The Power of Simplicity and Open-Ended Play

Let kids learn and build their own playgrounds with Stapelstein’s modular play system
A child jumps across Stapelstein play elements

In a world filled with structured activity environments and sedentary screen time, there’s a profound joy when children are allowed to move and create from their own imagination–to simply play for the sake of play, without the weight of rules and limitations. This unstructured approach, known as open-ended play, is an essential part of a little one’s growing journey.

The Benefits of Open-Ended Play

Movement itself is key for the development of healthy minds and bodies, yet it’s estimated that today’s kids spend over half their waking hours sitting. To push back against this troubling trend, parents can encourage movement through the no-rules appeal of open-ended play. While jumping, spinning, or running just “because” might seem like a light-hearted way to get the heart pumping, there’s some serious childhood development going on too!


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning.” – Fred Rogers


Research shows that movement is learning, and there’s a wealth of educational benefits to tap into with open-ended play. That long list includes honing integrative movement and motor skills, psychosocial competence gained through collaborative play and an openness to change, and a developing sense of independence.

Declutter with Child-First Toys That Are Built To Last

How can we inspire more open-ended play? By creating flexible movement spaces with elements that are made to be repurposed and withstand some rough-and-tumble use. While traditional toys might have all the extra bells and whistles, their single-purpose and made-to-break designs often fall short of meeting our children’s most intrinsic needs. Compare this to the deceptive simplicity of child-first toys, which inspire variable uses and offer kid-proof durability.

Unlike your average plastic toy, which often ends up in a landfill, quality toys prioritize children, the planet, and your wallet. When we invest in play elements that can adapt to a diversity of needs and spaces, the end result is more sustainability, and less waste and dollars spent in the long run. Now, there’s an investment any eco-conscious parent can get behind!

Inspiring Playtime with Stapelstein

To experience the difference quality toys make for yourself, look no further than Stapelstein. As many parents who’ve seen their children engaging in open-ended play with Stapelstein elements can attest, there's a moment where everything “clicks,” and it suddenly makes sense how open-ended play brings us back to an intuitive creativity that’s often neglected for the short-lived "wow-effect" of mainstream toys. 

As a trailblazing pioneer in open-ended play and sustainability, Stapelstein’s educational modular play system promotes healthy childhood development by tapping into kids’ inherent love for movement. Stapelstein Originals boast an impressive repertoire of 10 basic functions for variable play scenarios that help meet essential educational milestones:

  • Water features 
  • Stacking games
  • Balancing games

kids balancing on Stapelstein elements in water, and on stacked elements in a room


  • Spinning top games
  • Sorting games
  • Throwing and catching

Stapelstein elements used as bowls for a sorting activity


  • Hide-and-seek
  • Transport games
  • Fantasy games
  • Sound games

A child on Stapelstein balance board, and another using an element like a drum


More Modular Play Elements

With the recent launch of Stapelstein Inside, parents can now combine elements with Stapelstein Originals for a buildable, modular play system that will let kids dream bigger and bolder. The conveniently nesting Inside elements fit perfectly into the interior of the Original elements to inspire even more play possibilities.


Stapelstein Inside's modular nesting elements


More Than “Just a Toy”

Stapelstein elements offer benefits for all ages (from 1 to 99) and all abilities, and can be adapted to meet a diversity of unique needs. Some of the elements’ more functional and accessible everyday uses–yep, that means for parents too!–include dynamic sitting, foot rests, and yoga blocks.

Proven Sustainability & Quality 

Made in Germany, Stapelstein has made a clear commitment to sustainability and quality. Each element is consciously crafted with the revolutionary use of 100 percent recyclable EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam. While most toys are made with a variety of materials and plastics, Stapelstein’s reliance on this plastic-neutral monomaterial avoids complicated separation processes during recycling, allowing elements to easily reintegrate into the production cycle. This means reducing consumption of our earth’s precious resources, but also ensuring that products pass through climate-neutral and closed-loop product development to support the circular economy.


A child sits on stacked Stapelstein elements


To stand the test of time and kids being kids, Stapelstein elements feature shock-absorbing properties and impressive weight-bearing capacities. Originals elements can support up to 396 lbs, and Inside up to 110 lbs. You can also rest assured with Stapelstein’s high-safety profile: It’s food-grade quality for teething little ones, odorless, and free of harmful substances and sharp corners or edges. Elements are also water-, saliva-, and UV-resistant. 

Stapelstein’s many accolades include Germany’s prestigious spiel gut seal of excellence for educational toys and various awards: TOTY (Toy of the Year) 2023 Finalist, Parents "Best Toys" 2023, and The Toy Insider 2023 winner. 


Stapelstein Originals elements


Whether you’re inside on a rainy day or venturing into the great outdoors, Stapelstein’s modular elements move with you, so kids can tap into an inspiring play experience unlike any other.

Stapelstein logo


Stapelstein is a pioneering family lifestyle brand from Germany dedicated to sparking creativity and movement in children's play. With their innovative modular elements and versatile boards, that are crafted with eco-friendly materials, Stapelstein prioritizes a planet-conscious approach to fun and children's development from early stages on. From balancing to building, spinning and stacking, Stapelstein elements inspire children to unleash their creativity and engage in dynamic, enriching play experiences.

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