The Work Plan

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Littlest Matryoshka

I had no idea how much the children would love working with the Matryoshka dolls. So I found the book The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss. I fell in love with this book, and so did the children. I am going to try to give some details of the story without telling the story. For those of you that have never read this book before I don't want to spoil the ending for you. The story starts in Russia where Nikolai a dollmaker carves the Matroyshka dolls. He declares to the dolls "You are six sisters". Nikolai names the dolls, and puts one inside of each other.  Then Nkolai sends the dolls off to a toy shop in America. Anna had a pedestal base so she could not fit inside any of the dolls. She has the fanciest flower on the front of her apron and the wiseset  look in her eye. Nikolai says good-bye to Anna and tells her "Keep your sisters safe inside you and may you find a happy home".  Now they are on their journey to America. When they arrive it is in March the very end of winter. The sisters make it and are placed on the shelf in the store and Nina the littlest sister was brushed off the shelf by a shopper with a puffy coat on. No one but Ninas' sisters notices what has happened. Now, I'll stop here so that you can get the loving feeling I felt when I read the ending of this beautiful story.
                                                                The cover of the book.

                                 Activities With The Matryoshka Dolls

   The Matryoshaka Dolls were first presented as a practical life exercise. Open and Close.

                                           Sensorial. Arranging dolls from biggest to littlest.

 Once we read the book. The children were excited to call their dolls by name. Unfortunately the set of Matryoshka dolls we have only have five sisters.

 The children also colored the Matryoshka dolls with this coloring page that I found on the website Making Learning Fun.

 The book has an Authors Note in the back. So we found out that nesting dolls were first made in China.  The idea came to Russia in 1890"s. One artist Sergei Malyutin designed the first set of Russian nesting dolls , the largest, a peasant girl with with a babuska (kerchief) on her head. Many regions in Russia took up the art. We learned what the word Matryoshka comes from, The common peasant girl female called Matryona which is derived from the word mother, and the dolls have become a symbol of motherhood and fertility.

Come and share your adventures in time and space at History/Geography exchange hosted by Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.


  1. Love the activities, pictures and will definitely check out the book. Russia is part of my heritage. So, I always enjoy reading about Russia and their traditions. Kerri

  2. I always loved the Matryoshka dolls. I will have to look for that book.

  3. I didn't know they originally came from China. I love nesting dolls, and should find some for the kids.


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