My girls' first introduction to Nesting Dolls was this past Christmas when we received the cutest measuring cups ever from a friend. They just loved them and Chiquita decided that this had to be the theme for her next birthday.
I looked for some ideas online, but my inspiration ended up coming from the sweet little book The Littlest Matryoshka with its matching set of dolls, and from the Cricut Cartridge, Paisley (which has four different templates for Nesting Dolls). I had also purchased another book called The Magic Nesting Doll (which is a Sleeping Beauty in reverse type fairy tale - the girl wakes the prince), but I decided to save that to use as a Christmas gift and perhaps order the dolls to go along with it as well!
.: A Nesting Doll Happy Birthday Banner :.
I created this banner using my Cricut with the Paisley (Shapes and Dolls) and Winter Woodland (Font) Cartridges. I also created some of my own paper (with the tiny black nesting dolls, using copyright free images online and printing it in grayscale - my document can be found here) and tied it all together with some red and white gingham ribbon.
.: The Littlest Matryoshka Coloring Pages :.
We started the party with reading The Littlest Matryoshka and then coloring pictures of the six sisters (nesting dolls) from the story: Anna, Olga, Varka, Vanda, Nadia, and Nina. You can check out the website for other fun online activities! (Originally I had planned to give those super cute Babushkups to my daughter as a gift, but after seeing how fragile they are, I opted to just use them as a decoration!)
I also printed out a worksheet to Finish Drawing the Matryoshka Doll!
Other coloring page options include this Nesting Doll Dot-to-Dot, a set of Three Nesting Dolls from Outside the Lines, and these printable Russian Dolls from Activity Village.
.: Decorating Matryoshka Doll Cookies :.
These little cookies turned out so cute. I didn't have time to order a cookie cutter, so I made a couple paper templates along with a small batch of sugar cookie dough. (It was Holy Week after all, and I really didn't want to have any leftovers!)
I had white frosting, a variety of cookie icings, sparkle gel frosting and sprinkles for the children to use for decorating.
.: Nesting Doll Memory Match :.
Next the girls played a game of Nesting Doll Memory match! My Cricut came in very handy as I quickly cut out nesting doll shadows to use for the playing cards. I then used two of each Russian Nesting Dolls Stickers (Dover Little Activity Books) for the images. It turned out really cute!
.: Place the Littlest Matryoshka inside the Babushka :.
After creating the banner the weekend before her birthday, I stayed up late making this game as well. I used a dinner plate to trace a circle for the head and then drew one side of the body of the nesting doll, cutting it out and then using what I had cut off as a guide for the other side, making sure it was symmetrical. I then painted on a scarf and the hair with acrylic paints, and then cut the rest our of paper.
I just loved how it turned out, and it ended up inspiring me on how I would decorate her cake!
Using a variety of paper colors along with the four different designs provided on the Paisley Cartridge, I made small nesting dolls for each of the children to place inside the large nesting doll for a "Pin the..." type game!
I even made a couple for the boys! ;)
We used the girls play silks, to match the scarves on the nesting dolls, as blindfolds!
I used a couple more of the Russian Nesting Dolls Sticker Books as prizes.
.: The Littlest Matryoshka Nesting Doll Birthday Cake :.
I posted about her birthday cake on her birthday, but I'll include the pictures here anyways, for those of you that missed it. . . I made the cake by cutting off one end of a 13" oval pan (the body) and cutting out part of a 8" round pan (the head) so they would fit together nicely. After frosting it with white buttercream, I outlined the face (using the rim of a 6" round cake pan), cheeks (using a small cup), and the rest freehand with a toothpick, before decorating it with the various color icings.
I didn't think there would be any way to top the cake I made for her last birthday, but she loved it just as much!
.: Birthday Gifts :.
In addition to her new nesting doll and book, Chiquita received a stack of six gifts from her family, and a couple other darling gifts from her friends!
Chiquita is working on her thank you cards now, using the Masha and Friends: Matryoshka Notecards.
.: Party Favors - Nesting Doll Lollipops :.
Using White Candy Melts and this great little Babushka Doll Ice Cube Tray as a mold, I made each girl a Nesting Doll Lollipop as a party favor.
In the end I did need to "let a couple things go"... Like the Matryoshka Painted Dolls I had hoped to paint for each girl, the "Nesting Doll Crayons" I had planned on making with my silicone molds to go along with the coloring pages, and the family of nesting dolls I had wanted to paint as each of our six children. But I had to save a few ideas for next time, right?!? ;)