Amazing Grimms Toys! 11 Ways to Play With Grimms Semicircles
Grimm’s – or Grimms Spiel und Holz – is probably famous worldwide because of its wooden rainbow. It is a fantastic open-ended toy that is an excellent addition to family play. But they create much more than the rainbow. One of our favorite Grimms toys is the Grimms semicircles. It is a perfect complement to the rainbow but so much more than that. Do you want to know why we like them so much?
In this post:
- Why do we like playing with the Grimms semicircles?
- Our Grimms toys collection
- What are the Grimms semicircles?
- 11 Ways to play with the Grimms semicircles
- Where can you buy them?
- Amazing Grimms Toys – Discovering the semicircles
Let’s get started!
Why do we like playing with the Grimms semicircles?
I really like having them around because they are an invitation to creative play. With them we:
- are creative
- explore dimensions and design composition
- play with color
- practice patience and gain concentration skills
- activity is done together
… they are fantastic to play with.
Our Grimms toys collection
Over the past three years, we’ve built a collection of 10 toys. It all started with the rainbow and the twelve friends. One of the latest additions to our collection was the semicircles. You can check our collection here.
But in retrospect, if I had to choose again, this would be the first or second toy to buy after the large rainbow. (I’m torn between the rainbow friends and the semicircles). You’ll see now how versatile they are and all the possibilities they offer.
What are the Grimms semicircles?
The Grimms semicircles are a set of 11 beautiful semicircles, which are a large creative puzzle (37cm) to be played on the floor. They match the Grimm’s rainbow’s arches or tunnels so you can combine them during play. So we have them in the typical rainbow color theme matching our rainbow, and we love them.
The largest is red, and the smallest is purple. In between, we have orange, yellow, and different hues of green and blue. They are lovely.
They are made from birch plywood and dyed with non-toxic water-based color stain. You will see the wood has its one-of-a-kind marks made by nature, so each set is unique.
This product is recommended by “spiel gut” (good toy guide).
11 Ways to play with the Grimms semicircles
Of course, this is an open-ended toy that comes with no instructions. It inspires creativity, imagination, and problem-solving without any sets or rules, excellent for children’s development.
After having them around for a couple of years, these are the ways we’ve added them to our playtime. I hope they will inspire you!
Stacking them is probably the most essential thing you can do with them. For example, you can stack the semicircles centered, all at one edge, or spiraled. It is a great first step with toddlers; lay the semicircles around and suggest they stack them. But, of course, sometimes, it can look chaotic following no order or logic.
2. Flat designs
It is nice to build some geometrical designs and patterns. For example, create circles, wheat, and these other designs. What else do you come up with?
3. Animals – flat and with textures (grapat)
We love to play, creating flat designs of animals. It can be so much fun! It’s a fantastic creative exercise and a great activity to do together. You can make them just with semicircles, like so:
Or have fun adding more texture and design with loose parts. We love the Grapat mandala sets and wooden hoops to make them even more stunning.
Here are just a few of our creations, but head over to this post to see over 20 beautiful animal designs that you can replicate. Maybe they will spark new creations.
You can also create animals combining the semicircles with the rainbow.
4. Faces and Emotions
Play with semicircles and other loose parts to make different faces and also talk about feelings and emotions. Make them wear sunglasses, different hairstyles with yarn or scarves, add different noses, and anything you can imagine. They could be sad, happy, or angry to start and spark conversations about what makes them feel that way.
5. Pretend play
My son enjoys using them as plates when he pretends to play preparing food. He combines them making circles and then sets all his fantastic food and cakes on them. Everything tastes more delicious on them.
As I mentioned before, they are a great complement to the Grimms rainbow. Building towers is a lot of fun and requires precision, concentration, and balance. The following picture shows the most accessible and typical tower to create when combining both Grimm’s toys. You can put things inside each layer if you imagine it is a big building. Then, if you turn it around, you can decorate it from the outside, and it can be a giant birthday cake.
There is a more challenging way to build the tower, and that is upside down. I tried to create it outdoors, but the wind always knocked it down. So this one is best to build indoors.
