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Moulin Roty Alluring Dame

Moulin Roty Gift Guide

Jan 22, 2021 • 7 min read

Introducing the magical kingdom of Moulin Roty, where rag dolls, shadow puppets and soft toys inspire imagination and storytelling.

A girl cuddling a Moulin Roty Baby Boy

A doll to care for

I have to admit that while I was an Early Years teacher, I didn't really understand the value of playing with dolls. I made sure they were available in the home corner and the children would carry them around, feeding and dressing them. But couldn't really see the point. They didn't do anything.

And there was something about their rigid, plastic bodies was hard to love. I couldn't see how they could give any comfort. They were so unhuggable.

But since having my own children I've seen how much they are used and loved. From the breakfast table to car journeys, from the Strolley to the bedtime story, the doll follows us everywhere.

Children are able to explore the idea of caring for something: how to be attentive and consider someone else's needs. It's also an expression of their desire to be cared for themselves. It's comforting to know that there is someone to look after you.

Moulin Roty les bambins puzzle played on the floor

Puzzles

Moulin Roty puzzles are the perfect way to pass a slow, afternoon hour together. If you're not sure which one is right for your child's age and ability, take a look at our guide to choosing the right puzzle.

The Moulin Roty Lion being hugged by a girl

Soft toys

Does your child like soft toys?

They're a classic gift for a new baby but they often then sit in the corner unloved and unnoticed for years.

But then something magical happens. They are rediscovered and, like an old friend, it's like they never went away.

Your child is now two or three (or eight!) and the soft toy is no longer just a source of comfort but a companion, someone to invite to tea parties and take on adventures.

The perennial appeal of the cuddly toy is something we can all relate to. A first soft toy is a friend for your child to care for and look after (as we saw with dolls, above). It provides something soft and re-assuring to reach for in new or difficult situations.

Uncomfortable feelings can be projected onto a soft toy, so when a child is scared they can pretend the toy is scared. No surprise then, that soft toys often become so important to children, and that so many of us keep our own favourite childhood soft toys well into adulthood.

 

Moulin Roty stickers in a sticker book

Stickers

I resisted stocking single-use toys like stickers and transfers for a long time. In many ways they are the antithesis of the 100 Toys approach, which emphasises open-ended toys that offer years of play and possibility.

But stickers, transfers and colouring books have their place. As well as being good, cheap fun, they encourage the kind of fine motor development that's hard to replicate any other way. Having a good pencil grip is the result of many hours of practice but it doesn't have to come sat at a desk, copying out rows of letters. Fingers get a great workout simply from peeling stickers and rubbing down transfers.

Little Red Riding Hood shadow puppets and doorway theatre

Shadow puppets and theatre

Midwinter has always been a time to celebrate light. The long, dark nights bring shadows but also beauty and there are many opportunities for children to deepen their understanding of how light works. If you've ever asked a child how the eye sees, they'll tell you that light comes from the eye and sees the object. As adults, we know that light comes from a source, reflects off objects and into our eyes but it took us many years to understand all of light's properties.

Your child has to learn that shadow is the absence of light, that white light can be refracted to show a rainbow of colours, that coloured light can be mixed and that most light is reflected. So many concepts to take on board!

Start with a simple torch like the HABA flashlight and see where your experiments lead. Try a shadow theatre (it's easy to make your own).

At home we use the Moulin Roty fabric theatre (pictured above) with the Tender Leaf Woodland Stores, but it works equally well in a doorway or hung between two chairs. The trick is to have the light source and puppets behind the theatre and the audience in front.

Alexis

I'm Alexis, father of four and founder of One Hundred Toys. I taught in London primary schools for thirteen years, specialising in the early years. Now I write about all things play here on the blog. Read more

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