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Play and Learn with Mader Spinning Tops

Oskar’s Wooden Ark stocks a wide range of Mader Spinning Tops as well as other beautiful Mader toys such as skipping ropes, kaleidoscopes and yoyos. Each piece is made by hand in the foothills of the Austrian Alps from local wood sources - some requiring up to 20 different steps to reach completion. Mader Spinning Tops & Toys was founded by Klaus Mader in 1991 but these beautiful wooden toys only made their way to Australia through Oskar’s Wooden Ark in 2019.

Oskar's Wooden Ark Mader Spinning Tops

📸 by Kim @two.little.kids

When holding the spinning tops in hand, you can’t help but notice the attention to detail and fine craftsmanship involved in making them. The spinning tops make me think of the old days - I can picture my grandparents playing with something like this when they were young. So simple, yet so mesmerising. We keep our spinning top collection out where it can be enjoyed at any time and I don’t think anyone has come into our house without being tempted to give them a spin.

Mader Spinning Tops are not just for children. My husband and I are competitive and often have contests to see who can spin the longest. For such a simple toy, there are many learning opportunities for children.

I’ve written down a small list of activities for you to try with your children.

Oskar's Wooden Ark Mader Spinning Tops

📸 by Alex @ourcountrytale

Activities for children using Mader Spinning Tops

Spinning Challenges

How long can you spin them for?

Use a timer to count the seconds or minutes to see who can spin a certain spinning top the longest. Write down the times and compare them at the end. Get your children to list the spinning times from short to long. This activity involves fine motor skills, writing skills, comparisons, turn taking and a whole lot of fun.

How many spinning tops can you spin at the same time?

This activity requires a little bit of space but it’s great fun. Your children can do this on their own or work in a team. In order to get the spinning tops spinning at the same time, your children need to use some logic. Do they know which spinning top likes to move around a lot or spins on the spot, which ones are harder to spin and should be spun towards to end? This challenge practises spacial awareness, logical thinking, fine motor skills and organisational skills. Cheering each other on also adds to the fun.

Spinning Top Battles

Some children have likened them to a wooden version of the popular Beyblades - they are great to battle each other with! Which Mader Spinning Top is more stable and can ruin the run of the other spinning top without toppling over itself? Count the wins and work out which Mader Spinning Top is the best and strongest spinner.

Play Dice with Spinning Tops

The Mader Spinning Top Die is a great replacement for a conventional die in board games. You can use the Mader Spinning Top Die for activities including number recognition, maths games and games of chance. Your children will have so much fun playing, they won’t notice how much they’re learning at the same time.

Practise Spinning

Using a spinning top for the first time can be tricky and requires certain fine motor skills. In order to practise the movements you can start by asking your children to spin small balls or marbles. When moving on to spinning tops, make sure you check the difficulty levels of the spinning tops. The Mader Spinning Tops come in six different difficulty levels which are listed at the end of this blogpost.

The Mader Spinning Plate is both great for looks and functionality because it helps keep the spinning top in one location (some of them do like to travel!). This is particularly helpful when practising. The Mader Spinning Plate comes in different sizes (11.5cm, 15cm and 25cm) and has a beautiful concaved inner which creates the perfect platform to spin. It also makes a great place to store the spinning tops when not in use. The plate is not a necessity, however, is a great addition to any collection.

 

How to choose your first Mader Spinning Top

Mader Spinning Tops & Toys creates toys suited to ALL age groups. Babies love the Mader Role Poly Pears, Wiggle Balls and Stand Up Sombreros which can be spun and pushed over and let babies practise their eye muscles by following the movements. Even though the Mader Spinning Tops are recommended for three years and over, babies and toddlers that are not skilled enough to spin them yet, love to watch them spin and even more so love to swipe at them to stop them in their tracks! My 3-year-old has mastered some of our spinning tops but struggles with others whereas my 6-year-old has mastered most of them except for the level 6 spinning tops. Mader Spinning Tops make a beautiful keepsake gift even for adults and are also a great stocking filler or birthday gift.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing your first spinning top, the best way is to pick one which appeals to you (or your children) either by colour or design. However, it is good to take into consideration that each spinning top falls into a difficulty level ranging from 1-6. One being the easiest, and six being the most difficult or ‘top champion’. I would recommend the difficulty level 6 for adults or older children because they can be a bit trickier to master.

Oskar's Wooden Ark Mader Spinning Tops My first Spinning Top with Starter

📸 by Lisa @life.with.moon.and.co

To begin with little children may struggle to spin them but this does not stop them from enjoying watching them (and trying to knock them down). For the younger members of the family the "My First Spinning Top with Starter" is fantastic. It comes with a string and handle. The string is wound around and the handle placed gently on top, the string is then pulled fast to make it spin (sometimes for minutes at a time!). Children are delighted to see that they can do it themselves. Due to its large size it is fantastic for little fingers, even when used without the starter. The showstopper of the Mader Spinning Top range is the Mader Spinning Turn Top which is available in a few different designs. If you spin it fast enough, it will magically flip mid spin and start to spin on its handle.

Oskar's Wooden Ark Mader Spinning Tops

📸 by Steph @steph.soj

My personal favourite is the Mader Lolly Spinning Top. It’s such a classic design with the right amount of trickiness (too tricky for my little ones to master yet!). Overall if I were to recommend one to start with - I think the Mader Large Rallye Spinning Top is a great all-rounder, it is easy for most ages from approx. 3 years upwards and the rainbow colours appeal to most. Whichever one you start with, be warned - you are going to want more!!

 

Happy spinning,

Kim

 

Thank you Kim for writing such an informative blogpost about our colourful and fun Mader Spinning Tops. Follow Kim and her children on Instagram @two.little.kids to see all the fun play adventures they get up to.

And if you would like to get a better idea of our Mader Spinning Tops' range and see them in action, please visit our YouTube channel.

 

Mader Spinning Top Difficulty Levels

**Level 1 (Very Easy):**

Arabesk Spinning Top

Burlesque Spinning Top (video)

Large Rallye Spinning Top

Miniature Spinning Top In Glass Harlekin or Rainbow

My First Spinning Top with Starter (used without starter handle and string) (video)

Rallye Spinning Top Rainbow or Striped

**Level 2 (Easy):**

Frutti Di Mare Spinning Top

Harlekin Spinning Top

Mona Lotte Spinning Top

Spaghetti Spinning Top Colourful or Natural

**Level 3 (Medium):**

Arabesk Spinning Turn Top

Bee Spinning Top

Fly Agaric Spinning Turn Top

Fridolette Spinning Top

Rainbow Spinning Top

Sombrero Spinning Top Striped or Summer

Spinning Turn Top Fire, Ice, Grass or Rainbow (video)

Sun Egg Spinning Top

UFO Grey Spinning Top (video)

**Level 4 (Medium):**

Flamenco Spinning Top (video)

Flora Spinning Top

My First Spinning Top with Starter (used with starter handle and string) (video)

Pull Off Spinning Top (video)

Spinning Top Die (video)

UFO Spinning Top

 **Level 5 (Difficult):**

Draw Spinning Top

Lolly Spinning Top Rainbow or Summer

Tree Spinning Top on Branch (video)

Tree Spinning Top to Pull Off (video)

**Level 6 (Very Difficult):**

Salto Totale Spinning Top (video)

Thunderbolt Spinning Top

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