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Motion Picture for
Figures move and a short story becomes alive. Magic!
Why choose a story with motion pictures?
It's perfectly natural that children who listen to a story and observe pictures wish that the figures would move. Child's everyday world is in constant lively movement and if the motionless pictures on the paper suddenly become alive, this springs a very nice surprise on the child. Children get to experience the illustrated stories in a much deeper way.
Television with its moving pictures is a good example to see how strong the attraction of the moving pictures is. But when watching TV a child is only a non-active observer exposed to over intensive sensations coming from the screen. On the contrary, motion miniatures involve the observers and make them being active this could be an adult who is showing the pictures to the child, or children themselves. Motion is not exaggerated and it enables the child to emotionally experience the atmosphere of the pictures and stories. It encourages the child to be active in the game – be it sensorily or motorically.
It is not hard to see that the moving pictures enliven children's imagination, strengthen their self-initiative and stimulate their lively thinking.
How to handle it?
Little child's first contact with the picture is important. It should be taken as a book with which we handle with caution and we use it only when we or children take time for it.
It would be perfect if we could keep the picture on one specific place (hung on the wall or kept in a drawer) and not mix it in heaps of toys. Children should take the picture when they want to play with it and put it back on its place after use. The pictures are not indestructible that is why we show to children that we should use them gently and with care. If children are not used to the gentle handling with things, it is better that, in the starting period we present the pictures as something that can only be in the hands of adults and we gradually let the children touch and handle with them. An attitude we adopt is important for the preservation of the picture, and it is also a matter of respect, a virtue that children can develop in this process.
The easiest way to show the miniature to children is to handle it as a book. Children can sit in our lap and we hold the miniature in our hands or put it on the table. Before we start we make sure that none of the figures can be seen. We can tell »thousands« of different stories with only one picture, but as an example we attach a story with a description of movements.
Pictures are made for children of age 2 and a half and older. There is no upper age limit. It is good for children that, when using one picture we always start in the same way and we set the time and place of the story. For example: Once upon a time … or: Once there was … or by describing it: There were once a poplar and an oak in the forest. It was early in the morning … Children do not get bored of the same story, especially if the narrator is emotionally involved in the story.
Before the story begins, children can knock on the picture and we can be surprised and ask: »Who's knocking«? We make a short description of the picture, introduce the story and slowly the first figure appears on the picture, maybe we show only the head or a part of the head first and hide it again. We can ask: »Who's hiding«? Expectation is very exciting for children. Slowly, an entire figure comes out and it can ask children about their name, their feelings, where their brother, friend, favourite toy is etc.
Then we start with the story. How long is the story, depends on children's age. By all means it should not be too long and too complex. We can tell the same story to the little children over and over again, they do not find it boring, on the contrary, they are excited because it happens what they are expecting to happen … Sometimes this even has to happen …
Pretty soon, children can learn the story and play it on their own, they can show the picture to others and upgrade the story, soon they can make their own stories … With motion pictures the children's imagination becomes more and more creative.
For what reason?
Zibelka Company (»zibelka« means »a cradle«) was established in order to re-awake primordial »motion pictures with lively figures«, moving picture books and toys. In a flood of numerous »didactic« and »educative« toys we would like to offer toys to the children that have a true pedagogic quality which has its place in European cultural identity.
Our creations address the fundaments of human profoundness, independent and creative growing-up. We would like to decrease inactiveness, inflexibility, uncertainty and indifference of young people who, because of habits of the civilization do not have a lot of stimulation for inner growth and for the basic life- and social orientation. Our aim is to stimulate the inner powers of children. We strive for it by:
Flexibility - creative stimulation of sensory-motoric capabilities; during moving the will is activated in the imaginative world of pictures, the inner side of a human being really enlivens (as opposed to the screen where the will is paralyzed).
Aesthetics - harmonic and colourful images nurse the noble children's nature
Materials - natural materials as wood, wax and paper maintain a sound feeling for the world
Story - fairytale natural world, where a human being co-creates and is not only an observer, over and over again becomes full of new disclosures.
