We love Grimm's wooden toys for their simple, elegant yet inviting and engaging designs, gorgeous colors and the lovely natural wood grains, but most of all the top-notch quality and how versatile their toys are - the same toy can be used in different ways as a child grows, making them truly sustainable.The Prime Example of Open-ended Toys
One of our long-time favorites is definitely the Grimm's Rainbow, it is a beautifully crafted wooden toy that has gained immense popularity among children and parents alike. It is not hard to see why! It is a beautiful toy for imaginative play and helps develop several skills, such as colour recognition, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving abilities. The rainbow is a prime example of an open-ended toy. There are no rules; it doesn't come with an instruction. It's all up to your child to decide how to use it.
One-of-a-kind Craftsmanship Designed to Last
Each rainbow is cut out of one piece of wood and stained using non-toxic colours. It is a toy that truly grows with the child. Benji got his rainbow as a first birthday gift and still plays with it today at 6 years old. How he plays with it has changed a lot, though.
How Children Can Play with Grimm's Rainbow as They Grow
This blog will outline different ideas on playing with the Grimm's Rainbow and how it can be played with over time as the child grows.
The Grimm's Classic Rainbow comes in seven different colours. For the young ones colour sorting is a great learning activity. Adding some Grimm's or Grapat peg dolls lets the little people have their matching houses. You could ask older kids to go through the whole house on a treasure hunt and find something for each colour! Who can finish finding something in all the colours first?
Ask your child if they can sort the arches according to size (this helps them develop their size recognition skills). Once all the arches are set up, play a game by trying to roll a ball through the arches. This game by itself is excellent for the little ones, as it focuses on hand-eye coordination. For older children, add a points system. The smaller the arch, the more points you earn. Who can get the highest score?
Creating the most beautiful cakes has been Benji's favourite activity for the longest time. I heard "Let's play birthday" almost daily for months on end. You need the Grimm's Semi Circles for this activity. You create a circle with two rainbow pieces and top it with two semis. Then, top the next layer with two smaller rainbow pieces with semis again. (or one rainbow piece and one semi circle can make a one-sided cake too). Once your cake base is ready, it is time to decorate! We usually use our Grapat mandala pieces. But you could use any little decorative pieces you can find.
Little kids will most likely enjoy putting the pieces on randomly. While older children could be challenged by creating patterns.
Small world play
The Grimm's Rainbow can be used as a prop in imaginative play. Your child can use the pieces to create houses, castles, bridges, tunnels, and other structures. Add roads, cars, and animals to create elaborate scenes where imagination rules. Small-world play is fantastic for young children. It is a great way to increase vocabulary and build social skills. Setting up the world will also help your child develop spatial reasoning skills. Younger children will play with lesser pieces that you can set up, while many older children love setting up their own worlds, including all types of toys.
Pretend play (belt, superhero cuffs, chairs for soft toys)
I think the pretend play using the rainbow is often truly child-led. Kids just come up with ideas on how to use the rainbow that we would have never thought of. Benji mainly uses them as cuffs when he pretends to be a superhero. I've often seen the rainbows turn into seats and beds. In our house, they have even been Alien scanners. The Sky is the limit!
Creating ball runs is definitely more suitable for the older kids, but many young ones love watching or putting the balls in. (and, let's be honest, knocking them over). There are multiple simple setups that are super fun. The good thing about it is that you only need a few pieces to create these. However, the best ones, in my opinion, are the ones that use all the blocks you can find. In our house, it's a team effort to get these creations up. Perfect for a rainy Sunday!
The Grimm's rainbow is pretty famous for its impressive stacks: A straight tower with just a few arches for the littlies and more complex ones that involve lots of skill for older children. Even adults love a good stacking challenge. It's a beautiful mindfulness exercise.
Creating flat lays is another popular activity loved by adults and their kids. I loved creating flat lays while Benji was playing next to me. It was something I found very enjoyable during those early years of parenting. When your child is a little older, you can include them by asking them to add certain pieces to the flat lay. (can you put the blue arch upside down next to the red one). It might not feel like it, but these types of play include so much learning. It's full of math and literacy, and no one will even know!
When your kids are older, it's a cool challenge where one person describes a flat lay, and the other person tries to build it without looking. It is a great game to practice listening, following directions, and paying attention to the little details. Plus – it's super funny!
The Grimm's Rainbow pieces can be used to create different sounds. Have you tried playing a song on it with a xylophone stick? It's so much fun! Or put the pieces upside down and let some wooden Grimms balls roll through. It sounds just delightful!
The Grimm's Rainbow can be a decorative item in your child's room. You can display it on a shelf or use it as a centerpiece in a play area. It looks good enough in a living room. You can choose from the classic bright rainbow colours, pastel and natural rainbow. Grimm's dye their toys using non-toxic water-based colours that allow the natural wood grain to shine through. It's just so beautiful and is a statement decor piece wherever you display it.
In conclusion, the Grimm's Rainbow is a versatile toy that can be used in many different ways. It is not only a fun toy to play with, but it also helps your child develop several skills. So, go ahead and try out these different ideas to play with the Grimm's Rainbow with your child, and watch them learn and grow over years while having lots of fun! Even us as adults enjoy coming up with new ways to play, or to challenge ourselves with builds, stacks, ball runs, etc. it's really a piece that will keep on giving!
The Grimm's rainbow is available in 3 sizes - large (12pcs, 37cm), medium (6pcs, 17cm) and small (6pc, 10.5cm). The large rainbow is safety certified for age 0 and is a popular choice for 1st birthday gift. The medium is great for introducing open-ended toys to toddlers for some simpler play and creations or to get a taste of the delightful open-ended rainbow world. And the small is handy to bring along when out and about. A combination of the different sizes, as well as the addition of Grimm's semi-circles and Grimm's building boards will also allow for even more elaborated creations and additional ways to play to extend the fun!
Discover the open-ended world of Grimm's wooden toys here.
This blog is written in collaboration with our guest blogger Lisa @labyrinths.and.lovehearts
Lisa is a qualified teacher working at a school for students with additional needs. She is the mama of a wonderful and wild preschooler named Benji Moon and enjoys setting up open-ended educational play activities. You can follow her son and their adventures on Instagram at @labyrinths.and.lovehearts!