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waldorf on a budget. - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 
wow mamas i am loving all of your replies. and dogretro thank you so much, i was expecting to get a response form someone similar to pulling off a bandaid, quicker the better. but i could never do that to my boys, my interest here is to foster thier already amazing respect for nature(and i mean amazing respect), thier imagination, a safe play environment and on top of everything a happy fun filled childhood. taking things and causing trauma do not fit into my idea of a happy home and a succesful transition into a better way of life.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
wow mamas i am loving all of your replies. and dogretro thank you so much, i was expecting to get a response form someone similar to pulling off a bandaid, quicker the better. but i could never do that to my boys, my interest here is to foster thier already amazing respect for nature(and i mean amazing respect), thier imagination, a safe play environment and on top of everything a happy fun filled childhood. taking things and causing trauma do not fit into my idea of a happy home and a succesful transition into a better way of life.
The mamas on this thread are pretty good at working within the world we live in! That's why they're so cool! I'm doing the same thing you are. The transition has been gradual, and the things he doesn't play with or has outgrown I've been putting in bins to donate/sell. Over the months more things go into those bins. I've even left them in his room. He completely ignores the toys in the bins! So I think as long as I keep my hands off his Little People stuff, he's more than happy with his new toys! I figure the Little People can live in his room with some of his other favorites (I can't put ALL the cool toys in the play-room--besides, we need something to play with upstairs in addition to books!).

Our transition has been very gradual. A year ago we were still buying blinking flashing toys that overstimulated our baby. He still plays with some of those things at daycare, but not as bad as our previous daycare. The current one has lots of plastic, but it's more open-ended: dolls, blocks, toy kitchen and play-food. So my DS will never be completely sheltered from main-stream toys. But at home he can have a calmer environment to play in. The whole process has been very gradual with lots of baby-steps.

1. A couple of open-ended toys: some wood acorns, a set of toy pots and pans, a wood train set from Ikea (I learned to make toys myself once I saw how well he played with these first couple)
2. Replace the bins with shelves. One or two toys per shelf.
3. Baskets for storage and to play with
4. Start seriously culling the toys (those donation drives that come around to the house really helped me get started with that!)
5. Educate our relatives -- they didn't all really get it but respected our wishes mostly and got him books or wood toys (or nothing--my parents gave him a t-shirt to open and check to help us get a big-boy bed! Perfect!!)
6. Watch for deals and start replacing plastic toys with higher quality toys that will last forever (no more age-specific toys---these will last him as long as he plays with toys!)
7. Limiting tv
8. Tax refund has helped us with a few bigger purchases to outfit a natural play-room.

This list is progress since last July! No band-aid ripping at my house. Just a natural transition. Part because we couldn't afford all new stuff. Part because it's a learning process. And part because I didn't want to suddenly remove everything familiar overnight.

