Creative Family Living

Art with Building Blocks


Art with Building Blocks

Just a quick post today. I wanted to share some spontaneous art-making that Maia did the other day with some plain wooden blocks. The blocks are from IKEA—a set of 100 long thin ones that I bought for $9.99. They are meant for building with and Maia made a few houses and other structures that kept falling down when one of us would bump into a table (usually me). 

The blocks still got used, though, just in different ways than how they were intended.

Daphne starting using them for roads to go with her little wooden castle and her princess figurines. Maia wrote some words with them and Daphne made a couple of the letters from her name.

Art with Blocks 5

And then, one day, Maia started "drawing" with them. She arranged the blocks into a mom and baby.

I don't think I would have thought of using them this way, but love the creativity that went into the change of use! And I'm sure she'll give structure building another go at some point as well.

By the way, these blocks aren't available online, but if you're interested in blocks like these, and don't have an IKEA store near you, I found some (for more $ of course) at Mindware called KEVA Structures Plank Set. Might make a good gift for a builder (or artist) in the family…

Update: It sounds like the KEVA Planks are worth the price! If you're debating picking up a set, read the comments readers have left about their experiences with them.


  • Reply
    November 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I went to a block building workshop using Keva planks. They are deceptively simple in structure but if you see the catalog that accompanies them, one can build fantastic, complex structures. The blocks “grow” with kids and are fun for all ages, up to adults!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 8:11 am

    We have Keva planks and they are great! We a sprung for the more expensive maple ones and I think it has been worth it. They are heavier and they say ( and I think it seems true based on our experience) that they make your structures a little more stable (maybe a lot more!) than ones with the lighter pine.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

    We LOVE our Keva Planks, too! My youngest spends a lot of time creating 2 dimensional pictures like Maia’s -although train related rather than people. Love Maia’s mom and baby! Am always surprised at all the creative possibilities with these planks. For building, I do think it would be better to have the heavier, more exact cuts of the Keva Planks over the lighter copycats. Also great are Magnatiles.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    November 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Wow! Thanks for all the feedback about your experience with the Keva Planks! I wasn’t considering buying any, but after reading your endorsements, I think I’ll have to!

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle
    November 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    We have the keva planks as well. My 11 year old does amazing things with them. They are VERY uniform, so you can be precise with them, which is important for building stable structures. But I remember really debating when I saw the price. Ironically, when I saw your post and read that you got those blocks at ikea for 9.99, I was thinking I had wasted my money, but if they are not as heavy weight then that would make a difference in stability. I wish I could attach a photo from my husband’s phone of some of the really cool things James has built with them.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2013 at 10:05 am

    A friend made us some similar blocks, leftover from woodworking projects. Ours are also a little unsteady for building too high, but my girls love to “draw” floor plans with the blocks. I love to see their creativity in the face of initial toppling and disappointment!

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