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Toys with a string PDF Drukuj Email

One of the construction element in many toys is the string (or strings), which through the variety ways of fitting differently animates or enriched it with additional type of  manipulation. This element also makes toys more attractive. The string is an integral part of toys and sometimes the lack of it makes play impossible.

The history of toys with string lasts a very long time and no one knows who and when for the first time connected string with some item which could be called "toy" and what was it looked like. One thing is certain - when we look something documented, we can see that the form and the rule of working hasn't changed since ancient times.

Animals on wheels to pull on string, limbs moving figurines, kites, jumping ropes, yo-yos are a basic set for children of all ages from all over the world.

The presented exhibition consist the vide variety of toys with a string from the collection of the Museum of Toys and Play. These are Polish and foreign toys produced from the 50s. o XX Century to present times. Each one of them is original and combines toy with string, thus varying its functions. These toys are generally designed or children, but grown-ups get them back with pleasure.

A large part of  the exhibition are toys produced by the Polish toy cooperatives such as "Gromada" Labour Cooperative of Toy Industry, "Strykowianka" Labour Cooperative from Stryków near Lodz, "Podhalanka" Labour Cooperative from Maków Podhalański. These labour cooperatives were producing such as" caterpillars, dragonflies, cats, dachshunds, cars.

The exhibition is complemented with exhibits from foreign companies such as: U.S Fisher-Price, French Clairbois. "Queen of the bees" (which is the oldest exhibit on the exhibition), a turtle, airplane, clowns, rabbit and butterfly can be seen on the exhibition. Movement and sounds are characteristic to these toys. Toys dedicated for children were produced by "Puszczykowo" Labour Cooperative of Toys Industry from Puszczykowo, "Bajka" Toy Cooperative from Lublin, St. Dubois Labour Cooperative from Warsaw and Drapinos Company from Warsaw. These are kites, jumping ropes, skills games of all types - some of these exhibits at a first glance seem to have a little common with a string, because it is hidden inside a toy. Donkey on a platform from Straume Company from the Soviet Union is an example.

The string toys supplement also appears often in folk art. The examples are folk art toys created by Stanisław Naróg from Żołyń, Adela Siwek from Leżajsk, Marion Mółka-Groń from Nowy Sącz, Tadeusz Żak from Łazy. These include colourful horses, poppers, wind mils, bows pecking pullets.

All presented toys perform a number of important functions in the child's up-growth. They affect on perception, physical and manual coordination and learn how to  play in a group.

            A few interesting facts about toys with a string:

Animals on wheels - in the ancient Egypt about 2000 BC were made horse shaped wooden toys, crocodiles and hippos which could be pulled on the ground.

Yo-yo - was originally a hunting weapon in stone with string attached form. In China, where it probably came from to Europe with trade exchanges, was known about 1000 BC. Images of children playing with yo-yos are presented on Greek vases dated on 500 BC. The common name o the yo-yo comes from the Philippines "yoyo" which means "come on, come on" or "come back".

Kites - about 600 years BC the Chinese learned the aerodynamics rules, and they flew kites to communicate during battles. Kites moving the special way had a certain colour and shape and it had specific information.

Hetki - bone buttons - it is one of the medieval toy. Through the drilled holes string was thread. When the string was twisted after stretching it hetki were making sound.

Walnut mill - quite common toy in the Renaissance. The stick was placed in the hollow nut and to the one of the end of it was attached a string which was drawn through a hole in the side of nut. If the string was pulled with a proper force, the stick rotated and the string wind again. To the top of the stick were attached tiny propellers which rotated. The rule of working walnut mill was similar to the rule of operating yo-yo.

Jumping rope - the prototype can be found in the ancient times, when the vine creepers were used or jumping. The modern jumping rope comes from the folk games known all over the world. The Arabs knew jumping rope called " Quinto" and the Maori called it "piu". Jumping rope was used by inhabitants of Siberia and Tibet. In Europe it was known in almost all countries, but it was the most popular in Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Denmark. In the XIX Century children improved the methods of jumping - not only individually jumping, but jumping with few people.   

On the pictures: flying ball, car, caterpillar - Cooperative "Gromada" 1980, jumping rope - the company Drapinos, iron with ironing board, a kite, a donkey on the platform - Straume,
a glass with the ball - the game arcade, rabbit, Clairbois, Fracja, clown, Fisher Price 1978, photo by J. Gonciarz, P. Dereniewicz, owned by the Museum of Toys and Play, Kielce 













Toys fantasy painted PDF Drukuj Email



In the 100th anniversary of the Krakow Workshops. The exhibition from the collection of the Seweryn Udziela Museum of  Ethnography in Krakow.

From the 14th February to 31st  August 2013 in the Museum of Toys and Play unusual toys "painted fantasy" can be seen at the display. The Krakow Workshops was a professional association in cooperative type which was working by the Museum of Technology and Industry in Krakow in the years from 1913 to 1926. The main goal of the Workshops was designing and creating items of everyday use in order to improve the quality of life. Manufactured objects included: interior design, furniture, batik on the fabric and wood, rugs, wrought iron, book bindings, utilitarian graphics and toys. The artists such as Zofia Stryjeńska, Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Antonii Buszek were connected with Workshops.

fot._marcin_wasik_0006_1024x682pawieIn the 1925 at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Industry in Paris the Workshops won the highest award - the Grand Prix and has been honoured with numerous awards in the toys industry section. Also artists were awarded with an individual prizes. The Seweryn Udziela Museum of Ethnography in Krakow has not very numerous but only presented there collection of toys from the Workshops.

