How Do Grimms Make Their Toys?
If you’ve discovered Grimms toys you will almost certainly have noticed how tactile they are and how well they have preserved the look and feel of the grain in the wood.
And you might also have noticed some quirks. The fact that the rainbow only really fits together one way round or that there are knots in the wood or that the hand-painted detail doesn’t look quite the same as the one on the website.
This natural feel and the quirks are down to the way that Grimms toys are made, by hand by skilled craftspeople who are fully engaged in the work they do, well treated and respected.
Where are Grimms Toys Made?
Grimms toys are mostly made between Germany and Bosnia. All the design work, the finishing, assembly and quality control happens in Germany. With much of the woodwork happening in small independent workshops, the largest of which is in Bosnia.
The Grimms workshop in Bosnia is owned by a man who started working for Grimms in Germany as he recovered from wounds he had received during the Bosnian war in the 1990s. They now have many talented craftspeople and use locally sourced wood from sustainably managed forests.
The staff there are paid an above-average wage, given a free lunchtime meal cooked by their in house chef and ensured the highest possible working and safety standards.
In Germany Grimms treat their staff very much as part of the family, and you can find out some of their stories on Instagram.
How Grimms Toys are Made
In the design and development phase Grimms are guided by Waldorf educational principle as well as other systems such as montessori. Their toys are designed to be age and development appropriate and to encourage children to use their imaginations as they learn and play. The toys are designed to be open-ended meaning that there is no one way to play with them.
Creating artistically beautiful toys from natural materials is also an intentional part of the design process, encouraging a connection to the natural world through play and acting as a more sustainable alternative to mass produced, plastic toys.
Part of what makes Grimms toys so magical is that they are hand crafted rather than being machine cut and mass produced. This means that the process requires highly skilled craftspeople who are specialist at making their toy or even their part of a toy.
All the toys wherever they are made come back to Germany to be dipped in colour or hand-painted, finished, assembled and packaged. Again these are specialist processes and one person may only assemble one or two different toys. Grimms also work with workshops for adults with special needs.
Next Up: Are Grimms Toys Worth the Money?