Importance of Play, from Einstein to Today

Einstein’s original set of Anker-Steinbaukasten building blocks. Source: Seth Kaller, Inc.

A 3D-printable replica set of the blocks Albert Einstein played with as a kid is available from a new organization focused on the relationship of childhood play to future success in life.

As a child, Albert Einstein built complicated structures with his set of Anker-Steinbaukasten (Anchor Stone) blocks — a popular toy of the late 19th century based on the work of Friedrich Froebel, creator of the concept of kindergarten. Now, an organization founded by the LEGO Foundation, Unilever and the IKEA Group, along with media partner National Graphic, wants to offer your kids the same opportunity.

Launching the Real Play Coalition at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jesper Brodin, IKEA Group president and CEO, described the mission of the organization as “helping break down barriers and giving the world the tools, confidence and inspiration to play.”

Those tools include a 3D-printable replica set of Einstein’s blocks, available on the organization’s Open Einstein website.

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