Entirety - the toy does not demand engineering compounding and combining from children, it does not force them to one-solution pattern, it does not direct them into competitiveness, but it buoys imagination, it strengthens child's own inner power, focus and moving attention. Beside that it creates conditions for truly practical-, life-, lively thinking.
Above all, we wish for children to experience many »beautiful sparks of joy« as Friedrich Schiller named them in his Ode to Joy.
Davorin Peršič, Zibelka director
Illustration and story:
Davorin Peršič, © 2015
For what reason?
Our company’s mission is to create toys that kindle a balanced and thoroughgoing
development of child’s individuality. We are convinced that toys are not just for fun,
but that in a certain sense the toys shape children, they influence development of their
thinking, feeling and willing.
It was the lack and inaccessibility of toys that are of true pedagogic value, holistically
human, sensorily and motorically adequate, simple and balanced that led us to research
the subject and encouraged us to design, produce and sale enjoyable toys for children.
For us, a toy is not just a sale product, but one of the most important cultural goods.
When we discovered this secret, we saw the toys in a completely new prospective. We
consider toys as important cultural images that can influence the shaping of ethically-,
aesthetically- and profoundly awaken future of our children.
Our knowledge about pedagogic value of toys, understanding of children’s needs and
of their development has its study source in the Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual science. With
pedagogy called anthroposophic – or Waldorf pedagogy Rudolf Steiner pointed to many
education areas that have mainly remained undiscovered, toys being among them.
Moreover, we follow today’s neurology science that gradually discovers relationships
between body motion and brain development, subject which Rudolf Steiner talked about
more than hundred years ago.
Mobility and simplicity in toys enable imagination to transform the inanimate into life.
In this process, children are active with all their being – with the mind, the soul and the will.
They use their fine motor skills; meanwhile, their imagination – in which thinking sprouts
and emotional wealth arises – spreads its wings. It is not just an elixir for their brain, but
for their whole body, for their whole being.
Steiner’s priceless elucidation of the development of a human being shows how
important and valuable are the movable toys that become alive in the child’s hands. And
this does not refer to mechanisms that we turn on and they unroll, but to simply conducted
figures that start to jump, climb, turn around, dance … In short, they become alive and
And this is exactly what movable pictures offer. A silent, rarely said out loud, children’s
wish is for the pictures in picture books to become alive. It is perfectly natural that children
who listen to a story and observe pictures wish that the figures would move. Child’s
everyday world is in constant living movement and if the motionless pictures on the
paper suddenly become alive, this springs a very nice surprise on the child.
Television with its moving pictures is a good example to see how strong the attraction of
the moving pictures is. But observing this phenomenon carefully, we can realize that when
watching TV a child is only a non-active observer exposed to over intensive sensations
coming from the screen. Child’s body motion is completely slowed down, the brains being
partly paralyzed. With this kind of moving pictures the most important sentient element is
missing – activity of the human being present. On the contrary, with living movable pictures
there is always somebody directly active – this could be an adult who is showing the
pictures to the child, or children themselves. Motion is not exaggerated and it enables the
child to emotionally experience the atmosphere of the pictures and stories. It encourages
the child to be active in the game – be it sensorily or motorically and by this his sensory
– and motor abilities grow.
It is not hard to see that movable pictures and moving toys enliven children’s imagination,
strengthen their self-initiative and stimulate their living thinking.
Besides the adequate toy content we aim for most accessible price, for best quality and
complete safety. All our production strives for all-embracing and sustainable contribution
in the relationship towards society and nature. For the whole world, the toys are designed
and produced (mainly handmade) in Slovenia.
Davorin Peršič, Zibelka director
“Our materialistic age produces few good toys. What a healthy toy it is, for example, which
represents by movable wooden figures two smiths facing each other and hammering an
anvil. The like can still be bought in country districts. Excellent also are the picture-books
where the figures can be set in motion by pulling threads from below, so that the child
itself can transform the dead picture into a representation of living action. All this brings
about a living mobility of the organs, and by such mobility the right forms of the organs
are built up.”
Rudolf Steiner, The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy, 1907.