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#1 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#2 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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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"

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#3 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#4 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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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.)

Me:
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#5 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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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.

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#7 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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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!

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#8 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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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).

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#9 of 50 Old 03-08-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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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.
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#10 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 02:31 AM
 
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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!
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#11 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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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.
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#12 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 09:01 AM
 
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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!!!

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#13 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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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!

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#14 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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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!!!

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#15 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#16 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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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.

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#17 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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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?
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#18 of 50 Old 03-09-2009, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#19 of 50 Old 03-10-2009, 12:24 AM
 
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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!

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#20 of 50 Old 03-10-2009, 11:59 AM
 
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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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#21 of 50 Old 03-10-2009, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#22 of 50 Old 03-10-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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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!!
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#23 of 50 Old 03-11-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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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!

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#24 of 50 Old 03-11-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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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.
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#25 of 50 Old 03-13-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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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.
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#26 of 50 Old 03-13-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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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.
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#27 of 50 Old 03-13-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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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!
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#28 of 50 Old 03-14-2009, 04:40 AM
 
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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.
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#29 of 50 Old 03-14-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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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.

A happy woman
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#30 of 50 Old 03-14-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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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!!!

Waldorf mama to Autumn DD 9/05 and my Spring DD 4/08 Winter baby due 2/11
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