This is one of the questions I'm most frequently asked, because at first glance the Wobbel Board and the Kinderfeets Kinderboard look to be the same thing: a beautifully curved wooden board for a child to balance and rock on.
The two toys are indeed very similar and essentially serve the same purpose. They are both of beautiful quality to look at and touch. However, there are a few differences between the Wobbel Board and the Kinderboard.
The long and short of it is that if you have hard floors and/or if the budget stretches then I do always recommend the Wobbel Boards with the wool felt backing. At the lower pricepoint, the Kinderfeets Kinderboard is still an excellent, high quality option that will provide the same amount of fun and play for your children.
Read more about the individual differences below.
The Kinderboard and the Wobbel Board are both Dutch-designed.
The Wobbel Board is made in Europe. The Kinderboard is made in Asia.
Setting aside the option of the wool felt backing, the two boards do look similar. The Wobbel Board has a smoother, more lustrous appearance to the timber while still retaining natural grain and features. The surface of a Kinderboard has been deliberately designed to ensure a sense of its original wood grain can be both seen and felt.
The Wobbel Board is slightly longer than the Kinderboard at 90cm versus 81cm respectively. This is only really relevant if an older child or adult will be using the balance board. Both the Kinderboard and the Wobbel Board are 30cm wide.
The Kinderboard can hold slightly more weight than the Wobbel Board at 220kg versus 200kg respectively. Both can take a fully-grown very heavy adult with ease.
The Wobbel Board is recommended for ages 0 years and up.
The Kinderfeets Kinderboard is recommended for ages 18 months and up. Kinderboards are in fact certified as safe for children from birth. However, Kinderfeets believes that children under the age of 18 months are unlikely to gain the full benefit of this product and so they recommend the Kinderboard for ages 18 months and up.
This is a key point of difference for some people. The Wobbel Board offers the option of wool felt backing while the Kinderboard does not.
If you have tiles or floorboards, the Wobbel Board with Wool Felt option could be the board for you. The 100% wool felt protects not only your floors but the board itself. It also helps to deaden sound. Beyond that, the felt is really quite beautiful and textural to look at and touch, and it gives you an option to add a bit of colour into the room, while grey wool options are also available.
The Wobbel Board also comes in the Original Lacquered version, with no wool felt backing, at a slightly lower price.
The Kinderboard does not come with a wool or other covering option. Kinderfeets believes that the use of felt and cork on rival products undermines the founding principles of the Waldorf (Steiner) educational philosophy. For example, a felt surface would make it harder to use a Kinderboard creatively as a slide or a ramp. A felt surface would also limit its use outdoors or on a porch or balcony without additional care and attention.
The Kinderboard comes with a one year warranty. Milk Tooth sells the Wobbel Board and Kinderboard within Australia, and therefore you are also covered by consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law. These include your rights to a repair, replacement, or refund for products that do not work as they are intended.
The Wobbel Board has been CE safety certified to European standards. The Kinderboard has been safety certified against Australian, European, and North American standards, including AS/NZ 8124, CE, ASTM, and EN71.
We personally use a Wobbel Board with Baby Mouse Grey Felt (light grey wool felt backing) in our own home. My children love to rock and wobble (of course!) but also lie in the curve with a blanket and a book, turn it upside down and jump off it, roll cars and wooden balls down the slopes, and build towers out of our timber stacking toys right on top of it.
The wool felt backing has held up very well to a few years of play so far. We've had a few small stains that we've successfully spot cleaned, and absolutely no peeling or tearing.
The timber itself has a few small dents from when the kids have used other toys on it, but none that are particularly noticeable and no scratches. We have timber floors and use our Wobbel on a thick rug, although sometimes it goes directly onto the floorboards with the felt side down.
- Kath ☼