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what's in your waldorf playroom?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So if you have a waldorf-inspired playroom at home or school, tell me what's in it for toys. What do your kiddos play with the most? I'm trying to set something up for my two daughters but on a very very tight budget and living in a VERY small space. Unless I can find it in nature or at a yard sale, they will be without it. But I truly believe I can make a gorgeous play area for them on a small budget and cram it creatively into our small spaces. I am a novice sewer but can knit quite well. So far this is what we have:

variety of playsilks (some 35x35, some handkerchief sized)
a few knit baby gnomes(by me)
2 waldorf dolls(one boy, one girl)
wooden sink and shelves(plastic toy food)
a few small knit balls(by me)
a variety of wooden puzzles
a wooden doll cradle
a child-sized table and chairs for coloring, reading, and snacking at
a variety of wooden baskets(cloth lined and not) for toys
2 wooden cars
wooden castle with small soft dolls(they RARELY play with it though)
a set of wooden blocks

So I guess I"m looking for direction. Their room is so small that it's not conducive to toys. Basically it fits only bunk beds and a dresser. Our living room fits the wooden sink, a small wooden bookcase for the toy baskets and the table and two chairs. And that's it. And due to the house's set-up, nothing else can be really set up for them. I think I need direction.
post #2 of 11
Wow, that's an awful lot for a start. It sounds like you have a great setup already.

We don't have the luxury of a separate "playroom" as so many people here refer to it, only a small bedroom. DS is five and we recently got rid of a lot of stuff. He has little baskets which hold some things like wooden creatures (snakes, alligators), a pretend telescope, compass, other pirate themed stuff. We have a handful of playsilks but he doesn't use them much. We have some costumes hanging on a small coat rack. I have another basket with card games in it, small puzzles, and dominos, a haba doctor kit....some low lying shelves have stuffed animals, and a wooden eskimo set. He has a bookshelf with books of course and some classic board games. We use an old toy box with a cloth as a nature table.

I set up a bed canopy in the corner which he sleeps under now. It has an exotic feel with a wooden sword and shield, an old wine box filled with seashells and rocks, and his bunnies he likes to sleep with. Since he doesn't sleep in his bed anymore and it is starting to fall apart anyway, we are talking about buying a high quality bedroll instead for him to sleep on under the canopy or maybe over a rug asian style. That would create more space for us.

I did leave some of his older non waldorf toys like his case full of hotwheel cars, a plastic pirate chest with fake gold in it, and a pinball game because he really played with those things.

We don't have a lot anymore which is fine with limited space. He spends a lot more time outside than he does inside these days anyway.

DD is only 7 mos. so she just has some wooden teethers and rattles. We have a wooden butterfly mobile over her crib. That is about it. She plays with a lot of kitchen items like old tupperware bowls, measuring cups, and wooden spoons.

Sigh. One of these days I would love the luxury of an actual playroom though.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
Wow, that's an awful lot for a start. It sounds like you have a great setup already.
: hey thanks! I love the ideas from your thread with what your son and daughter have! we've been yardsaling a lot so they have picked up a good amt of stuff. I guess I'm just sorta at a loss of what to do. I saw the waldorf playroom thread but unfortuantely since their only play area is my living room, we are having trouble fitting things in and setting up well. I guess I need to set up "stations" with like the sink and food(I want to knit them some soft food) or the baby stuff, etc. Would you just put crayons and paper at the table for random "on the fly" coloring? Maybe set up the bookcase with baskets of random stuff like playsilks, knit balls, etc? I was thinking of a basket of pine cones or smooth river stones(bigger non-chokables for my 2 year old). Yes? No ? I'm sort of at a loss of how to incorporate it into our living room because I'm a little reluctant to have it take over my house. I'd just sorta love to have little stations everywhere but it's not easy with a teeny place.
post #4 of 11
I think having stations is very handy when you have the larger items like kitchens or playstands. Our canopy is a station of sorts I suppose.

I will say that even though we have toys in the baskets, DS doesn't seem to gravitate to them very much. He tends to play with the toys that are on shelves, under the canopy, or already on the floor. Go figure.

I don't really have much art stuff and I haven't pushed that yet because he will be starting kinder and probably doing a lot of it there. He is in an outdoor summer program now so he isn't home much. If he were at home I would probably set up craft time with him during the day. He isn't one to select crafts much on his own though. He prefers physical or imaginative play more to sitting down and doing things.