Good luck! Sounds like you're off to an awesome start!!
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagemomma View Post
wow mamas i am loving all of your replies. and dogretro thank you so much, i was expecting to get a response form someone similar to pulling off a bandaid, quicker the better. but i could never do that to my boys, my interest here is to foster thier already amazing respect for nature(and i mean amazing respect), thier imagination, a safe play environment and on top of everything a happy fun filled childhood. taking things and causing trauma do not fit into my idea of a happy home and a succesful transition into a better way of life.
I just wanted to say I'm glad that things are starting off so well for you! When we became Waldorf inspired about 10 months ago we did a bit of both, we got rid of some toys which I didn't want (b/c of plastic, noisy, etc etc) both slowly and some the 'band aid' approach. Those ones were just utter junk and needed to be out of the room b/c less is so much better than more. There was something I noticed about the HUGE bag of stuff we got rid of over night, 95% of the stuff was all GIFTED! So plasticy or soft teddies which I just would not have chosen to have in our LO's environment. They were just cluttering her space so she couldn't play properly! Now at Christmas/Birthdays now I have told my MIL that I 'check' presents from relatives the night before the special day (I rip a tiny hole in the wrapper to see what it is and if it is appropriate to our way of life) and if it is plastic junk, my LO doesn't recieve it. I take it to charity and a Kid who needs it can actually benefit from it. OK, this may sound extreme, but I am not in the business of giving my child gifts which I am not comfortable her having in her environment and then taking them away again. I think it is cruel. I guess my MIL was pretty shocked, but it got her on board. She's amazing now, we always discuss what presents my LO's are going to have and if there isn't something right now, then she gives a cheque to go towards something special in their playroom during the year. The other relatives who give gifts (and we do ask for people not too) never come to out house anyway so it's not an issue about what disapears! Or we try and say, please clothes and books!) So I guess, what I'm trying to say, is be careful what COMES into your house from well meaning people b/c it can get you right off track and you will be right back where you started!
post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
I just wanted to say I'm glad that things are starting off so well for you! When we became Waldorf inspired about 10 months ago we did a bit of both, we got rid of some toys which I didn't want (b/c of plastic, noisy, etc etc) both slowly and some the 'band aid' approach. Those ones were just utter junk and needed to be out of the room b/c less is so much better than more. There was something I noticed about the HUGE bag of stuff we got rid of over night, 95% of the stuff was all GIFTED! So plasticy or soft teddies which I just would not have chosen to have in our LO's environment. They were just cluttering her space so she couldn't play properly! Now at Christmas/Birthdays now I have told my MIL that I 'check' presents from relatives the night before the special day (I rip a tiny hole in the wrapper to see what it is and if it is appropriate to our way of life) and if it is plastic junk, my LO doesn't recieve it. I take it to charity and a Kid who needs it can actually benefit from it. OK, this may sound extreme, but I am not in the business of giving my child gifts which I am not comfortable her having in her environment and then taking them away again. I think it is cruel. I guess my MIL was pretty shocked, but it got her on board. She's amazing now, we always discuss what presents my LO's are going to have and if there isn't something right now, then she gives a cheque to go towards something special in their playroom during the year. The other relatives who give gifts (and we do ask for people not too) never come to out house anyway so it's not an issue about what disapears! Or we try and say, please clothes and books!) So I guess, what I'm trying to say, is be careful what COMES into your house from well meaning people b/c it can get you right off track and you will be right back where you started!
I also check presents before giving them to my kids if I have the opportunity for the same reason. I don't want to let something I would never personally buy for them "sneak" into the house and have to take it away again. It's easier to take it away before they see it than after. Especially if they are too young to understand. I also find that some people who know how you live and/or if you have asked them to steer clear of certain items they will just buy more of that stuff. Not all but some people.
post #25 of 50
I just bought a wooden bread box at a thrift store for $1 and called it a barn. I added a wooden bird ladder from the pet store and may make a few other embelishments. My 2 year-old was thrilled! He is so in love with it that he actually cried when I wouldn't let him carry into the house.

A really cheap alternative for those of you (like me) lusting after the $200 Kinderkrams or Sam's Stable.
post #26 of 50
Both my daughter and I have received so much enjoyment from the little toys I have either needle felted or knitted - you can find yarn cheap at thrift stores and you dont need much to knit small animals.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundAbout View Post
I just bought a wooden bread box at a thrift store for $1 and called it a barn. I added a wooden bird ladder from the pet store and may make a few other embelishments. My 2 year-old was thrilled! He is so in love with it that he actually cried when I wouldn't let him carry into the house.

A really cheap alternative for those of you (like me) lusting after the $200 Kinderkrams or Sam's Stable.
Check out my Flickr,
http://www.flickr.com/photos/babyletsshop/
I actually own a wooden bread box and metal bread box for ds to play with. I love the idea of adding a bird ladder!! I'd love to see pics and please do let me know what else you add to it in the future!
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cera View Post
Check out my Flickr,
http://www.flickr.com/photos/babyletsshop/
I actually own a wooden bread box and metal bread box for ds to play with. I love the idea of adding a bird ladder!! I'd love to see pics and please do let me know what else you add to it in the future!
Great pictures! I love the metal box - that is awesome as a garage.

Here are some pictures of what we put together today. We are just starting to do Waldorfy things so you'll have to forgive the plastic animals and accessories I also am not very crafty so this is definitely not up to the standards of some of the stuff on this forum - the projects here blow me away.

Barn:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3578181...n/photostream/

With notes:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3578181...n/photostream/

My main motivation in moving towards more natural toys is to declutter, simplify, and encourage imagination. We had fun with this all afternoon so I think we achieved that today -not bad for a $1 breadbox at the thrift store and scrounging around the house. DS loves this much more than his plastic barn (also was a thrift store find) so I am thrilled to have one more junky plastic toy to put in the donation box.
post #29 of 50
I LOVE the breadbox barn!

I think Waldorf can very easily be done on a budget. As a matter of fact, I think it *should* be done on a budget. If you look at the basic toy/play philosophies of Waldorf, none of them say, "Fill a playroom full of expensive wooden toys." Yep, the toys can be gorgeous, but I think it can be very easy for us parents to get caught up in buying them instead of truly looking at what our children need. Boatbaby said something on another thread about how she got tired of seeing nature tables full of expensive Ostheimer figures but no NATURE, which I thought summed it up pretty nicely.

