Playing with Grapat
You’ve likely seen folks playing with Grapat on Instagram. It looks great but how the heck do you begin?!
Grapat toys are such wonderful additions to a playroom. There are no rules! They encourage kids to use their imaginations, help them learn and are so wonderfully open ended… the possibilities for play are endless!
Grapat began as a small family project, in the Catalunya area of Spain. Their toys are made using wood from sustainable forests.
Which pieces to start with
If you’re hoping for one bigger set to get started with, here are a few that give many opportunities for different kinds of play:
This set contains 12 of each big Lola, mid Lola and small Lola. Plus 12 of each tubes, solids tubes and half tubes. The pieces can be used in so many ways, as people, bugs, trees, cars. Stack them, use them as telescopes. The tubes can be threaded. This is a really fun set.
This set has 12 Nins (people), 72 rings and 36 coins in the colours of the rainbow. The rings fit nicely over the Nins. Younger kids will love sorting the pieces by colour. This set is awesome for kiddos working on easy math problems. The rings and coins also work great with the mandala pieces.
In this set there are 6 Tomten Nins (people with hats, like gnomes!), 6 mushrooms, 18 counters (small coins), 6 green trees, 3 honeycombs and 3 tear drop shapes. This set would make for great small world play. The little coins can be used in play or as counters for kids learning basic math skills. The trees, mushrooms and honeycombs are great additions to an outdoor kitchen.
Ways to play
There are so many different ways to play with Grapat toys. Here are a few to get you going:
The Grapat mandala pieces are stunning on their own, with unique shapes, vibrant and muted colours. If you have a creative child (or yourself!) they may really enjoy making mandalas out of these pieces. Traditionally, mandalas are a spiritual and ritual symbol, especially for Buddhists and Hindus. Mandala is Sanskrit for circle. Usually they’re created as circular geometric patterns contained in a square. When creating mandalas at home, there are no rules. The Grapat rings pair nicely with many of the mandala pieces.
The Grapat petals platforms are a fun way to get creative. Make a whole flower with the petals and decorate with the mandala pieces (or anything you have at home already!).
There are many great ways to incorporate Grapat items into learning opportunities. You can use any of the mandala pieces for counting. The Wood Coins to Count set has 60 coins numbered from 0-9. The set is a great way to practice adding and subtracting or while pretend playing store.
Grapat lends itself to great small world play since the sets are so open ended. The Wood Nins, Mates, Rings and Coins (that come in Winter, Summer, Autumn and Spring colours) work great to trigger the imagination. The Baby Nins set has 6 little Nins (people) and a coconut shell. The shell can be used as a container, a bassinet, bed or anything a child comes up with!
All of the Grapat toys are fun to play with outside but the Wild line was particularly designed to be taken into the outdoors to play. The Ooh-lala!, Wow! and Yay! sets are simple and can be used all together or on their own. The Wood Wild set comes with 12 hand-painted wooden creatures along with a sorting box to keep them all safe. Many of the Grapat pieces can be added to an outdoor kitchen. Remember to bring everything inside after you’re done playing with them outside, to minimize wear.
How they’re made
Grapat’s dyes are water based and non toxic. Using dyes (versus paint) lets the nuances of the wood shine through. Most products are one solid piece. Those that require glue are 100% formaldehyde free. The waxes and oils are made from vegetable. Each piece is unique and painted by hand. If small marks appear over time, it means the material has been played with well, which should be celebrated! Since 2019 Grapat has eliminated 100% of the plastic used in packaging.
Grapat started when the family had their first child. The family had no toys and used what was already in the house to play with. Watching their daughter inspired them to see children playing as sacred. Their products are still made in the countryside of Catalunya and ready to be played with in your living room.
Have any questions about Grapat? Come and see us in store! We’d love to chat about it with you!