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Babushka Dolls: Russian Nesting Dolls

Updated on April 26, 2013

Babushka Dolls

Babushka dolls, or Russian nesting dolls, are a classical set of dolls which symbolise fertility and represent future generations. Originally they stood to represent a healthy, rounded image of a woman with her family. The Babushka doll, Babuskha meaning "Old Women" in Russian, have long been a part of our lives, and dare I say will continue to be for generations to come.

The first Babuskha doll was born in the 1890's as a wooden toy containing eight dolls. The largest doll portrayed a peasant lady holding a black rooster. Opening her up, one found girl dolls, one boy, and the innermost was a baby.

A Babushka doll is a perfect gift for anyone from one to one hundred, and with the huge variety of products being made today in the symbol of the Babushka doll, there is sure to be something to suit everyone. Let's go shopping.

Are you a cook, a baker or just love pottering in the kitchen?

Satisfy your Babushka desires with gorgeous Babushka Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups and Salt and Pepper Shakers.

How about a Babushka water carafe? You can never say drinking water is boring again!

Store your newly baked biscuits and breads in Babushka containers.

You can go Babushka doll mad.

These days Babushka dolls are not just wooden dolls. You can get the Babushka Doll concept and design in almost anything imaginable.

  • Ear phones
  • Pig shaped Babushka Dolls
  • Babushka dolls resembling Ningas, Dinosaurs and even the Brooklyn Dodgers
  • School and lunch bags with Babushka doll print
  • Gift tags, paper and gorgeous hair clips
  • Stickers, Fabric and Skateboard Decks

If you can think of it, there is bound to be a Babushka doll version.

The first original Matryoshka  (Babushka) Doll  1892
The first original Matryoshka (Babushka) Doll 1892

Babuskha Party Ideas

Have you ever considered having a Babushka doll themed party for your daughter (or son)?

  • Create gift loot bags for each child to take home made from Babushka paper.
  • Fill with Babushka stationary, hair pins or stickers.
  • Why not use the Babushka plastic kitchen storage containers to make up some Jelly in the mold of a Babuskha.
  • Use the measuring cups for little lolly bowls.
  • Buy some Babushka doll fabric to use as the tablecloth or table runner.
  • Make a Babushka-inspired bunting.
  • Make Babushka doll-shaped cookies with the cookie cutter.
  • Or better still, make playdough and let the children to use the cookie-cutters to make shapes and be creative.

Let your imagination run wild.

Perfect for the Kids

If you are searching for a new activity to entertain your children, have you thought about buying blank babushka dolls and letting their imagination run wild?

Paint them, paste pictures on them, cover them in mosaic and dazzle with glitter.

Create your own theme - favourite sports team, decorate them like fruit, cartoon characters, flowers, pets, family members. The options are endless.

Glass Carafe
Glass Carafe

Babushka Doll Tradition and History

The first Babushka dolls were intended for children however due to their time-consuming craftsmanship and detail, their price was extremely high so they were only purchased for special occasions. The Babushka dolls were often painted holding baskets and flowers in their hands.

After receiving a bronze medal at a World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, their popularity grew, production commenced, they were exported, and just as in today's markets, saw counterfeit Babushka dolls being produced.

The number of dolls in any set varies from two to sixty, however the classical Babushka nesting dolls we see today have five.

Today the Babushka dolls take on themes reflecting modern society and culture. Painted Babushka dolls can represent a childhood fantasy such as Tinkerbell, historical figures, movie stars and sporting themes; just to name a few.

The largest set of of Babushka dolls was shown in an exhibition in Japan in 1970 consisting of 72 figures. Incredible.

Babushka Dolls, Russian Nesting Dolls, or Matryoshka Dolls, what ever you prefer to call them, have no doubt become a true collector's item worldwide. With so much variety to choose from these days, there is no reason why you cannot introduce a little babushka into your life.

Introduce them to your child during story time with a gorgeous book, decorate your home or a bedroom with wall decals, write someone a letter on Babushka Doll stationary or measure your next cup of flour with a Babushka Doll measuring cup.

They are cute, colorful, a conversation starter, fun and are etched in tradition.

Buy a Babushka Doll today.

All Hubs are Original Material by 'Work At Home Mums' ©


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    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Many thanks. I personally have almost every kitchen item in my home. Plus a set of dolls. Love them.

    • profile image

      laurel536 5 years ago from North Carolina, United States

      This is such an interesting hub. I have always loved babushka dolls. The history is very interesting.