The brilliance of simplicity

Sometimes a creation or an invention can be so brilliant, yet so simple, you wonder why you never thought of it yourself.  Young children are excellent at this. They still have the ability to think ‘outside the box’, which is something we really should nurture. It reminds me of years ago, when I was backpacking through Indonesia, I would see many happy poor children playing with anything they could find on the streets. I can still picture that big smile on a child’s face, running back and forth on bare feet, holding a plastic bag high in the air like a kite.

building with kapla

It’s the simple things that make us so creative. And that’s why I like Kapla so much. It’s so simple, little light weighted wooden blocks of the same size, which inspires to build the most complex buildings. The creator, French based dutchman Tom Van Der Bruggen, was clearly thinking outside the box when he created Kapla.


We all know that there are a lot of building blocks out there. But there are none quite like Kapla. Made of pine from renewable French forests, each plank is exactly the same size, shape and weight. The uniformity of the planks lets you build truly amazing structures using only gravity and balance to hold them in place. No snaps, clips, glue or interlocking parts necessary. All you need is a little ingenuity and hand-eye coordination, which you will soon learn when building.  Experts say that it can actually help children who are learning to read. Out of experience I can tell you, you can never have enough of the stuff, as the projects grow bigger and bigger.

And you know what? This brilliance in simplicity is all around us. Everywhere. In cooking, building, writing, creating, learning. You name it. In nature as well. That is exactly what permaculture is all about. Sometimes solutions are so simple and so logical.

The next time I need a solution, I must remind my self to ask the boys to help me think outside the box.


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