KAPLA was invented in 1987 by Tom van der Bruggen. Born in the Netherlands, he studied the History of Art. He always dreamt of building a castle. As he was passing the Tarn river in the south of France, he fell in love with an old ruined farm and he decided to turn the farm into the castle of his dreams, with little towers, fountains and a carriage entrance.
While making the scale drawings for it, he played around with wooden blocks to see what the structure would look like. He soon discovered that the blocks were not at all well adapted for building certain elements like floors, roofs and lintels. Unsatisfied with the possibilities of these blocks Tom van der Bruggen invented a plank based on the progressions of the uneven numbers 1:3:5. Three thicknesses for one width and five widths for one length. This ratio between bricks and stones and beams and planks now opens a whole new way of building. With these identical planks the builder can construct with the precision of artwork and the stability of stones.
Tom van der Bruggen named his planks KAPLA. This is an abbreviation of "Kabouter Plankjes" which means gnome planks in Dutch. With the KAPLA planks kids as well as adults can now build and create all kinds of different architectural constructions, animals, and other extraordinary creations.