How The Colorful World of Bilibo Enchanted Us!

Bilibo - family wood 2

Bilibo is a fantastic innovative, and versatile open-ended toy that will blow you away. It looks so simple (and, to be honest, quite strange the first time you lay your eyes on it) that you can not imagine all the things you can do with it. The Bilibo seat and its mini version, with its iconic shell shape and bright colors, immediately charm children.

It awakens their curiosity, engages their imagination, and helps them improve basic motor skills and balance playfully. Bilibo invites them to come up with endless playing possibilities – climbing, rocking and spinning in it, sitting on it, hiding, using it as a shell, peeking through it, using it as a helmet, carrying things with it… I think it is brilliant for girls and boys and can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors… it is simply incredible.

Bilibo - mini stacked

The creative SThe creative Swiss company Moluk designed it in conjunction with child development experts, so it is no wonder it is an award-winning toy. Hats off to the team!

While researching this post, I also wanted to mention that I’ve realized it is a much-loved toy for classrooms and homes for children with autism and special needs. I am clearly no expert in this area, but from what I’ve read, Occupational Therapists love it. They like that it builds balance and core strength, and it is considered a tremendous sensory integration tool. It’s obviously a fantastic toy for all children who just want to have fun!

In this post…

Is bilibo fun?

Oh my! Yes! Without a doubt! They have loads of fun with it – it can be whatever they imagine it to be. Really, the only limit is their imagination.

Bilibo - morning sun

A chair, a shell, a helmet, a tunnel, a hiding spot, a container, a cradle, a pool, a basket, a target, a spinner, a slide… either for them or their toys.

It’s great because they can use it for indoor play, outdoor play, and even get it wet. And both sizes of Bilibo are excellent… they inspire different kinds of play and spark so many ideas.

What is a Bilibo seat?

Bilibo - standing on the bilibo seat

Ok, so the Bilibo seat or the Bilibo chair is the big Bilibo. Its shape was inspired by a turtle shell, and it is magically attractive for kids. You can use it as a seat and (either sit on it or in it) both are great options for my children, or you can do soooo much more.

These are some ways we play at home: sitting and spinning in it, sitting and standing on it, jumping from it, hiding under it,… As I’ve mentioned already, the possibilities are endless.

My daughter (now 5) has been playing with it this summer inside the pool. She’s making it float and using it as a target and as a helmet. Other days she’s been using it as a bucket and filling it with water and also sinking it and seeing what happened. It’s been fascinating just looking at her coming up with new things to do with it all by herself.

We’ve lately incorporated it in our road builds. So if you want an excellent tunnel for your streets and cars, you’ve got it! If you’d like to see all the ways we’ve come up with playing with our waytoplay road check out here 😉

It is very sturdy and resistant. Children can step on it, jump on it, throw it around (not a usual practice – but once it did fly a bit and we told them not to do it again, but the Bilibo was ok), and it is still holding up well. However, they recommend that they be careful with extreme weather and contrast, for it may make it crack.

And what about the mini Bilibos?

Bilibo - mini circle

At home love them even more! It is a set of 6 miniature versions of the Bilibo that come in 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and pink.

Stack them, nest them, use them pour water from one to another, and scoop beads and rice in a sensory bin. You can hide things under them, they can be cradles for little dolls, make them fit like balls and store things inside, and more.

They’ve rotated around the house, and now they have been stationed for the past months in the bathroom. They are used a lot to play during bathtime. First, they’d pour water from one Bilibo to the other, and they use them as tiny boats that float. Lately, they’ve used them as hats, as a cauldron, and make “potions” with their soap and shampoo, and anything that they can think of at that moment.

I also used them a lot for playing games with colors. When they are at that stage in their twos, where color sorting is a challenge, we use the tiny Bilibo shells to match objects and place them inside to make it more fun.

We’ve lately used them as well during sensory play. For example, we used the mini as a scoop to move water beads from one bin to another in this ocean-themed sensory activity. We bought the animals and beads as a set from Amazon, and they loved it. My son played with it for 2 hours straight. Fantastic.