I love the idea of knitting play food. I saw some on ebay one time that was so adorable. Knitting is such a valuable skill to have. Hopefully I will learn one of these days.
post #5 of 11
you can crochet play food too.. i hope to be able to have time to crochet a few for the kids for the holidays (my ever growing list of homemade gifts this year is growing as in-laws, etc perfer homemade stuff too!)
post #6 of 11
We are in a tiny, one-bedroom place, so my compromise is: The bedroom is for beds and clothes only(okay, stuffed animals, too), and the living room is shared by books, toys, and dp's growing collection of guitars, amplifiers, and etc.:
Ds has a corner with two bookshelves for his toys and books and a large basket of dress-up stuff. Also, on half a wall we have our nature table, with book storage and large puzzles underneath.
Toys on the shelves:
Basket of playsilks (used sporadically, usually for capes or setting up "scenes" to play in)

Basket of pinecones

Homemade box of rocks

small doll family that I made

small animals

wooden "cutting" fruit (no space for a kitchen)

stacking boxes

wooden shape sorter

two small pails of cars, trucks, planes, motorcycles, etc.

wooden tool box

small puzzles

basket of "set" toys, such as cards, games, etc. (these are mostly gifts)

box of threading beads

basket of "tree blocks"

He also has a basket of conventional wood blocks in another corner, with his wooden airplanes.

Ds also has a shelf in the kitchen for art supplies: paper, glue, pipe cleaners, block crayons, beeswax, popsicle sticks, playdough, and paints.
He has recently been allowed to access this at will, except for the paints.

All outside toys are stored in a bin outside.

Don't despair, small spaces are actually really cozy for little ones and they don't really need very many toys. I'm actually constantly trying to pare down what we have: I think ds plays with his toys more when he's not overwhelmed by the volume.
post #7 of 11
ITA about the small spaces feeling inviting and intimate. We have two of those low, 3-shelf, fold-up bookshelevs for all of ds's toys and books. There are two baskets which hold the small things, but most everything else is just sitting on the shelf. (My son, too, mostly plays with what he can see or is already on the floor.) He's really into puppets right now, so those get a lot of playtime, and books, books, books, also he plays a lot with his drum and with our pots and pans and wooden spoons (we don't have a small kitchen set yet). He cares nothing for play silks. He loves sitting at HIS table and doing anything.
post #8 of 11
I have only recently discovered "Waldorf style", but I've really been into wooden toys since my kids were born. I have 3 under 3 years old and we still have one room that is the nursery (crib, closet full of clothes, dressers for clothes, changing table, and rocker. We also bought a bookcase from Ikea and it's in their closet filled with:


a wooden shape sorter

Wedgets (plastic, but my kids love them

Barrell full of monkeys sit there, too (again, plastic but every kid needs a $5 barrell full of monkeys! ).

Wooden puzzles in a puzzle rack.

We are in the process of turning our guest room into a bedroom for our oldest who will be 3 in a few months. Most of our toys are scattered between the living room/playroom and the family room. We have:

2 wooden cars

Pottery Barn kids and Melissa and Doug wooden blocks

That Ikea wire rack thingie with beads that are attached that can be moved all around (not sure the real name of it)

Basket full of homemade gnomes

Wooden Snow White and the seven dwarfs figures on a small wood table that includes a wood tree and mushroom. We also added small pine cones under the tree and sea shells on the pond. We use a small playsilk for the pond and a larger wadded up playsilk for the bush. I really want the wooden mushroom house, but we're opting for a large Waldorf dollhouse as a bday gift.

About 10 playsilks in a basket in all different colors (they don't get played with much either)

Silk parachute and silk streamer (they are all still too young for this, so mommy plays with them while they watch LOL!)

A few large rocks that we use on our Snow White table (we just painted a rainbow on one)

Wood kitchen with tons of wooden fruits and veggies. We also have some PBK milk and eggs, soap box, cleaner, and dishwashing liquid. The kitchen has a bunch of plastic food, but I'm slowly getting rid of it because it falls apart easily.

Wood threading beads

Lots of art supplies that are in a closet that mommy takes down when they want to paint, draw, or play with Playdoh (I'd love beeswax, but I think my kids are still a little too young for it). We also have wooden tools for the Playdoh.