You can also build it flat on the floor. After, my son likes to imagine they are gates in a tunnel and enjoys taking each semicircle out and allowing his car to reach the end.
7. Building structures
We also like to create buildings and houses with them. We combine them with the boxes or the rainbow and imagine they are architectural structures with floors, where many people live. It can even be part of a rocket that goes to the moon.
8. Small world landscapes
At home, we love small world play and especially building roads and creating worlds around them. We are big fans of the waytoplay road – you can check this post – and the semicircles are just the perfect addition. With the blues, we make lakes and waterholes. With the greens fields were animals can roam. The yellow and orange can be deserts or wheat fields. Or they can just be whatever you want them to be.
9. Color sorting activities
The semicircles are a great resource to use when creating some color sorting activities. For example, just by themselves or with the rainbow to create a walled area, like baskets.
We came up with some games this summer using the semicircles. We used them as targets to practice aim. To do so, we built circles, gave each color points, and threw bean bags at them to see how many points we could make.
11. Ball runs
Now, this is something we still have to explore in-depth. We’ve only done these straightforward ones. We had a lot of fun. But to create ball runs, you need other parts to hold the structure together and make it work. So these are our two simple ones. The stacked semicircles with some support at the back and an inverted rainbow tunnel with the semicircles inside. We use the Grimm’s rainbow balls, but you could use marbles or other balls you might have at home.
There are so many more complex creations online and on Instagram that you have to see them. They are amazing. I must admit they are a bit overwhelming, and I haven’t ventured trying making them. But they are just so incredible to look at. You can check out here some excellent examples that can help you if you want to create marble runs with semicircles.
Where can you buy them?
You will most likely find the Grimms rainbow semicircles in toy shops where you can discover Waldorf and Montessori-style toys. Probably in the biggest city near you, you might have some that you can go in and explore. Be careful, because you might find probably more than what you expected.
If that were not the case there, luckily, there are online stores where you’ll be able to find them. You can sometimes find it on Amazon, depending on the country. But if you prefer buying elsewhere, I am also sharing other web pages I have bought from while living in the UK and Spain (although they are primarily local, some have international deliveries, so they are worth checking). Additionally, although I haven’t bought from them, I am also listing some stores from Australia and the US (based on customers’ comments and opinions on Instagram). If I were in those countries, I would definitely try them out.
Store with International deliveries
- Babipur.co.uk – Based in the UK, they have a lovely range of ethical toys and other products. They ship worldwide, so a great store to know if you have nothing closer.
- Oskar’s Wooden Ark – Oskar’s Wooden Ark is based in Australia. They also provide international shipping to selected countries (New Zealand; United States; Canada, Singapore & South Korea) using Australia Post.
Store with delivery in the UK
- onehundredtoys.com – This website is fascinating. Aside from having a store, they offer free gift guides for different ages. I’ve learned a lot from them and highly recommend checking them out.
Stores with delivery in Spain and Portugal
- Jugar i jugar – They are located in Spain, and their toy portfolio is beautiful. It’s been my favorite option lately. Their customer service is excellent. If you purchase before 2pm, you get your delivery the next day.
Store with delivery in the USA
- Bella Luna Toys – You’ll find the semicircles and an extensive range of Grimm’s toys. I’ve never ordered from them (I haven’t been in the US for years), but they seem very nice, have a lovely online store, and have excellent customer reviews.
Amazing Grimms Toys – Discovering the semicircles
I think it is pretty apparent that we love Grimm’s toys at home. We mix and match with other toys that are not open-ended, but I must admit that I have a soft spot for all these open-ended wooden toys. I believe the semicircles are one of my favorites. They are versatile, encourage creative play, and are an incredible platform for flat-lay designs.
Adding them to our set of resources for playtime has been one of the best decisions we’ve made. They don’t play with them daily, but they are always there. Sometimes they surprise you by using them for new purposes, and that inspires more play. I’m delighted with them and considering asking Santa for some natural wooden ones to play with even more.
I hope these 11 ways we play with them might have been helpful. In addition, I hope they will inspire more creative play at home with your little ones.