The Germans really have a way with toys. One trip to the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg and you know, the locals have a corner on the gorgeous wooden toy category (not to mention the gorgeous doll category, and the gorgeous teddy bear category, but that’s another post). Among the many makers of old-school wooden toys, Grimm’s Spiel and Holz tops my list. I love the simplicity of their designs and the beautiful array of rich water-based dyes they use to stain their pieces of wood.
A great example of their work is this magnetic alphabet puzzle. Not only do these beat the pants off those junky plastic letters that adorn so many of our fridges, there is a whole added layer of play involved here.
The puzzle is actually made up of 77 pieces in six simple shapes and a rainbow of 26 colors. Kids can form the alphabet by grouping pieces into like colors and then figuring out which letter to make. But that’s just one way to play, because the shapes and colors can be moved and molded endlessly into any number of beautiful designs.
This amazing set is available through ChildTrek. (Please note that the small pieces are not suitable for tots under three.)