Review by Mike Adamick
"I haven’t come across a toy as awesome as Keva planks … well, ever. We play with these things almost weekly, setting up huge cities or making bridges or building enormous castles. I know what you’re thinking: wooden planks? What kind of crunchy, Montessori list is this? Trust me, please, I flat out guarantee the entire family will be building towers to reach the ceiling with these. They are perfect for any age."
Mike Adamick, author of Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects — an Amazon best book of 2013.
5 Tips for Buying KEVA planks
1. Should I get Maple or Pine KEVA planks?
Here are the factors to help you decide. Maple KEVA are our very best planks. All of our maple planks are made from top grade rock maple in the USA (Maine). Maple KEVA are the standard for museums and schools because the planks are tough enough to withstand the heavy use. For families, maple is an heirloom toy that can be passed to the next generation. Durable maple maintains its edges and corners so the planks continue to stack perfectly for a long time. Maple is a closed pore wood so it resists fingerprints. The tough wood also resist dings and scratches on the surfaces so they will look beautiful for years. KEVA Maple sets include instructions for both Structures and Contraptions.
Pine - All of the sets not labeled as KEVA Maple are made from pine. Pine planks are the same dimensions as maple and create the same structures. Pine KEVA planks are imported like the majority of toys in the USA. For home use, they work great. Pine KEVA planks are more affordable.
2. How many do I need?
That depends on what you want to do. Most people start with 200 planks. That is enough to make some impressive towers that can reach the ceiling and nicely detailed table projects. If you find that you or your children really enjoy the activity, you will probably want more. The more you have the more spectacular the structures become. Also more blocks mean several people can build at one time and the session will be longer. People tend to build until they run out of planks.
3. What is the difference between KEVA Structures and KEVA Contraptions?
The instruction books are different and KEVA Contraptions includes two KEVA balls. The planks are exactly the same and totally interchangeable. If you want 400 pine KEVA planks, you should get one of each set so you will have both instruction books. Maple KEVA sets include instructions for Structures and Contraptions style projects and KEVA balls.
4. The least expensive toy you will ever buy? These prices look expensive to me.
Well....If you price it per- hour-used over the course of a year, it will probably be the least expensive toy in your home. Many families say it is their most frequently used toy. Kids play; cousins play; Dad stays up late to build something after the kids go to bed: any age guest will be entertained. Children do not tire of it. They become more engrossed as their building skills progress. It's a toy they never outgrow.
5. Why Are KEVA planks better than other construction sets?
We would humbly say that KEVA planks are not necessarily better than other construction sets. However, KEVA planks are certainly unique. By having every piece exactly the same, builders do not spend any time searching for a particular connector, carefully maintaining an inventory of parts or finding that you do not have enough of blue doohickies. With KEVA, the building starts immediately and the project concept tends to flow as you go. It is very easy to try new ideas as you build.