Take a look at "Toymaking With Children" by Freya Jaffke. It's a wonderful resource and a good reminder about what Waldorf play is truly about.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by operamommy View Post

Yep, the toys can be gorgeous, but I think it can be very easy for us parents to get caught up in buying them instead of truly looking at what our children need.
well said!! i am one of those parents who EASILY get caught up and i personally need those constant reminders thank you!!!
post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by operamommy View Post
I LOVE the breadbox barn!

I think Waldorf can very easily be done on a budget. As a matter of fact, I think it *should* be done on a budget. If you look at the basic toy/play philosophies of Waldorf, none of them say, "Fill a playroom full of expensive wooden toys." Yep, the toys can be gorgeous, but I think it can be very easy for us parents to get caught up in buying them instead of truly looking at what our children need. Boatbaby said something on another thread about how she got tired of seeing nature tables full of expensive Ostheimer figures but no NATURE, which I thought summed it up pretty nicely.

Take a look at "Toymaking With Children" by Freya Jaffke. It's a wonderful resource and a good reminder about what Waldorf play is truly about.
:

I totally agree with what you say, at the same time though, I don't think there is anything wrong with parents who would like to buy expensive wooden toys for their children if that is how they wish to spend their money. The Ostheimer figures are between £6 - £15 in the UK which may seem expensive, but these toys are going to be played with in some families for many years and can be passed down to grandchildren and great grandchildren even! Some people are shocked at how much they are, as plastic ones are half the price but then quite often these same individuals don't think twice about spending £60 on a meal out in the evening or £50 for a haircut or £100's of pounds on an annual summer holiday. I love to treat my LO's to the Ostheimer figures, I think they are utterly beautiful...but then we also have lots of nature inside our house aswell as growing lots of vegetables and flowers in our garden. So I choose to spend my money on my children, but I don't go to the cinema or go out for meals or buys lots of clothes for example and we holiday in the UK rather than travelling abroad for example. I think it's about individual choice, YES, Waldorf can be done on a budget, very beautifully too, but at the same time I don't think it HAS to be either. You can have a mix of nature, the handmade, the budget toys and the expensive toys too, if thats your choice. So I don't think it should or shouldn't be done on a budget, I think it is what is right for the individual family.
post #32 of 50
and yet again !! you ladies are amazing!! so true! sounds a lot like our household almost time to get our garden ready :
: i decorate our house with our ostheimers : as well as have them out for the girlies
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaUK View Post
:

I totally agree with what you say, at the same time though, I don't think there is anything wrong with parents who would like to buy expensive wooden toys for their children if that is how they wish to spend their money. The Ostheimer figures are between £6 - £15 in the UK which may seem expensive, but these toys are going to be played with in some families for many years and can be passed down to grandchildren and great grandchildren even! Some people are shocked at how much they are, as plastic ones are half the price but then quite often these same individuals don't think twice about spending £60 on a meal out in the evening or £50 for a haircut or £100's of pounds on an annual summer holiday. I love to treat my LO's to the Ostheimer figures, I think they are utterly beautiful...but then we also have lots of nature inside our house aswell as growing lots of vegetables and flowers in our garden. So I choose to spend my money on my children, but I don't go to the cinema or go out for meals or buys lots of clothes for example and we holiday in the UK rather than travelling abroad for example. I think it's about individual choice, YES, Waldorf can be done on a budget, very beautifully too, but at the same time I don't think it HAS to be either. You can have a mix of nature, the handmade, the budget toys and the expensive toys too, if thats your choice. So I don't think it should or shouldn't be done on a budget, I think it is what is right for the individual family.

I get this, but my post was not an attack on parents who spend their money on expensive toys. WE have some expensive toys. My dh is a woodworker - I know why toys are priced the way that they are.

No one will ever be able to convince me that what Steiner had in mind was a huge playroom packed with every wooden toy under the sun. That's what I was attempting to stress. I think, though, sadly - that a lot of parents continue to buy and buy and buy because the toys *are* so beautiful. Sorry if it came across differently.

I'm feeling a bit disillusioned with waldorf right now, so perhaps that's coming across in my post. We have NO ONE in our community that understands/knows about waldorf, so my online community and blogs are all that I have. But lately it seems like everything is just about what toy to buy next. I stopped reading a popular waldorf blog recently b/c it just seemed like every post was "look, here's another pretty object that you should want to buy too." So much about possessions everywhere and not as much about application.

