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Natural Toys and Playsilks

post #1 of 7
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After reading more and more about the icky things that go into toys (and end up in our children's mouths and on their hands and well...ick) I want to start using primarily natural fibers for the kids.

We have a velcro wooden cutting set, and some fabric stuff that isn't awful...so, we'll keep those. And, wooden peg puzzles, of course.

But, I want to start introducing some more natural toys to the kiddos. Especially things that are fun for all ages - nothing that the baby can choke on, but not so uninteresting for the 5yo, kwim?

Any ideas, my craft-loving friends?

I love the Lights, Camera, Interaction stuff, but will do my best to hold off for birthdays and what not.

Oh - and playsilks - where do you get blank ones? I checked out Dharma and they don't have anything LABELED playsilks, but I'm SURE something there would work!!

Any other handmade toy ideas? We've already done a knotty (butterfly) doll and the bunny for Easter, but that's about it.

SURELY some of this stuff can be made at home, right?
post #2 of 7
check elliebelly.com for playsilks!

many naturla toys can be made at home.

some things we make here are:

wool felt puppets, purses, cotton doll slings, waldorf dolls, waldorf style animals (felt and wool)
wooden animals (dh cuts them)
fabric for making tents
homemade costumes for pretend play
homemade musical instruments with items from the kitchen
paint, clay, draw
pouring and sorting with beans and jars
I could go on and on!


I am a big fan of natural toys!
post #3 of 7
the Playsilks at Dharma are the Habotai 35x35 silks.....or you can go big and do 45x45. I will tell you that my dd, who is 6yo, loooooves her playsilk as much as ds, who is 19 mo. He puts it over his head and walks around looking like a little ghost. She made up a game called "Pie in the Sky" where she balls up the playsilk and throws it up in the air and yells "pie in the sky!" and tries to catch it before it hits the floor....I guess what I'm trying to say, kids have a great imagination and can come up with games with something as simple as a piece of fabric.

One other thing we did last year was to make tree blocks. Not sure if you've seen these, but they're expensive. They are basically 1, 2 and 3 inch, in diameter, branches cut in to 2 - 5 inch pieces. I used my brother's x-mas tree, cut off all the branches, saved the thick ones and then let it dry for 6 months. After it was all dried out, we cut the trunk and the branches in different sizes, sanded them and oiled them.....we keep them in a basket in the living room. DD helped with sanding, so she seems to appreciate them more.

Bean bags are fun to make too....and fun to play with. DD and I made a few this x-mas and she makes up all sorts of games with them. She got a basket (the one we keep toys in) and put it sideways, then got the playsilk and draped it over the opening, secured it with a bean bag and used the other bean bags to play a game of throwing them in the basket, catching the playsilk when she made it in.

As you can see, I went through simplifying their toys when ds was born. I got rid of all the plastic and most stuffed animals. All character toys (Barney, Winnie the Pooh, etc) went out as well. I thought it might be traumatic for DD, but she never played with them to begin with and she seems to have more fun making up her own games as opposed to having a toy entertain her, KWIM?
post #4 of 7
We're doing this now as well, and my suggestions are already here so I won't repeat them LOL I just wanted to tell ya you aren't alone momschooling!
post #5 of 7
Oh! I just remembered another thing that keeps DD busy....I got pieces of felt and cut them in to big shapes, 2 of each...say, a triangle, square, circle, etc. I punched big holes using one of those paper punchers around the edges of all shapes. Then I got yarn and cut large strands of it, like about 24 inches long, taped the ends and let DD pretend she's sewing. I'm making a couple of more elaborate shapes soon, but with just those she made a house by "sewing" the triangle to the square and a tree, by sewing a rectangle to a circle. Sometimes she sews two of the same pieces together, so that it's one color on one side and another color on the other. Easy and safe.
post #6 of 7
Not sure how much you're willing to spend but Magic Cabin Dolls and Nova Natural Toys have wonderful craft kits, most Waldorf style. I also like North Star toys because they are wonderfully priced and simple wooden toys!

~Melissa
post #7 of 7
My sd is 10 and she still plays with her "silkies".

My ds really likes to play with plain craft sticks. You can buy them at any craft store. (popsicle sticks). He is 4. He lines them up into cool patterns. Sometimes across the whole house as a path for his cars, etc.
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