“Masha and Her Sisters” by Suzy Ultman
This board book is one that makes my heart happy. I have noticed that matryoshka dolls are on the uprise in popularity and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Ever since I discovered them as a child I have found them enchanting and purely wonderful. There really isn’t anything quite like them. This board book is one that uses an innovative format to embrace all that is these Russian dolls as well as teaching a lovely message in a simple way.
When you open this book you are greeted by Masha and all of her sisters stacked on top of one another with the smallest on top. Which gives a bit of the illusion of an actual matryoshka doll. They are connected on the bottom so you can flip them down one at a time to discover each of the five sisters. Each one represents a different defining characteristic, yet they are clearly all in the same family. This teachers the beautiful message of unity and helps children to understand that our differences as well as our similarities are what bring us together with those we love.
Matryoshka Doll Crafts/Printables
When I first read this book I instantly knew that I had to create some “Beyond the Book” fun for it. Below are two different ideas for a craft inspired by this book as well as two free printables (one for each) for you to print off and enjoy for your littles.
The first printable shows four matryoshka dolls all in a row (with the largest first down to the smallest) for you to print of and decorate to your hearts content. When you are done, you simply cut them out in one continuous strip. For added fun, print it on card stock and after you have cut it out fold a crease in-between each doll “accordion” style and then stand it up on a flat surface. You end up with some adorable, topsy-turvy, Russian dolls.
The second printable features just one large matryoshka doll. For this printable I thought a fun idea would be to invite children to choose one or two defining interests that they have and decorate the doll based off this theme. (Similar to the idea behind the book.) I think this activity would be especially fun with a group of children where afterwards you could cut the dolls out and display them on the wall in a row. This would help further display the message from the book because the children will be able to see some differences, as well as similarities that they have with the other children in the group. Plus I think they would just look stinking adorable!
Click here to download the: single Matryoshka
Click here to download the: row of Matryoshka dolls
If you give this Beyond the Book activity a try I’d love to hear how it goes! Share it on Instagram using hashtag #beyondthebook (I’m on Instagram as @book.nerd.mommy) or even just comment here with your thoughts. It would make my day! Or to simply save for later pin the image below.