When I saw this, I immediately loved it and I couldn’t wait to give it to my girls’ for Christmas. They were less than impressed and cast it aside for the toys that were more obvious in their play. A little while later (after the madness and the paper and the Christmas crazy had begun to settle a little), I brought a jug of water up from the kitchen and sat down to show my girls how to use it.
My youngest at 3 years old, loved it but kept tipping the water out (although that hasn’t stopped her playing with it, and now trying to keep the water in has become part of the game). My eldest was slower to warm to it. But every few days, I see her take it from the shelf, add water into it and wind it slowly around the labyrinth towards the middle and then back out again. It has a lovely, quietening effect on her, like a moving meditation. She mindfully moves the water around and around, if she hurries, the droplets separate and there are twice as many to move (this is actually quite a fun side effect, and there are certain days she tries to see how many droplets she can split the original one into).
Whilst this is not a toy either of my girls play with daily, nor is it one that seems to inspire really long periods of play, but the quietness and focus of the play cultivated is wonderfully valuable. I’m curious to see how their play evolves as time goes on (and this is one toy I will happily pack away for them as I too, really like the meditative quality of the play, it’s like working with a sand tray, there is something wonderfully soothing that comes from playing with it).
At the moment it lives in our quiet box, the box we have in the girls’ bedroom with things they use when they need some quiet time alone; to process how they are feeling, to calm down, or to just decompress after school or a busy outing or too much sisterly togetherness.
Made by Grimms, this toy is constructed from MDF and non-toxic water based color stain. I have no idea how the toy stops the water from seeping into the wood but it does and it’s lovely! You can also add watercolours to the water you are using to make coloured drops, which then can be used to see what happens when colours mix.
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