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waldorf on a budget.

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
ok so having made the descision to go waldorf a few months after christmas... we could have ahd a great stash of stuff as gifts a few months ago eh ? anywho what are the most essential parts of your waldorf childrens play, i have a 6 year old and a 2 year old both boys. we have alot of wooden toys and a wooden kitchen with food and things.
i was thinking of getting some stacking caves, and some playsilks. what else is essential to your childs day. thanks ladies
post #2 of 50
I think some silks are the only thing I'd consider "essential" Some wooden blocks could be good too - my 3yo really likes his tree blocks and pretends they are numerous things (most often plates, he loves pretending to cook and serve)

Since you have a kitchen and wooden food those are great.

I went to goodwill and got old stainless steel cooking ladles and stuff, and old enamel pots (small sized one) and my kids play with those in the bath and they have some for outside in the dirt and sand too.

Pinecones, balls of fleece, rocks, etc.

My 5yo has some child-sized real tools he enjoys using.

Waldorf is simple, simple, simple so I don't think it takes much to "go Waldorf"
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
thank you skrimpy.
yes we have wooden blocks, we have all wooden lincoln logs, we have wooden cars and trains, lots of wooden instruments including a little guitar and a mommy sized one, bongos,tamborines, along with many others, pupptes of various animals , and lots of books. should i weed out the mainstream cartoony books?
post #4 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
thank you skrimpy.
yes we have wooden blocks, we have all wooden lincoln logs, we have wooden cars and trains, lots of wooden instruments including a little guitar and a mommy sized one, bongos,tamborines, along with many others, pupptes of various animals , and lots of books. should i weed out the mainstream cartoony books?

We decided to decided to weed out the mainstream cartoony book with the exception of my fathers Little Golden Books from the 40's and 50's. Lots of Disney, Road Runner, etc in those, but they are special to me.

My son's favorite play things currently are his wooden blocks, play silks, wooden cars, and balls. (His kitchen too - although he doesn't really use it to "cook" in yet.)
post #5 of 50
It sounds like you're off to a great start. You don't need many toys to be Waldorf. But going Waldorf on a budget can definitely be done. I've done it has have many other mamas here. Some ideas

playsilks- join a co-op for Dharma Trading and buy some various size silks and dye them yourself using kool-aid
-check out the local thrift stores for silk scarves or scarfs of various textures and colors
-a really large scarf or even sheet makes a great start of a fort

play kitchen items- I agree with the pp also We have had great luck with buying an assortment of small stainless steel, enamel and wood dishes/utensils/pots and pans etc from thrift stores and garage sales

books- I am constantly scouring the thrift stores and garage sales for cheap books about the different seasons, it only takes a few good books for a seasonal nature basket I personally would weed out the tv show based books like Disney etc, though there are some character's who started out as books.

stacking toys- these are not a necessity but if you really want some ours do get a lot of play and are very open ended. We have some Spiel and Holz ones which are really great but some wonderful mamas make some cheaper versions on Etsy.

Nature items- great b/c they are free We have a basket of seashells and river rocks and such that are pretty unbreakable so I don't have to worry about ds coming home. Pinecones are great too.

A nature table is really great- you can add items out of nature or little toys you have around the house that are seasonally related.

Scour your local thrift stores and garage sales and be open mined- I always find great wooden toys and other items that potentially make great toys. For example we have two bread box's for ds a wooden one (makes a great barn, house etc) and a metal one (makes a great garage, fire house etc)

I would also check out the playroom thread here and also the Flickr thread for some great ideas.

ooh gotta go ds is begging me for a shower so we can go out in the car, lol.
post #6 of 50
I think my kids could live pretty happily with blocks, playsilks, sticks and pinecones though I've indulged them (and myself) with faaaar more than that

