Matryoshka Nesting Dolls (June 2012)

I remember being fascinated by Russian dolls when I was a child. I thought they would be the perfect inspiration for an Art Club project as they are always decorated so beautifully in bright colours. I kept this project fairly simple for my three and four year olds, but older children would also enjoy this activity, and it would work with paints, printing or collage.

First of all we looked at some photographs of traditional Matryoshka dolls, and also my own mini nesting doll which I brought from home. We saw that many have flowers and leaves painted on them, but the kids’ favourites were the ones holding a chicken and a basket of bread!

Then the kids used coloured pens to decorate three doll shapes that I had prepared beforehand (if we’d had more time, I would have let the children cut them out themselves).

Some drew patterns, such as dots, zigzags and wavy lines, while others looked at the photographs and copied the decoration on particular dolls.

Next they drew three faces on circles of white paper, with large eyes, long eyelashes, and red lips. The children also noticed that many Matryoshkas have two dots for the nose.

Finally, they assembled their dolls, gluing the faces onto the doll shapes, and then sticking each doll onto a strip of paper. These were then glued together to make rings so the dolls could not only stand up, but also fit into each other like real Matryoshka nesting dolls!

Please click through the gallery to see more of our Matryoshka dolls…


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