Barion Pixel



“I can’t reach the railings on that huge staircase! Why do you walk so fast and squeeze my hand? Why am I not allowed to sit on the grass? I’m thirsty, but the fountain is too tall. I want to play in the city, not on the playground! There are cars everywhere, where can I ride my bike? Is there a restaurant where I’m allowed to be loud? I don’t leave fingerprints on your shopwindow to annoy you – I’m just curious! Why do you leave all those interesting stuff on the ground if I cannot pick them up? I wish I can touch things in the shop, too!“

Imagine a city where children will not know any of these thoughts! A city where they can run just as wild as in the forest! Imagine a world where real freedom of play and adventure is not a luxury of those living in the countryside, but a basic right to all children!

This year Grapat’s new collection comes with a loud manifesto once again: they invite us to turn cities into Happy Places for our youngest of humans! Before we show you their long-awaited novelties, that have just arrived in our shop, we would like to share their inspiring message from their new catalogue!

If you would like to read more about the inspiration behind this year’s novelties and meet the maker behind Grapat, come and read our interview with Casiana, designer and soul of these wonderful toys!


“Cities make you feel small? Imagine what that can feel like for a child. And, if scale was not enough, the orchestra of raging sounds summed up to the frantic dance among cars, motorbikes, people and buses, and the stroboscopic effect of traffic lights and illuminated signs, the city doesn’t seem to be the friendliest place for a child to be in. Why? Because they are built for adults.

And yet, kids always find a way to make it happy. The only problem is how limited their freedom becomes in this environment. How do you tell them they are not allowed to play until they reach the playground, when the city looks like the best playground ever built through their eyes? How do you tell them not to touch the beer bottle caps on the street, when they seem to have the perfect size to fit into the drain holes next to them? How do you tell them they have to stay still and behave like an adult most of the time? How do you tell them that everything becomes a NO? Would that make you happy?

Children have an inner engine, a basic instinct. This engine is the power that makes them start crawling and walking, it fuels their curiosity, it is something they just cannot control. On the contrary, they need this engine to get a hold of our world, literally. They need to explore the whole environment with all of their senses to understand it, to make it their world. We adults call it playing, but basically for them it is growing and learning, it is eating through their hearts and minds. And it is equally important as real food! If we deny this basic need, we are depriving them of finding their own path. Living playfully is living in freedom, in presence, and it’s not something that has an ON/OFF button.

Everything they see becomes an opportunity to explore…

Stairs, they are so interesting! When kids start running up an escalator that goes down, they are playing, learning about heights and speed: they are taking advantage of the environment to grow. But we are not in the same mindset, our adult head is already in the train we need to get on to our next appointment, and maybe in that moment we only see the risk of the stairs, or even just the danger!

What we really need is to offer time, even though our adult lives in the city never seem to skip a beat. The child learns and enjoys more on the walk to the park if this walk is slow and calm, giving them all the time they need to play, to explore, to climb up to the window bars, on the railings, to talk about everything that comes their way or say hello to other fellow citizens, if they wish to. The other fascinating thing about cities is the multitude of all those special little things that kids love to find (and sometimes lose) during such walks. In fact, loose parts aren’t just the beautiful gifts that mother earth offers us through the seasons. The city provides just as endless options of loose pieces that kids love to interact with, discover and treasure.

The little piece of mermaid blue tile they found in the swimming pool last summer… The pretty pink ice-cream spoon, or perhaps the shiny bolt they found on the ground…

The “ugly plastic stuff” is yet another object infused with rich textures, shapes and colours that kids can decipher and transform into whatever their inner desires wish to, and our bags become the perfect vessels to store and carry such random, yet coveted treasures around, ready to come out at the perfect time of play. We are sure that every mother or father knows one or two things about this!

The thing is that kids see beauty everywhere, there is no place for judgement or social conditioning in their heart. Maybe we need to try and see life from their perspective instead of expecting them to behave like we would. Let them play, stand back and observe which new skills they are working on, what ideas they will come up with, which kind of food they will cook with those confetti bits someone threw around for their birthday party last night. They will surprise you!

