Amazing Automata in France

At Whirligig we never really stop thinking about toys and looking out for new ideas. So, on a short holiday in the Lot region of France, we were delighted to happen upon the most wonderful play environment. So this blog is going to tell you all about it – if you are in the region, you simply have to try and visit!

Located in the pretty bastide town of Pujols, which is no more than a few lovely houses and an amazing view, we found the Maison Du Jouet and wandered in.

The building contains a collection of amazing automata. All made from found materials in the natural world, you are free to play with them and discover their secrets. Nothing is for sale – they are just to enjoy and to make people smile.

And they certainly deliver! We spend ages their exploring the different toys and giggling at the cleverness of the designs. Having recently spent an afternoon in a school getting children to think of their own moving toys, this was literally being a kid in a toyshop for us!

The collection is the work of Daniel Descomps who has written a number of books, all in French, about his approach and now shares his passion with a group of excellent volunteers in this gorgeous setting. Of all the cleverness, the simple ones were our favourites and this donkey says it all – just the thought process to see it makes you realise the genius that is at play here.

If you like the look of these toys, you can find out more here:



Books on Amazon:

But for now, we thought we would share some of the wonderful images and memories we had from this understated and unknown destination. We’d love to hear if you have been there too.

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