When I discovered Kidsonroof’s Totem Tree, I was immediately interested. Kidsonroof is the Dutch company that brought us nifty cardboard cubby houses and also designed a lovely series of cardboard creatures from the living world. Their three-dimensional figures, with their large scale, have something of the theatre set about them. And the Totem Tree has the same presence.
But it isn’t just a beautiful structure for the nursery. Foremost, the Totem Tree is a building set for children. It comes as a set of over 150 colourful laminated cardboard pieces, which include leaves, birds, a birdhouse and mushrooms. From the various cardboard pieces, children can assemble a unique tree of their own creation. Each of the tree’s cardboard pieces is intricately decorated with natural images, and beautifully printed with plants and natural wood textures. There is even some interesting environmentally educational imagery, like leaves which are covered in rubbish, old subway maps and crushed cans.
I really like the combination of creative art and craft, physical fun, and role playing that this kind of activity involves. I can imagine my son enjoying the construction and the whole family getting involved. And then I can see our play friends dragging various dolls and teddy bears from the toy box to play under the tree. And when the play is over, the assembled work can stand in the nursery as a room sculpture.
The Totem Tree is made from recycled paper and (in the unlikely event you wish to discard your child’s creation) is fully biodegradable.
Kidsonroof’s cardboard creations are available in Australia from My Messy Room.
(photo via Kidshaus)