Russian Nesting Dolls Activity
A popular toy and trinket since the late 1800s, many kids have played with Matryoshka (also called “nesting”) dolls over the years. Make your own out of simple craft materials in this easy how-to!
What You Need:
- Paper or plastic cups, in a variety of sizes so that they can be placed over each other like stacking dolls
- Permanent markers in various colors
- Acrylic paints in various colors
- Construction paper
- Fabric pieces
- Wiggle eyes or sticker eyes
What You Do:
- Pick different sizes of cups that will fit inside each other when the cups are turned upside down. The cups will be the dolls. (Remind her that a cup is a unit of measurement for volume, the amount of space in a container—math in everyday life!)
- Next, have her think of a design for the dolls -- they can match, or each doll can look different so that each one is a surprise. She can also choose a theme like fairy tale characters, animals, or family members.
- Let her use sticker or wiggle eyes to start the face placement, sticking or gluing them on the outside of an upside-down cup.
- Let her use permanent markers to draw other features on a paper cup, or acrylic paints and paintbrushes to paint features on plastic cups.
- Pieces of fabric or construction paper can be glued on as bows, flowers, hair decorations, etc. Stickers can also be used to decorate dolls.
- After glue and paint dries, she can stack her dolls and play!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.