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outdoor toys for Waldorf?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm kind of struggling to find some fantastic outdoor toys - I found a cottage and slide set that would make my toddler swoon, but it's in the UK only and so I can't really have it shipped to NJ

Any ideas and what do you use for outdoor play?
post #2 of 41
One of the books I have shows a simple balance beam (easily made) and some stumps for climbing on and jumping off of.
post #3 of 41
Child-sized wheelbarrow & tools, buckets and watering cans, sandbox... tire swings... those are my ideas of a great outdoor play area.
post #4 of 41
We were so inspired by this website which has tons of photos of natural playspaces and the wonderful things that can be done with found mostly found materials.

We've made what DS calls a gnome garden - just a mulched area under a large tree with a stick teepee surrrounded by logs and a bed of river rocks (and a gnome statue of course). We also made a sand box that's just dug into the ground and surrounded again by stumps and logs. A big pile of mulch is a hill for climbing. DS also loves hiding among our big clump grasses.

There really is so much you can do with nature, rather than purchased play structures.
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by njsummer01 View Post
We were so inspired by this website which has tons of photos of natural playspaces and the wonderful things that can be done with found mostly found materials.

We've made what DS calls a gnome garden - just a mulched area under a large tree with a stick teepee surrrounded by logs and a bed of river rocks (and a gnome statue of course). We also made a sand box that's just dug into the ground and surrounded again by stumps and logs. A big pile of mulch is a hill for climbing. DS also loves hiding among our big clump grasses.

There really is so much you can do with nature, rather than purchased play structures.
Cool site!! It's a good reminder. That photo it landed on when I clicked would be super easy to set up and I know it would keep my little guy busy for HOURS. We don't really have a yard, so we're trying to make the most of our deck---even with an almost empty deck, he'll stay out there an hour watching the birds and making up little games. (We're lucky though--his daycare provider lives near a lovely park and they spend hours there each day that isn't actively raining, so he gets to feed ducks and climb to his heart's content during the week.)
post #6 of 41

Nokken, A Garden for Children-inspiring resource!

I cut and pasted this from the online Waldorf Library....this is the most inspiring Waldorf book I've every read! It goes into detail about what is in an outdoor waldorf childcare center! I have been dreaming about having land to create such a place in Canada ever since I read it when my now 8 year old was a toddler! So many great ideas! I think WECAN also carries a picture book and video about it www.waldorfearlychildhood.org (although their server is down at this moment!)

Nokken, A Garden for Children Nokken, A Garden for Children


Resource Type: Book
Author: Helle Heckmann
Translator: Lone Schmidt

A comprehensive description of an innovative Danish childcare center, including an in-depth discussion of the development of the very young child.

Publisher: Waldorf Early Childhood Association
Date Published: 1998
ISBN: 0-9663992-0-X
Available from the following vendors::
Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore
Sunbridge College Bookstore
Waldorf Early Childhood Association
Bob and Nancys Bookshop
post #7 of 41
great ideas! We called a local tree removal service and are going to have logs cut into various size rounds to create a play area.
post #8 of 41
What a timely thread! I've been working in the yard the past few weeks trying to make it more kid friendly and less plastic ridden. Love the inspiration here!

Here are a few photos of what we have so far (and in the interest of full disclosure I did not take pictures of the dozen Tonka diggers the boys have seemed to have collected)

These are some stumps I retrieved from a tree being removed nearby

This is the kids playhouse. I have fantasies of making a wood shingled roof to replace the red plastic one

The boys spent some time this afternoon moving gravel from one side of the house to the other

There's a little hole in the bottom of our plum tree we're decorating for Fairy Folk

It's still very much a work in progress. The last owner had paved over most of the yard so we're taking some time to figure out how to deal with it... sigh

Thanks for looking
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloHoneySF View Post
What a timely thread! I've been working in the yard the past few weeks trying to make it more kid friendly and less plastic ridden. Love the inspiration here!

Here are a few photos of what we have so far (and in the interest of full disclosure I did not take pictures of the dozen Tonka diggers the boys have seemed to have collected)

These are some stumps I retrieved from a tree being removed nearby

This is the kids playhouse. I have fantasies of making a wood shingled roof to replace the red plastic one

The boys spent some time this afternoon moving gravel from one side of the house to the other

There's a little hole in the bottom of our plum tree we're decorating for Fairy Folk

It's still very much a work in progress. The last owner had paved over most of the yard so we're taking some time to figure out how to deal with it... sigh

Thanks for looking
Everything looks just beautiful! What a great place to play. I have to ask - is that the Brio wheelbarrow? We saw them at a W school, but haven't been able to find it anywhere online except in the UK. Where did you find it?
post #10 of 41
Radio Flyer makes a nice metal wheelbarrow that looks almost identical to the one pictured (except it's red). Ds loves his and uses it every day!!
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by njsummer01 View Post
Everything looks just beautiful! What a great place to play. I have to ask - is that the Brio wheelbarrow? We saw them at a W school, but haven't been able to find it anywhere online except in the UK. Where did you find it?

