It’s hard not to smile when you see a nesting babushka doll. Curious little minds and hands will be fascinated with this interactive toy that also builds hand-eye coordination, fine motor and problem-solving skills. Doll in doll, shape in shape and animals of graduating sizes – they’re just too cute!
Also called Matryoshka, Russian or nesting dolls, babushka dolls are fun sets of figures that are placed one inside the other. They’ve been around for many years but put aside the traditional image in your mind for just a second because the matryoshka has been totally modernised for the tots of today.
There are heaps of cute and quirky babushka dolls hiding out there. We’ve uncovered 17 of the best and put them in this handy list. Ranging from people to penguins and almost everything in between, they’re guaranteed to appeal to both the young and young at heart.
What to look for when buying babushka dolls
Design – Babushkas are a treat for the eyes and the heart as well as the hands. There’s something very endearing and pleasing about seeing graduating characters fit one inside the other. Look for a babushka your child will engage with – the illustrations, expressions, colour and shape all contribute. A babushka set is a family in itself, so consider the whole cast and how well they connect and tell a story.
Material – Will the nesting dolls be for display or play, or both? Pick durable materials if you intend for the set to be played with by little hands. If the matryoshkas are destined more for display, you can select more on design alone.
Size (especially the baby babushka) – Larger babushka sets are more suitable for babies and toddlers to grip, open and close. They’re also a safer choice because often the littlest babushka in a standard set might be tempting for tiny mouths.
17 cute and quirky babushka dolls
A babushka doll will surprise and delight for many years. We’ve stacked up countless options to bring you a selection that we love. In this list, you’re bound to find a theme that suits your child’s personality to a T.
In no particular order, here they are:
Large and light enough for little hands to hold, there are three different visually stimulating colourways to choose from. The best is saved to last – Bo the bunny might be the smallest, but adds a surprising musical element when he chimes.
We love how each wombat represents a different emotion and special character of its own. Arriving with an easy-to-read book, Cheery, Grumpy, Heartfelt, Teary and Sleepy form a beautiful, educational keepsake that they’ll treasure.
Many arctic adventures can be created using these aqua-loving nested buddies. A set of five in the sweetest shades, let this walrus and his seal and penguin friends provide your child with hours of delight, and look great in their playroom whilst they’re at it.
Furry friends and even your facade are included in this babushka set starring the coolest characters on the block: you! Fully customisable for up to four family members, your expressions, clothing and colouring are expertly hand-painted onto linden wooden dolls.
The traditional babushka has gotten a whimsical woodland twist in the form of these adorable acorns. Carefully sanded smooth to create a sensory, velvety texture and lightly painted to allow the wood grain to show through, they’re keepsakes to treasure.
It’s hard not to giggle when you see this gang’s funny expressions! The colourful, retro critters with cute ears are designed to be played with, placed on display or used as storage containers. Designed by a children’s illustrator, they’re made of recyclable plastic.
Who knew mountains could be so sweet? This earth-inspired nesting set is hand-painted with care and will be a delightful addition to their nursery shelf or dresser. Standing at 16cm tall, the mountain houses the forest who then houses the desert. Too cute!
Obi-Wan Kenobi said “Your eyes can deceive you,” but they aren’t tricking you now – Star Wars babushkas exist! Bring the galaxy far, far away to you with this blockbuster line-up. Though they nest together, you won’t want to keep them from having their time in the sun.
Not only will these monochrome creatures look stylish on their shelf, but there’s also actually science behind the black and white. High-contrast imagery attracts young babies and helps stimulate their rapidly developing sense of sight.
Lovers of the viral trend ‘chonk cats’ will adore these delightful mini nesting dolls. Even if you aren’t on the bandwagon, it’s hard to resist these purr-fect desktop companions – they even come complete with a hilarious little book by Jessie O. Moore.
If you’re after a traditional set of Russin Matryoshkas in a contemporary palette, this is it. A little bit boho and oh-so-sweet, the set consists of a family of five dolls, each handpainted with love and dedication on durable linden wood. We love!
Babushkas and baking go together with these handy helpers! In various sizes, each piece includes convenient embossing on the underside of the cup. White matches any decor, and they save space nested together when not in use. Win-win!
The contemporary hues and clean lines of these babushka penguins make us swoon! Whether they’re nested together (to keep warm of course!) or displayed in a line-up they’ll add personality and charm to their playroom whilst waddling into your little one’s heart.
Celebrate Australian birds in all their beauty with this set of exquisite nesting dolls. The hand-illustrated designs will look stunning perched on any shelf. Painted with eco-friendly paints, the bird-watching can continue with sets featuring other birds of the world too.
Nesting nativity dolls make cracking Christmas companions because they’re interactive and fun. Historic characters give a contemporary cartoon twist in a little set that evokes the same joy as opening a present. And when the festivities are over, they pack away perfectly.
Both Matryoshkas and Doctor Who have stood the test of time, so it’s fitting they come together in this nesting set! Travel through time and relive one of the longest-running television shows in history with these iconic and very collectable characters.
Modern DIY Tutorial
Modern art and minimalist style come to life in this easy-to-achieve nesting doll DIY. Kids will love to open, close, connect and nest these colourful containers whilst also learning colours in the process. Replicate these striking shades or add your own twist to your design. (via Bit & Bauble)
This article is curated by our Editors and includes affiliates and/or paid inclusions. See our Disclosure Policy.
Know a babushka or Matryoshka doll we should add to our list? Contact us and let us know.
Read these roundups next …
On the hunt for more gifts for your busy little bees? Our roundups include a curated selection of Australia’s top boutique brands and products, from fun ride-ons to sweet tea sets.