Spanish brand Grapat is well known for creating Waldorf inspired handmade sustainable wooden toys without instructions, which are open-ended and favour free, autonomous and small world play. Free play allows our children to connect with their deepest desire and develop the activity they need. Unstructured and open-ended play objects do not have a correct or incorrect way to be used, and are open to guide the child through all its learning phases. Grapat toys can be transformed into symbolic material for the creation of stories and the construction of small worlds but can also serve for mathematical, language or sensory games.
The most popular toys produced by Grapat are the mandala pieces and sets, which are small parts which can be applied stand alone in loose parts play or as elements in addition to other toys or kits for heuristic play by children aged 3 years and up.
Inspired by the Waldorf pedagogy, the Grapat philosophy of natural simplicity is based on providing children with few basic free play toys allowing them to create their own games and imaginary worlds. The brand’s premise is to let children play, slowly, without time limits with toys that encourage, invite and stimulate creation. The Grapat natural wooden baby toys are designed to appeal visually and develop gross motor skills and prepare for fine motor skills.
Grapat, which means “a handful” in Catalan, is a family project that materialised many years ago from leaving the city to live in a natural environment. All their wooden toys are still hand-crafted in various workshops in Catalunya, Spain, following traditional processes, with natural materials such as wood derived from sustainable forests and painted by hand with water based dyes. The natural dyes allow for the wood veins to remain visible and leave each piece delightfully tactile and pleasant to touch. Working with dyes and not with acrylic paints allows the child to continue having contact with the wood which is noble and kind. The drawing of the grain, it’s nuances and touches, has its own characteristics. The dye does not splinter from the wood when it falls to the ground or when time passes because it soaks through deep inside the piece.
Since 2019 all Grapat packaging has been 100% free of plastic. Only cardboard boxes are used for all products to contribute at least a bit to the reduction of waste on the planet. The positive side effect of this is that the packaging itself becomes part of the play. It can either turn into a house, a garage, a cooking pot or a cave or it can be used for all kinds of crafting with the small ones.
The Grapat toys are suitable and safe for use by small children as they are non-toxic and comply with the European safety regulations of the directive EN / 71-3: 2014 + A1: 2014 / 2013 regarding toy safety. In 2019 several toys were awarded with the Spielgut® seal and more toys were awarded the seal in 2020. A total of 27 toys now carry the seal.