Have you seen this wheelbarrow from radio flyer? They also have some nice wood/metal child size garden tools. They are pretty sturdy and the boys love to have their own stuff for the garden
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by njsummer01 View Post
We were so inspired by this website which has tons of photos of natural playspaces and the wonderful things that can be done with found mostly found materials.

We've made what DS calls a gnome garden - just a mulched area under a large tree with a stick teepee surrrounded by logs and a bed of river rocks (and a gnome statue of course). We also made a sand box that's just dug into the ground and surrounded again by stumps and logs. A big pile of mulch is a hill for climbing. DS also loves hiding among our big clump grasses.

There really is so much you can do with nature, rather than purchased play structures.
what a great link. thank you!
post #13 of 41
Dd is really into anything involving mud - pies, cookies, etc. Her favorite outdoor toys are some camping pots and pans, wooden spoons, and a sieve I picked up at the thrift store. We also have a rope hanging from a branch with a loop at the end and a few knots for hanging on. She loves it!

Who needs a $$$ play structure when you have trees? :

I think the key is to keep it simple and let the children interact with the elements, rather than being concerned with the toys.
post #14 of 41
Oh no!: We just got rid of a whole bunch of tree logs! I wish I had thought to cut them down and use them for the children to play on! I gave them away on craigslist because I read in a de-cluttering feng shui book that tree stumps give off stale energy. I did feel re-energized after getting rid of the stumps, but I bet we could have put them to good use with the kids and had even better energy! BooHoo!
post #15 of 41
Thanks so much njsummer

I got the wheelbarrow from a local toy store. It has a John Deere logo on it (couldn't find a plain one). Just saw it here on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Curve.../dp/B0007WOI7W

Would love to see others outdoor spaces. We're in an urban environment so I love to see what others who have more landspace do.
post #16 of 41
OMG!!! PabloHoneySF, where did you get that fabulous playhouse?!?!
post #17 of 41
Our outdoor toys are dirt and water. And sticks. Add a shovel if it is handy, otherwise they'll dig with a stick. And trees, if you have them. For us, the key is letting the kids do what they want to with the space. If they want to dig something up, move it, build it, I just let go of my ideas of what the space was for.

And don't forget GARDENING. Children growing things is really important. We don't have a lot of full sun, so a lot of our edibles are in pots, and we are starting to dig up the front lawn in some places. Its a slow process though.
We have Peas growing next to the walkway out front. And more peas, lettuce, herbs and flowers in pots on the other side. The girls did the planting themselves, and are helping dig area for the summer veggies.

We also love our hammock.

This year we put up a rope swing, which gets daily use.

Our waterbarrel also gets a lot of attention. They can use all the water they want without me telling them to turn off the hose, and they love going out after a storm and seeing how fast it pours out. When we haven't had rain, they do other things, but most of the time there is a lot in there. Its a great system! This spring they started digging ditches from the barrel into imaginary "waterways", they do this a lot now.

At my SILs house they built the "waterway" through her side garden, and it is now a permanent addition, so beautiful as the plants are growing in.

Oh, And teepees, stick forts, etc. 4 sticks and and old sheet. We use it every day.

We had a big beautiful wooden play structure with all the accessories at our previous home, and we have never had as much fun outside as we do here.
post #18 of 41
Angierae, your yard looks like a fantastic adventure for your kids. We have a very small yard but have recently converted part into a natural sandbox/digging area for our son. We had a windstorm here a few days ago and many trees fell so I was able to find many great logs etc.

I just wish we had a tree big enough to hold a rope swing!
post #19 of 41
njsummer, that site is great! Im totally making dd a sand pit under our one tree just like the one pictured!

DD just got a nice water table for her birthday. It is plastic, but I am totally fine w/ plastic for water play. We are also getting our neighbor's old, outgrown, wooden play structure. It is not one of the huge ones; it has one slide, two ladders up the sides, and room to hang four things (swings, rings, rope) on the four corners. You can also put fabric or a tarp across the top to make a tent roof. It is perfect for a city yard like ours It is also well-weathered and not ugly.

Other than that, we are planning to have a garden and I would like to get one of the "water park" playsets by Haba. Again, plastic, but I love that you can reconfigure it how you want, and can use it in sand w/out the sand soaking up all the water. As dd gets older, we will add more natural playscapes, but she is still a baby and easily amused
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by PabloHoneySF View Post
What a timely thread! I've been working in the yard the past few weeks trying to make it more kid friendly and less plastic ridden. Love the inspiration here!

Here are a few photos of what we have so far (and in the interest of full disclosure I did not take pictures of the dozen Tonka diggers the boys have seemed to have collected)

These are some stumps I retrieved from a tree being removed nearby

This is the kids playhouse. I have fantasies of making a wood shingled roof to replace the red plastic one

The boys spent some time this afternoon moving gravel from one side of the house to the other

There's a little hole in the bottom of our plum tree we're decorating for Fairy Folk

It's still very much a work in progress. The last owner had paved over most of the yard so we're taking some time to figure out how to deal with it... sigh

Thanks for looking
Wow! That is amazing!

I'm not waldorf, but I love the natural outdoor spaces. I'd like to get dh to make a wooden playhouse outside and get rid of the plastic one we have.
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