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Spurlock Museum Family Program: “Wooden Treasures: Instruments and Toys of the Caucasus Region”

Event Type
Community Service
REEEC; Spurlock Museum
Spurlock Museum (600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL 61801)
Jul 25, 2021   2:00 - 4:00 pm  
Free and open to the public.
Originating Calendar
Russian, E. European & Eurasian Center: Outreach

On July 25 from 2 to 4 pm, the Spurlock Museum joins with the UIUC Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) for a celebration of wooden toys and musical instruments. This free, family-friendly program will include a hands-on artifacts area, short informational talks about the items on display, storytelling sessions, and a fun giveaway bag.

Among the items in the touchables area will be examples of hand-carved toys with parts that move. One of the most popular figures on these toys are bears, a favorite in Russian fairy tales. The toys are most often associated with the village of Bogorodskoye, near Moscow, where whole families are involved with the carving and assembling of these delightful playthings.

Sets of matryoshka, or nesting dolls, will also be found in the touchables area, for visiting children never seem to tire of opening the dolls to see how many are in each set and if they can put the dolls back together in the right order. Though often thought of as an older, traditional, Russian toy, nesting dolls were invented in 1892.

Family members will also be able to see and hear three traditional musical instruments: the duduk (a reed instrument), the panduri (a stringed instrument), and the doli (a percussion instrument). Short informational talks on the instruments and toys will be given at 2:30 pm (toys) and 3:10 pm (instruments) by REEEC representative Danielle Sekel.

Russian stories will be presented by Kim Sheahan Sanford, the Spurlock’s resident storyteller at 2:10, 2:50, and 3:30 PM.  All the talks and storytelling will take place in the Museum’s new second floor Collaboration and Community Gallery.

Special giveaway bags will be given to the first 25 families who attend.

Hand sanitizer will be available at all touch stations.  We strongly encourage its use.


  • Our entrance has moved. Use the glass entryway closest to the bike rack and parking lot to enter the Museum. The previous main entrance is now exit-only. Signage has been posted nearby.
  • Face masks or face shields are required to be worn by all individuals age 2 or older who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated, we welcome you to wear a mask if you wish.
  • We require that you follow other state and University COVID-19 guidelines, ( including not entering the Museum if feeling ill.
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