The bottom line is that kids observe and live reality from a place of deep, genuine truth. They only need one look to see the weakness of the structure and they will work hard until they unscrew the fuses of this big machine called “optimised city”, an artificial place, modified to be effective, to enable us to reach places in no time. They will bring it to a standstill with their ideas and in this way make it a place to really live, instead a place to function.

Cities must be a happy place. And not just for adults. Kids have our same rights, cities belong to them too. So what if we changed things up? What if we made every city in the world their happy place too?

Let’s stand up for childhood. Let’s give them a voice that is louder than traffic.


A picture from Grapat's new Happy Place campaign featuring the rainbow mandala flowers next to children rainboots on the street.


1. happy place and fancy nins

Grapat Happy Place set containing 40 different loose parts for building games and creative play.

Grapat has surprised us with two new fabulous large sets this year. Happy Place is the one carrying boldly the name of the whole collection. It does not only stand as a reminder of their powerful campaign message, but it is a set that actually invites children to build their happy town from it. The 40 pieces of loose parts are all unique organic shapes and remind us of random city treasures that children would find around on the ground of a metropolis and then treasure for months!

Grapat Fancy nins set containing 12 wooden rainbow-coloured pegdolls with interchangable hats.

The happy place that you can create from the set can spring to life with the help of your Adult and Baby Nins, but the new Fancy Nins would find it a happy home, too! Fancy Nins are city people – with fashionable hats and are proudly and beautifully diverse, just people of a busy downtown! They come with colourful interchangeable hats adding a new dimension to your game!


If you are ready to play and be surprised, you can also choose Grapat’s new surprise boxes. In the vintage style box hides one of the 15 limited edition Grapat treasures (not available in any of their large sets). And the fun part? They are picked blindly! You won’t know what’s inside, neither will we! They are made to be collected, shared, swapped or traded – just like we used to do with cards or stickers back in the old times!

3. new mandalas: flowers and pumpkins

Of course, the mandala collection got larger, too! Would a set or two more fit into your boxes still? This year’s addition is all about pumpkin and spice, to bring the earthy warmth of autumn into your creations.

This year Grapat has turned their beloved flower mandala sets into the colours of the rainbow, too! Has anyone noticed, by the way, that these recent rainbow sets (the eggs, mushrooms and now the flowers) all correspond to a season? We wonder if there will be a fourth one next year! Shall we put our bets on the snowflakes?

4. yummy!

Another Grapat’s mandala set has got a little makeover, too! They shine in lovely pastel colours now, and they are packed together with a wooden plate and two funky wooden spoons – turning it into a delicious treat for imaginative play. The wooden spoons of the set Yummy! are really cute, too – we wonder if it’s only us who immediately used them as puppets for some improvised story telling?

A child playing with the Grapat Yummy set: stirring the pieces with the wooden play spoon.


The youngest players have not been forgotten either! The new Permanence Box is designed to be used together with Grapat pegdolls, coins and rings, so you can really extend the life and usage of these amazing open-ended materials! With a toddler you can use them for posting, but later we imagine it as a great accessory in different pretend play scenarios, too! Or it can be a box of secrets or family gratitude!

A child placing with the Grapat object permanence box, sliding a wooden pegdoll inside. Picture was taken part of Grapat's Happy Place campaign.


And finally, there is one more lovely new Grapat accessory, too: a DIY wooden frame. The set comes with four ready-made sticks to create a frame from, and a spool of hemp thread! When assembled, it can be a beautiful centrepiece of your home: use it for storing pictures, tiny or big works of your little artists and a mix of your seasonal nature – or well, now city treasures! The frame is perfect to use for some Waldorf-inspired weaving as well – with your silk collection, ribbons, or thin slices of colour paper.

A picture from Grapat's new Happy Place campaign featuring children sitting on the street playing, and making a creative picture using the new wooden frame.

Photography: Joguines Grapat. All rights reserved.