I have to say though, that both my husband and I have been amazed and surprised how much play our boys have gotten out of the stacking cave (and other elements) out of all the "waldorfy" toys that they have. It's incredible to see what they do with them on their own.
post #7 of 50
My little girl loves her natural stacking bowls, fairly inexpensive, and great for so many things.......serving dishes for fairies, feeding bowls for her wooden animals....... at the end of last summer she stuffed them all with her sheeps wool and told me she'd made jam! (I'd been making jam that week from raspberries we'd grown in the garden) LOL ... so they're pretty open ended!
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cera View Post
You don't need many toys to be Waldorf.
So true, and one of my favourite parts! We are not the most wealthy family & I love that kids can turn anything into a toy. I plan way ahead things that I am going to buy for dd so that I can make sure I have the money. It is true that most natural toys seem v pricey, but I have done side-by-side comparisons of open-ended toys that will last all of dd's childhood next to ages & stages type of toys (baby toys, toddler toys, school-aged toys). One $40 doll will last her whole life. Compared to an infant plastic zoo w/ animals on wheels, that item costs $50 & is not meant to hold the interest of children past age 3.

Play silks are dd's favourites. She also likes her wooden stacking cups (they have been snack bowls, goblin boats, goblin stands, stairs..), small block set (plain wooden cubes mixed w/ the Haba Fantasy Blocks), metal spoons, and she is just now showing an interest in her small doll and goblins (Ma Maison from Haba).
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
It is true that most natural toys seem v pricey, but I have done side-by-side comparisons of open-ended toys that will last all of dd's childhood next to ages & stages type of toys (baby toys, toddler toys, school-aged toys).
This is so true!!

We are not a Waldorf family but I made the leap to natural toys once I realized they are a better deal in the long run (plus I just hate the look of plastic).

For instance, I bought my 2 year old son the all-in-one dollhouse at Three Sisters Toys for $37.50 during their 25% off sale. The play value of this vs. a $30-$40 Little People set is enormous. We pretend its a house, a barn, etc. Plus when he gets too big for it, it won't end up in a landfill, and I don't mind keeping it on the bookshelf for visiting children since its so pretty.
post #10 of 50
Just want to second/third/fourth the nesting (stacking) toys. I, too, am always amazed at what they become - one of the best open ended toys ever!
post #11 of 50
A few poster on here have mentioned various Etsy crafters on here that have really nice stuff comparable to some of the more *well known* waldorf toy stores or catalogs. I would visit thrift stores, I have found some great deals there including a $10 all wooden kitchen and some really great wooden cars ( .25 cents each!!!) garage sales and craigslist are also great sources for things. I frequently see ads for outgrown toys or things people want to get rid of that could be waldorf like.
post #12 of 50
i just have to echo that you don't need many toys at all my girls have quite a few due to ME wanting them : but really thier favorites are the basket of sea shells, basket of pine cones,play cloths, and wooden bowls from the thrift store
back in january i posted this about waldorf play:
http://frontierdreams.blogspot.com/2...dorf-play.html

i honestly just wish I could stop buying toys!!!
post #13 of 50
It's not about what you have, it's about what you DON'T HAVE.

If you don't have plastic, battery operated, character filled, toys then you are on the right track. I personally think spending the $$ on Ostheimer & Holtz-whatever toys is insane. We don't have any and I never saw the point.

For us it's about saying no to the junk and saying yest to nature.

Specifics? Rocks, sea shells, baskets of fabric scraps and yard, coconut shells, pieces of coral, scraps of wool, old socks to make puppets out of, art supplies, access to these things and access to the outdoors.

We personally have playsilks, wood blocks, and some stackers, plus many little gnomes that DS and I have made. We keep a nature table too (with things from nature or kid-mama made, not store bought figures).

You can do it!
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
It's not about what you have, it's about what you DON'T HAVE.

If you don't have plastic, battery operated, character filled, toys then you are on the right track. For us it's about saying no to the junk and saying yes to nature.



You can do it!

