The Bauspiel Stepped Blocks is an eye-catching set—how does it measure up to the better-known Grimm’s Large Stepped Pyramid and Counting blocks?
The Bauspiel Stepped Building Blocks, next to the Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid: the Bauspiel set has pieces both taller than the tallest, and shorter than the shortest pieces from Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid. Each set has 100 blocks, but the footprint of the Bauspiel is smaller as its blocks are 2.5cm squares compared to the Grimms 4cm squares.
The Bauspiel Stepped Building Blocks next to the Grimms Large Stepped Counting blocks. These sets are designed around the same principle of graduated pieces with height values of 1-10. The Bauspiel is built around a 2.5cm scale and the smallest piece is a 2.5cm cube and the tallest a 25cm post. The Grimms is designed with a 4cm scale footprint, and the “1” value is not a cube, it is 1cm high and the tallest post is 10cm high.
Both of of the stepped counting sets can be used for addition and multiplication illustration. We find that the Bauspiel set, with 1 represented as a cube is a little easier to visualize. When my kids play with Grimms, they call the cubes “1”, the 8cm pieces “2”, and that translates to the Grimms Stepped Counting blocks—the first piece (1cm thick, compared to the 4cm cube) comes in at “1/4”, the green at “1/2” and so on. Its great for fractions! We find the Bauspiel design a little clearer for math purposes.
The Lengths of the Gluckskafer Slats align with the Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid pieces, but there is a lot of functionality overlap between the Slats and the Bauspiel Stepped set as long spans that can be used for making windows and doorways.
If you take one of each size from each of the 4 sets, you can get a good idea of the range of sizes. From Back to Front: Bauspiel Stepped Building Blocks, Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid, Gluckskafer Slats, Grimms Large Stepped Counting Blocks.
From Left to Right, the Tallest and shortest from each set: Bauspiel Stepped Building Blocks, Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid, Gluckskafer Slats, Grimms Large Stepped Counting Blocks. (the angle on this picture was really hard to get—the cube from the Large stepped Pyramid IS the same height as the shortest piece from the Gluckskafer Slats)
In design, the Bauspiel and the Grimms Large Stepped Counting sets are most alike, but they build very differently. Here are two tower styles, each built with two of each height from each of the two sets, with the pieces organized the same way. The end result is very different!
Here is the same tower, using four of each size from each of the Grimms Large Stepped counting blocks, the Large Stepped Pyramid, and the Bauspiel Stepped Building Blocks.
Once more—this time with the Gluckafer slats. One each with the Gluckskafer slats turned flat and on edge.
One of the things that has really made Bauspiel stand out for me is the quality of the trays—they are sturdy and really valuable as functional building units in their own right, enough so that even the kids comment on how good the Bauspiel boxes are.
The Bauspiel Stepped Counting blocks are less commonly known than the others here, but really, none of these is inherently better than the other—each has its own advantages and best purpose. I think it might be easy for the Bauspiel set to get lost in the shuffle for looking similar to other sets, but in our home it ends up filling a gap we didn’t know we had.
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Written by Emily of Building with Rainbows. Originally prepared for Modern Rascals