Or maybe I'm just old and cranky.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by operamommy View Post
I'm feeling a bit disillusioned with waldorf right now, so perhaps that's coming across in my post. We have NO ONE in our community that understands/knows about waldorf, so my online community and blogs are all that I have. But lately it seems like everything is just about what toy to buy next. I stopped reading a popular waldorf blog recently b/c it just seemed like every post was "look, here's another pretty object that you should want to buy too." So much about possessions everywhere and not as much about application.
Oh, I KNOW that I am toy obsessed! However, I would be w/ or w/out Waldorf! I just LOVE TOYS! Some people watch tv, I peruse toy websites I also do this b/c to get many of the toys I want for dd, I have to plan the purchases so as not to overextend our budget. I haven't given dd any new toys in a while b/c we play w/ all of her things from xmas, and Easter & her birthday are only 2 weeks apart this year, so she will get loaded up, I'm sure! I did buy her a Waldorf-style bunny doll for Easter already : And when 3 sisters had their 25% off sale, I bought things for b-day and for next xmas so I could save some cash!! So, that is me and my hobby/interest

I do agree, tho, that less is better. DD is not going to come up w/ new ideas for her blocks if I keep buying her new block sets. Not to mention, her favourite toy the other day was an empty Reese's Pieces candy box! She literally carried it around all day & even pretended to feed dh and me from the box! I definitely think that Waldorf is way more about things that you are doing rather than toys that you have, but I think the fact that the toys are so beautiful does not help in this area.

Nicole, I think that is neat that you decorate w/ your figures. It is a family collection, not just some toys in a box.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by operamommy View Post
I get this, but my post was not an attack on parents who spend their money on expensive toys. WE have some expensive toys. My dh is a woodworker - I know why toys are priced the way that they are.

No one will ever be able to convince me that what Steiner had in mind was a huge playroom packed with every wooden toy under the sun. That's what I was attempting to stress. I think, though, sadly - that a lot of parents continue to buy and buy and buy because the toys *are* so beautiful. Sorry if it came across differently.

I'm feeling a bit disillusioned with waldorf right now, so perhaps that's coming across in my post. We have NO ONE in our community that understands/knows about waldorf, so my online community and blogs are all that I have. But lately it seems like everything is just about what toy to buy next. I stopped reading a popular waldorf blog recently b/c it just seemed like every post was "look, here's another pretty object that you should want to buy too." So much about possessions everywhere and not as much about application.

Or maybe I'm just old and cranky.
I understand what you were trying to say now.It's true, it is hard to stop wanting the toys when they are so beautiful! I just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel when you say about no one understanding you in your community. I don't know anyone who knows about Waldorf let alone truely understands what we are trying to achieve in our family. To be honest with you, it is a lot of 'raised eyebrow' and a bit of 'so what on earth do i buy your child then?' and a bit of 'you do what?' and a bit of 'TV free, what do you mean?' My twin is very interested in it so at least I can talk to her about it but other than that this is the only board I hang out on. Everyone on here is so amazing and supportive and really helpful.


I'd love to know what blog you meant but i know you can't say......
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by operamommy View Post

I'm feeling a bit disillusioned with waldorf right now, so perhaps that's coming across in my post. We have NO ONE in our community that understands/knows about waldorf, so my online community and blogs are all that I have. But lately it seems like everything is just about what toy to buy next. I stopped reading a popular waldorf blog recently b/c it just seemed like every post was "look, here's another pretty object that you should want to buy too." So much about possessions everywhere and not as much about application.

Or maybe I'm just old and cranky.

Nah, if you're old and cranky, so am I

I've been feeling the same way lately and it's probably a good thing. Not much to entice me to stay online (not that you Ladies aren't wonderful, but I hope you know what I mean) so I've been spending more time with the kiddos trying to figure out what Waldorf really means to us. I have all the "right" books, but I feel like sometimes I have so much Waldorf in the head and not feeling it in the heart.

Sorry that there isn't a Waldorf support network readily available where you live. Wish a bunch of you lived closer
post #37 of 50
:

Marina you too kthe words right out of my mouth

you know its funny it seems like a lot of us are at that point right now.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by counterGOPI View Post
:

Marina you too kthe words right out of my mouth

you know its funny it seems like a lot of us are at that point right now.
:

I know 1 other family (and she posts here) who doesn't look at me like my had is on backwards... and we're not even "hardcore" (ie we have some tv, beeping toys, etc) and most of my other friends looks like i grew a 3rd head.
post #39 of 50
You all need to move to my neighborhood! In our church community, many of us cloth diaper & breastfeed, some of us ec, some of us are really into natural toys, we are all into caring for the environment, etc etc, AND many of us live w/ in walking distance of each other. We really are an anomaly. There is always some "weird" idea being tried by SOMEBODY, so even if you are the only family doing it (like us and tv-free), you are still not lone weirdos.
post #40 of 50
Whoa...not so fast, everyone...I'm all about the TV - I mean, I am a LOST fan.

But I am glad to know that others struggle with feeling similarly. I do rather like you lot, you know. :
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