At the exhibition can be seen toys manufactured as a prototypes designed by artists and made by professional craftsmen. These objects have corresponded in the content, form and decoration with Polish folklore, especially with the Krakow folklore. The traditional materials and techniques known for the folk culture were used.27741_3_767x1024gaska

The painter, Antoni Buszek, had introduced an innovate artistic education method which involved the decoration of finished products by children, who painted toys in the "fancy", self invented patterns.

The exhibition consists 74 toys, such as figures of birds on springs, referring to the traditional toys from Emaus, figurines of Krakow men and women, highlanders, Jews, lajkonik (character from Krakow tradition), chest-organs and also characters from the legends such as Mr. Twardowski and Wawel Dragon which inspired Zofia Stryjeńska. A popular souvenir from the Sukiennice is the dragon with snake winding body, which is sold to the nowadays, is a project of Zofia Stryjeńska.


To arrange the exhibition room we used cards room the sampler card of Józefa Kogut - one of the most talented student from the Workshops. She had 6518_2_767x1024turoncreated sampler card with fantasy flower and fairytales patterns, dragons, snails and butterflies which she decorated toys with.

Curator of the exhibition: Katarzyna Hodurek-Kiek    


Welcome to the website of the Museum of Toys and Play PDF Drukuj Email

The Museum of Toys and Play is the biggest and the oldest museum of toys in Poland. On an exhibition area of six hundred thirty-one square metres there are presented a few thousands of exhibits. Visitors can see a multitude of exhibitions, among others, historical and folk toys, dolls from all over the world, model cars, aeroplanes, boats, railway models and theatrical dolls.

We endeavour to make the visiting of the museum unusual adventure for children, hence interactive exhibitions where young learners of the history of toys can not only watch but also touch the exhibits. During visiting the museum children have a chance to play both in a play area and, in summer, also in the courtyard of the museum.

The Museum of Toys and Play is housed in a historic 19th-century building of the former covered markets.  Every day at noon from the clock tower of the museum a Świetokrzyska witch which was sculptured by Arkadiusz Latos and installed on the tower by a clockmaker, Bonifacy Komorowski, "flies off". 

25-367 Kielce
pl. Wolności 2,
Phone: (+48 41) 34 440 78; (+48 41) 34 337 00, Fax: (+4841) 34 448 19

The museum is open daily from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm except Mondays.
Entrance tickets: regular - 9 PLN; reduced rate - 5 PLN. .

Please make a booking for groups of more than 15 people. The Museum doesen't offer guided tours with English, but simple translation is available.

To book a place:
Call: (+48 41) 34 337 06

Tuesday to Sunday; from 9.00 am till 17.00 pm

Email to:

Gadu-Gadu: 9560983

The exhibition Children of the Amazon. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow PDF Drukuj Email

dzieci_amazoniiThe author of the exhibition - Marek Wołodźko- is an ethnologist who had been doing scientific researches for many years of the culture of the population of South America.

"The civilization changes and globalization in Amazon affect children instantly - they are born in primitive culture, but, as an adults, they live in the modern culture of the city.

The display illustrates this phenomenon in the 20 years, in the different countries and socio-cultural circles, first of all in the Peruvian Amazon, Venezuela and Ecuador" - it can be red in the catalog accompanying an exhibition.


The unique books in the Museum of Toys and Play PDF Drukuj Email

From the September 18th to the end of the year 2012 the Museum of Toys and play invites for the two-parts exhibition dedicated to the books.

The first part of the exhibition is titled "The toy book - yesterday and today". The exhibition presents historical and contemporary publications. These unfolded publications - designed by engineers - with sound-effects, moving parts, with games, cutouts, riddles and 3D effects are only a part from variety ideas and solutions. On the display are shown the earliest publications of this type in Polish collection, such as Assarmot, historical play in cubes arranged for children by the Author of Souvenir by a good mother from 1851 (first edition in 1829), From the history of Polish - historical play arranged as a lottery by Józef Gacki, Theater = Bilderbuch. Vier Scenen für das Kinderherz (German reprint of the publication from 1882) and books from the interwar period.




Klementyna z Tańskich Hoffmanowa, Assarmot, historical paly in cubes arranged for children by the Author of Souvenir by a good mother. The second correct publication, Cracow 1851, from the collection of the Museum of Children's Book 


The most popular publications from the period of 60s/80s of the 20th Century - so called "pop-ups" designed by Czech Vojtĕch Kubašta, fairy-tales from the Moscow "Małysz" publishing house - are another part of the exhibition. There are also presented Polish publications with elements to play with (cutouts, puzzles, coloring) by Maria Dunin-Wąsowicz.


There are also presented - unavailable in Poland - the best modern spatial books designed by Jan Pieńkowski, Pole writing in England, Robert Sabuda and David A. Carter. These are three-dimension constructions using opening mechanism of bent piece of paper, full of suprising art work compositions, not only for kids! img_5034spots




 David A. Carter, 600 Black Spots. A pop-up book children of all ages,

In the next showroom contemporary toy books are shown. Many of them are translations of the most interesting of foreign-language publications. However polish books, valuable in terms of content and design, started coming out. What is (in our opinion) worth to notice, will be provided for the children for watch and play with.

The exhibition is available to the end of the year.


The second part is the exhibition titled "The stories". The museum's "Abrakadabra" Gallery hosts an unique books and art objects by Katarzyna Szpilkowska - a graduate of the Lodz Academy of Fine Arts, an illustrator and artist who was awarded many times, the participant of many art book exhibitions in the country and abroad. haiku_z_plazy




Katarzyna Szpilkowska, Wayside fairy-tales, Haiku from the beach

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