Fröbel & You – building set in a suitcase

Kindergarten museum, Helsinki, 2016

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This is my second project for the Helsinki’s Kindergarten museum, based on Fröbel’s building blocks (please find the first one on This project deals with three simplest, but most important shapes: the cube, the cylinder, and the sphere. On the other hand, the project has an ecological impact and helps to recycle old broken toys at home or in a daycare center. The project supports children’s creativity and provides even for the smallest ones the possibility to create new toys from old parts. At the same time, the project involves parents and kindergarten staff into collaboration.

All complex shapes of our surroundings derive from the three simple geometric shapes, that’s why my building set consists from three basic shapes made from solid wood, and dozens of old parts of broken toys. The wooden blocks have small magnets in their surface, and the toys have small iron parts (screws, nuts, bolts etc.) built into them. Therefore parts don’t stick together, but can be easily attached to any surface of the Fröbel’s blocks. The blocks itself fit to each other and stick together, if you just choose the correct sides of the shapes with the opposite poles of magnets.

The Kindergarten museum plans to send the suitcases with building sets to daycare centers. After getting familiar with the building set, the kindergarten starts to collect own broken toys and invites parents to participate in a workshop, preparing more broken toys for the play and installing iron parts into them. After that, children and parents play together and create new toys; the kindergarten staff documents the process and children’s creations.

There are four suitcases available. After a testing period, more suitcases can be commissioned and produced.

Alexander Reichstein, project designer
Taina Sillanpää, Kindergarten Museum, Helsinki
Martin Hackenberg, technical expert