Grimm's Four Elements Toy

Grimm's Four Elements Toy


The ancient Greeks believed that the physical cosmos was made up of four elements: fire, water, earth and air. Since then we've revised atomic theory to account for things like electrons, protons and neutrons, but we can still thank the Greeks for setting us on the quest to achieve greater scientific knowledge.

We can also draw on their ideas to teach children about the natural world by means of toys like the Four Elements set. Each of the ancient atomic units is represented by a group of wooden pieces that nest together in a square wooden frame when they're not separated for play. Taken apart, stacked and nested in different combinations, the pieces can be used by kids to create bridges, houses, tunnels, and other purely imaginative structures. The set can also be used as a puzzle, challenging kids to think spatially as they attempt to return the individual pieces back into the frame.

In doing so they'll learn about colors, refine hand-eye coordination and strengthen fine motor skills, all of which play an important role in preparing kids to be self-sufficient. Stacking also helps stimulate reasoning skills, which are essential in problem-solving activities.

Motivated by the principles of Waldorf and Montessori education, Grimm's toys are designed to encourage toddlers and children to engage in open-ended and independent play using simple yet vibrantly colored shapes. Pieces are hand-cut and sanded, and colored only with non-toxic water-based dyes that meet US and European government safety standards. No lacquer is used in order to preserve the natural feel of the wood. Unvarnished blocks are alsoξless likely to slip off when being used to construct larger structures.

Four Elements Large is very large: 17 inches square (43.8 cm). It comes with 23 wood pieces about 1 1/2 inches thick (3.8 cm) and a wood frame.

Made in Germany. Recommended for ages 3 years and up.

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