Bilibo - sensory play 2

Playing with them trying to fit them as a puzzle also helps develop fine motor skills, and it is a challenge for them to get them to sit balanced as a ball. It is easy for us but for little ones not so much. The first time they managed, it was cause for celebration! You can use wood hoops to stack them and make towers!

What age is Bilibo for?

Bilibo is recommended for ages two and up.

In our case, it was a gift from my daughter’s Fairy Godmother when she was 1 and a half (she always introduces us to all these brilliant innovative toys). My daughter started playing with the mini Bilibos straight away. We hid things under them, and she had to guess where they were; we played during bath time and also with a big washbowl with water and balls outside.

At first, we used the Bilibo seat to put things in and take them out – it became her stuffed bunny’s bed right away. But, as the months went by, the play evolved, and it has been many things since.

What is the weight limit?

At Moluk, they state that the only limit is your imagination. They don’t have an official weight limit for children. Kids up to 8 or 10 years are definitely ok.

Chatting with the brand, they confirm that the big Bilibo easily carries the weight of an adult – under normal circumstances and for short-term use. But, of course, it also depends on whether the adult stands on it, sits on it or spins in it, and the surface on which the Bilibo is placed.

I’ve sat on mine, and it can hold me perfectly (and I’m about 60kgs / 120 lbs.).

They suggest avoiding playing on hard surfaces as repeated shocks can deteriorate the integrity of the plastic in the long term. Likewise, extended exposure to sunlight can harm the strength of the plastic.

Honestly, it is super sturdy, so do not worry; your children can play with it non-stop!

Warning! The brand states that the mini Bilibos are not devised as stepping stones as they could crack.

How do you use them?

Bilibos - up and down

At first, I’d just hand it to them and let them develop ways to interact with it. You’ll probably be surprised – because they will possibly come up with the idea that you would not have thought of ever. That is the beauty of open-ended toys.

And if they need a little nudge to get their imagination flying, show them pictures of other ways other children have come up with playing with it.

How to clean it?

Bilibos are very easy to clean. This is because they are made in one seamless piece. For this reason, there are no inaccessible parts or joints where dirt or germs could hide – which is excellent, especially during pandemic times.

Wash them thoroughly with water and soap to remove any germs or dirt. If you would like some extra safety, you can also use a sanitizer or disinfectant.

I’ve now seen they can even go into the dishwasher (although I have never done so). So the mini Bilibos should go on the top rack. Check out Moluk’s cleaning guide for more info.

Is the Bilibo worth it?

Bilibo - Pow wow 1

Definitely yes. It was a great surprise gift for us and has been our companion for over 4 years now. It is sturdy and has given us many hours of creative play. We highly recommend them!

We do not have them, but there are also other items from Moluk that you can use to play in conjunction with the bilibos. There is the Mini Bilibo Game Box that also comes with bouncing dice and 36 color chips. It is recommended for ages 3+ because of the small chips. If I had to buy it for myself now, I would go for the game set.

Bilibo: hours of open ended fun!

If you have a 2-year-old and would like to gift them an open-ended toy that can grow with them, the Bilibos are a fantastic idea. Many open-ended toys are made of wood, which we love, but you can’t really play with them in water… which you can always do with Bilibo. It is so versatile that you will not run out of ideas. If you’d like to browse other gift ideas for a 2-year-old, have a look at this post.

And if you have a 3-year-old, for the mini Bilibos I would go for the game set with the dice and coins… I’m sure there are so many extra plays to play with them that you will enjoy.

I hope all this info can be helpful and spark new ideas and ways of playing! So let us know how you play with them!

Happy playing!*

P.S. Oh! And if you liked how we played with Bilibo, you might like to have a look at how we play with other open-ended toys 😉 Below are some of our favorite posts!

Banner - Connetix Tiles
How to play with Waytoplay Road
How-to-play-with-Grapat-Lola

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