating impressive structures.
Inspired by traditional planks used in Dutch construction, van der Bruggen started experimenting with rectangular wooden blocks. After several iterations, he came up with the perfect design: identical pine planks measuring 1 x 4 x 0.25 centimeters.
These planks, when stacked in various configurations, allowed for a wide range of creative possibilities.
Van der Bruggen named his creation KAPLA®, derived from the Dutch word "kabouterplankjes," which means "gnome planks." The name reflected the magical and imaginative potential of the toy.