Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Toy Review: Grimm's Spiel und Holz Extra Large Wooden Stacking Rainbow
I love this rainbow stacker from Grimm's. No, really. It makes my heart sing and I intend to own it for the rest of my days. Ostensibly I bought it for the children and I do let them play with it. This is one of the very few toys we own that doesn't get rotated off the shelves. Sometimes I do move it around just to rekindle interest though.
The Rainbow Stacker from Grimm's Spiel und Holz Design is a truly beautiful toy. Handmade from sustainably forested woods (mostly Alder according to their website), their toys are finished with water-based dyes. The colours are bright, the dyes are even and the wood is light enough for children to use safely, but robust enough to withstand actual play. DO NOT let your kids stand on the pieces though, they are not designed to be weight-bearing and will crack and break (so I've been told). If this does happen you can order replacement parts off their website. Grimm's is a well known producer of Waldorf (or Steiner) inspired toys and has an excellent reputation for making beautiful, functional, open ended toys. There isn't much more you can ask for really.
The rainbow gets regular use in our house. At the moment E mostly makes a tunnel or bridges for his cars and trains. Other children who visit have used the arches as animal shelters, sorted them according to colour, stacked and just generally arranged the pieces. When E was younger he loved rolling balls and cars back and forth through the tunnel with any willing adult. Because the toy is so open ended I expect it to be used for years and years, particularly as the boys' construction play becomes more advanced.
The Grimm's Stacking Rainbow comes in 3 sizes - small, large and extra large and costs from roughly £15 to £50 (or $20 to $80). We went all-in for the extra large which has 12 pieces and I have no regrets. This is a toy I'll pass on to my grandchildren (after I die - I'm keeping it for myself until then).