Sustainable learning materials made of wood and cardboard

Whether they are learning at school or at home, doing so in a playful way increases children’s pleasure in learning. There is now a range of learning materials that stationers can offer to pique children’s interest in school materials. The most suitable learning materials are those that bring variety and excitement into the daily monotony of tasks and help teachers and parents to convey what has to be learnt. Here is a selection of didactic materials that are not only sustainable in terms of teaching and learning, but also in terms of the materials they’re made of.

Learning the multiplication tables in a playful way with a rubberwood maths board

The Multiplication Table Board from KubiyaGames contains 100 plug-in cubes – arranged in rows of ten. On each cube, there is a multiplication task for the pupil to solve (1x1 to 10x10). You can check the answer by removing the cube from the board. When all the cubes have been removed, the board shows a counting board with all the numbers from 1 to 100. The simply designed and, according to the American manufacturer, handmade maths board is made of rubberwood. KubiyaGames is also known for its wide range of 3D puzzles.

Cardboard music memory

Music lessons are currently often restricted due to the pandemic. Singing is often no longer allowed in music rooms in schools. Any attempts to sing together online using one of the many meeting apps only results in a distorted sound experience. The memory game “Klang2" from makers Oberlin and Rennertz brings music into home-schooling. Behind it are violin maker Sebastian Oberlin and media artist Adrian Rennertz.

With the memory game, they connect the analogue and digital worlds interactively and acoustically. According to the manufacturer, the set contains 20 so-called sound cards made of bookbinding cardboard, each of which has a wafer-thin NFC chip built into it.

The game works with a smartphone app that can be downloaded free of charge from the usual app stores. The app reads the chip and plays the corresponding programmed sound. For example, if you correctly match the capitals to the countries, you will hear the national anthem. Or if you match two bars of a classic or children's song correctly, you can listen to an entire orchestra playing a slightly longer excerpt of the work.

From the first sequence of notes to orchestral music, the result is a thoroughly surprising sound experience. At the same time, the app provides, for example, information in words and pictures about the composer and his work. And if you want to train your musical ear from scratch, you can use it to practise putting scales together

"binabo" 2-in-1 sports and construction toy

The chips of the 2-in-1 sports and construction game "binabo", which according to the manufacturer Betzold is made entirely in Germany, are made of a 100% organic-based material from renewable raw materials: wood fibres, resins and sugar. According to the family firm, which has been producing teaching materials for 50 years, the chip material is thus absolutely free of toxic substances. With the tear-resistant chips, even kindergarten children can construct buildings and so train their spatial thinking and fine motor skills. But balls or other throwing devices can also be made from them and get the players moving. For coronavirus era kids, this is at least one way to compensate for the lack of PE classes and even for the absence of breaks in the schoolyard that are normally so full of movement.

About the author

The freelance journalist and mother-of-four Doreen Brumme blogs about enjoying an organic lifestyle at work, at school and within the family circle at

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