: yes!!!
post #15 of 50
Thread Starter 
thanks so much ladies. i'm trying to get past the guilt as well of taking my older sons things away. i don't think i'll ever be able to take his prized race track and race cars, but i'm ok with that. i want to do what i and my children feel comfy with, as long as evreything in the main play area is waldorf/natural open ended toys i don't mind if he has a few of his old favorites in his room. they spend most of thier day playing in the downstairs living room which is set up as a playroom. each night after they go to bed i take 1 or 2 of the old school plastic toys and put them in my closet, once i have a nice collection i'll sneak them off to the thrift store. i love etsy and i did buy some precious gnomes from a seller for 3 dollars each , and i got a beautifl stacking cave and rainbow for 18 dollars each. i like knowing that my money is going into the pockets of a person not a corperation, and that i am helping someones family.
anywho most of the big changes will happen this summer we spen 90 percent of our time outside durring the summer, i think they will forget about most of thier inside stuff and get used to what they have.
ramble over
thanks again ladies
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundAbout View Post
For instance, I bought my 2 year old son the all-in-one dollhouse at Three Sisters Toys for $37.50 during their 25% off sale. The play value of this vs. a $30-$40 Little People set is enormous. We pretend its a house, a barn, etc. Plus when he gets too big for it, it won't end up in a landfill, and I don't mind keeping it on the bookshelf for visiting children since its so pretty.
:

Thats so true, Thats what I think when I buy the toys...yes it might cost more than the plastic version but b/c it is open ended you don't have to buy another one a year later just b/c they're moved on a new character phase for example.
post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
thanks so much ladies. i'm trying to get past the guilt as well of taking my older sons things away. i don't think i'll ever be able to take his prized race track and race cars, but i'm ok with that. i want to do what i and my children feel comfy with, as long as evreything in the main play area is waldorf/natural open ended toys i don't mind if he has a few of his old favorites in his room. they spend most of thier day playing in the downstairs living room which is set up as a playroom. each night after they go to bed i take 1 or 2 of the old school plastic toys and put them in my closet, once i have a nice collection i'll sneak them off to the thrift store. i love etsy and i did buy some precious gnomes from a seller for 3 dollars each , and i got a beautifl stacking cave and rainbow for 18 dollars each. i like knowing that my money is going into the pockets of a person not a corperation, and that i am helping someones family.
anywho most of the big changes will happen this summer we spen 90 percent of our time outside durring the summer, i think they will forget about most of thier inside stuff and get used to what they have.
ramble over
thanks again ladies
Ooh who did you end up buying from?
post #18 of 50
Thread Starter 
i bought the little gnomes from -blueskiesdragonflies
the stackers from -youreinspired
and some felted animals from -beneaththerowantree
thay all have such lovely things.

ETA: youreinspired is a fellow MDC mama and she has some beautiful wares, great prices and is just lovely to work with.
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
i'm trying to get past the guilt as well of taking my older sons things away. i don't think i'll ever be able to take his prized race track and race cars, but i'm ok with that. i want to do what i and my children feel comfy with, as long as evreything in the main play area is waldorf/natural open ended toys i don't mind if he has a few of his old favorites in his room.
I think this is SO v important! Saying no to new plastic toys is okay, you are the parent, it is your house. Getting rid of toys that are not used, totally fine. Tossing out things that he actually plays with and enjoys, not cool. To allow him to keep them in his room shows a lot of respect towards him and his interests. Sounds like you are on the right track, mama!
post #20 of 50
I agree with the posters who said waldorf on a budget is totally do-able! If you are a little bit handy it's very easy to make simple wooden toys like tree blocks and even play stands. And materials collected from nature walks like pinecones, shells, acorns, and interesting rocks and twigs are free. You can even ask friends and relatives in other parts of the country to send you some. We've gotten some amazing pinecones from friends in Florida and California.

One piece of advice I can offer from my own experience is that the Stockmar watercolors (the set of three primary colors) are a great value and something to splurge on if you can, along with decent watercolor paper and the best brush you can reasonably afford. Some brushes are $45 and up, we spent $10on ours and they have been great.

We have been able to borrow every single Waldorf resource book I've wanted to read from our interlibrary loan system. It's a great way to decide which books to purchase and which ones to just borrow occasionally. And some of the books, like Making Toys with Children, are great for saving money on toys and other materials.

And remember all of the very Waldorf-y things you can DO that are next to free:

making bread and soup
nature walks
storytelling
free play outside or inside
keeping daily and weekly rhythms
learning seasonal and daily verses
learning useful skills like sewing, knitting, and housekeeping
keeping a nature table
connecting with other waldorf or waldorf-inspired families

. . . there are so many other things, too!
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