Matryoshka MushroomRaduga Grez £38.25
You can hide feathers, large beads, chestnuts and sea pebbles in the parts of a set or use them as bowls to feed teddy-bears and dolls. When unfolded, matryoshka looks like toy mushrooms – you can hide them in the nursery, and then collect them in a basket. You can play in a family where the biggest matryoshka is mom or dad, and the smallest one is the youngest child.
Children love opening and closing matryoshkas, arranging them by height, and are delighted to see that a large thing hides many small ones. But traditional Russian nesting dolls are sometimes not kids-friendly enough – the wood is rough and closes too tightly. We have made a matryoshka doll with all children's needs in mind.
Matryoshka Mushroom is made by the lathe method – a round billet is put on a rotating machine and the master uses a sharp knife to give the desired shape to the wood. This is an ancient technique and very few people own it. Therefore, the number of toys is limited. But thanks to it, the parts of matryoshka dolls are perfectly smooth, easy to open and close.
How to play:
- Use as treasure boxes
- Hide beads in the nesting dolls, move them around and guess where the beads are
- Build unusual towers
- Play pieces like dishes: the stem will become a jug of milk, and the hat will be a plate or a cup
Why we love blocks
Like puzzle pieces, blocks fit together. Unlike puzzle pieces, they can do so in a variety of ways. Learning to predict what fits where is the work of many years. Which pieces will I need? Do I have enough? The expert can see simply by turning the blocks over in her mind.
Small world play
Is your castle missing a section of wall? Does your railway need a tunnel? Never fear! Here is your humble set of blocks to the rescue. Infinitely versatile, blocks provide the canvas upon which to paint your stories.
Red, blue, red, blue; big, small, big, small. So much of early mathematical thinking is about making patterns. Can you see how it's a small skip from here to odds and evens or the two-times table? A set of blocks like the one above can even illustrate a number's relative size and how it can be combined to make ten.