Crayons with a wooden easel are left out for them to color at their leisure. Luckily they don't color on our walls, but the sliding door is fun. We let them since it comes off easily.

Wooden toddler table that is used for everything from eating on to making crafts.

Homemade Waldorf dolls

Puppets (need to buy a puppet tree)

A steel drum that costs $180 new that we picked up at a yard sale for $4!!!!

Wood car run (like a marble run).

2 retro wooden high chairs for dolls (we do have the Bitty Twins from American Girl that they love that usually sit in those chairs). These were given to us by a friend and are from circa 1960.

Tons of bean bags (some homemade, some bought from the Rudolf Steiner college bookstore). Some have lavender scents.

Wooden train table with wooden train set.

That's all I can remember right now. I'd love to buy them the playstand, but Ikea has a great shelf system (I believe it's called Ivar) that you can configure how you want. The local Waldorf store here has the Ivar system set up so it basically is two shelves with a connector over the top. Then they have a silk canopy draped over that and a ton of toys set up on the shelves. So, I'm going to do that instead of the playstand (more shelves, too!) I might put that agaist a wall with the dollhouse in the middle so the canopy is draped over the dollhouse, as well.

We're getting there, too. It's been a slow process.
post #9 of 11
Wow, that's a lot o of stuff.

I love Ikea. Could you post a link to this system you are talking about from their webpage?

When we move in a few months I'm also thinking of a communal playspace in the living room. DS never plays in his room anyway. It will just depend on the size of the different rooms. I do have an aesthetic issue and have always wanted separate adult rooms but most waldorf type of toys have a nice aesthetic anyway so I'm considering it.
post #10 of 11
You have to build it yourself, but here are the pieces:





The store I was in had a top part that connected the two shelving units (it's hard to explain, but it's essentially a little rail on the top that you can walk under). I can't seem to find that part on the Ikea website, but I am going to go into the store again and take pictures and then go to Ikea and ask them to help me build what she has. If I can get some pics, I'll post them here or PM you.

When I first went into the store I immediately loved her fixtures and thought they might be from Ikea, but they looked incredibly sturdy and thought, "Hmm...they can't be from Ikea! She probably bought them from a fixture place". Low and behold they came from Ikea.

ETA: Ok, I think the store owner has a long shelf on the top connecting the two. I can't figure out what else would connect them up high like that. The shelfs come in different lengths (and prices) and now that I'm looking at all the different size shelves, that must be it. It's so cool!
post #11 of 11
We're kind of minimalists, and we don't have tons of space either. Although the boys have a bedroom of their own we cosleep and prefer spending waking hours near each other too. The bedroom is basically used by guests and to store a few toys of ods that we don't want yds to get. So our playarea is in the greatroom. I think it is about 4x6 ft maybe?

Between/on a couple of playstands with a canopy we have -

a little stove/sink with some pots, dishes, and wooden produce

a basket of playsilks, several sizes

a basket of wool balls

a xylophone and drum

a truck

some wooden unit blocks and a couple of nifty tunneling sets

some wooden figures for block play

a set of nesting bowls, and ring stacker, and a puzzle

some board books(which isn't strictly Waldorf I know but that's what's there)

Yds has a Waldorf doll who lives on his bed when not being dragged around.
Ods has a shelf in his room with some more advanced (as in way more pieces to get strewn about and lost by yds) puzzles and his own books. We have an easel in our great room and for other art projects they just work at our big dining/craft/etc table. The nature table is actually a nature windowsill.

They both mainly play with the blocks, the playsilks, and the instruments when inside (they bother prefer outdoor play and helping me do chores), although yds like the balls and his doll a lot too. I'm going to make them some acorn cap dolls and wooden animals for their block play as they don't really use the wooden figures - they are the bigger, unpainted, very traditional plain Waldorf style figures). And honestly they don't actually play under the canopy that much. They drag the baskets of blocks into the kitchen area or the den and just kind of spread out. We have to pick up a lot but I'm ok with that. The playspace has ended up being a super cute storage area!

For your setup I think the only thing I'd do is replace the plastic food with some wood or fabric. If you really want to do a canopy I'd just get a big piece of fabric or a blanket from the thrift store and let them drape it over their table or something. That's what we always did as kids.
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