Wooden toys - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-01-2010, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
copperfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: DC --> AVL --> PDX
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My 3.5yo DD is about to start a Waldorf-inspired preschool next week and we're SUPER excited. It's in a yurt!

While wooden toys have always intrigued me, I confess that I've bought plastic ones at consignment stores because they're just so much cheaper. (Plastic kitchen at $10 is really hard to pass up!) But now that DD is starting this school, I really want to purge and start over.

So, before I drop a wad of cash on beautiful & durable wooden toys (especially a dollhouse & play kitchen), I really want to know that it's a worthwhile investment.

So if anyone has some personal experience or with their children to let me know how the wooden toys were used and loved, I'd really like to hear it.

I just don't know if my kids will hate me one day for having all this wooden stuff when they really wanted, oh I don't know, a Barbie™ Townhouse or something.

TIA!!

Michelle --- AMAzing Mama to DD1 (04.07) & DD2 (05.10)    
copperfox is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-02-2010, 01:25 PM
 
RollerCoasterMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: the burbs
Posts: 5,399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
No replies yet! I started one and figured you'd get it from other people so didn't send.

In answer to your question...yes, the wooden toys are played with.

But my best advice (learned the hard way!)---go slow! It's easy to think you need one of everything and go crazy all at once. A play kitchen will usually get played with by any child. If you want a lovely holiday gift, a play kitchen would be very generous (look on etsy.com...that's where I got mine and it's gorgeous and not terribly expensive!). Starting small would be to put some dishes and pans in a basket and have some felt play food in another. See how much she uses them to judge whether the kitchen would be enjoyed! (Maybe draw a stove top on cardboard for her to pretend with.)


Dollhouse---I made one. I love it. I'm keeping it forever. But he doesn't use it much. I was SOOOO excited last week when he asked me to bring it down to the living room to play. I brought it down, he flipped it backwards and used it as a stable for his horses. Oh well. Once in a while I find that he's rearranged things. Or emptied it and filled it with dinosaurs. :P But I always knew the dollhouse was really for me! Another option would be to get a little bit of furniture and let her use a shelf or cubby for a dollhouse for a while. I guess it really just depends on what she likes. *I* loved dollhouses and paperdolls and things like that as a child. Still do really! But other kids don't.

Playsilks are simple to make and she's old enough to help. Just google a bit. It's a good project to have her help you pick out kool-aid colors to dye!

I guess I keep repeating myself...start small. It doesn't have to cost a ton of money. And play off what your daughter already enjoys! Also...if she's got something to play with at school, maybe you can skip that and go in another direction at home.

It's SOOO hard not to go overboard with the best of intentions! I really think the toys are as enjoyable to the parents as the kids!

In the situation you describe...I'd probably start with a play kitchen and a purge (doesn't have to be 100% immediately!). Or if she likes dolls, maybe a nice cradle for her doll. Something simple and classic.

Really, less is more. Fewer toys, nicely displayed where she can reach them and knows where to put them back. When I started doing that, even before the full plastic purge, I noticed a change in DS's play immediately! Unfortunately, mama went a little crazy with toy making/buying and it's time to thin out the wooden toys too!!! If everything doesn't have it's spot, there's too much and we're getting close!!! We're going to have to send some things to Daddy's or cousins or something.
RollerCoasterMama is online now  
Old 09-02-2010, 01:37 PM
 
RollerCoasterMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: the burbs
Posts: 5,399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
ps. As for hating you for not having the latest Barbie thing...I haven't been down that path yet. But I do find that *IN OUR HOUSE* (no judgment on what works for anyone else!) I compromise a bit now and then. He's got a couple of Spiderman shirts. And his dad likes to get him Schleich animals now and then. And sometimes other little things. I don't get offended and chuck them out. He gets so much pleasure from them and plays very creatively with them! For us, I try to set the basic standard and share our values respectfully with extended family. But I also repect that other people love him and have different values and I try to find a way to work together in a way that benefits DS. If that means a few plastic toys, so be it. Luckilly, it's never gotten out of hand!

When he gets older, I fully expect there will be desires for game systems and things like that. THAT will be a whole different ballgame. I'll deal with that when I get to it!

I think you'll have to just draw your lines in the sand. If you don't like Barbie, just make that the rule. If you don't like Barbie, but don't mind Disney, or whatever the current trend is, then that's what works for you. There's no right and wrong answers! :-D
RollerCoasterMama is online now  
Old 09-02-2010, 01:48 PM
 
laohaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't go crazy either. Just start buying wooden toys instead of plastic ones, as the need/urge comes up.

But yes, they DO last longer and are nicer. My neighbor has a plastic toy kitchen, and neither her daughter nor mine play with it. But they play all the time with our Target wooden kitchen. It's Target, it's not even the nicest wooden kitchen out there, but there is a clear difference in quality that even the kids react to.

Our set of wooden blocks are turning out to be pretty timeless, DD continues to play with them at age 5. They are nice and open-ended.

DH and I also splurged on a wooden "treehouse" toy.

That said, we don't ban plastic. Some plastic toys are awful and don't last even under gentle use. Others are pretty good, though. Two toys I consider among her "good, long-lasting" toys are plastic - a plastic barn and a plastic ice cream truck. I don't see the need to do a massive purge based on material alone. If you have cheap toys that the kids don't play with, by all means, purge them - regardless of the material. And by all means, next time you think of buying a toy, think about durability and open-endedness when you make your consideration.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

laohaire is offline  
Old 09-02-2010, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
copperfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: DC --> AVL --> PDX
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the advice and suggestions! The thing is that my DD doesn't play with her Little People sets too much, but does play with her friend's wooden dollhouse & furniture. She has a little fabric treehouse with bunnies that she plays with more. So I'm thinking of replacing the things she doesn't really play with. And the fact that I have another daughter makes it easier to accept the investment.

Personally, *I* like the wooden toys better. I'm more inclined to play with them myself! I mean, the toys in Magic Cabin (for example) are just so beautiful! I wish I had had them when I was a kid!

Michelle --- AMAzing Mama to DD1 (04.07) & DD2 (05.10)    
copperfox is offline  
Old 09-02-2010, 03:07 PM
 
RollerCoasterMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: the burbs
Posts: 5,399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by copperfox View Post
The thing is that my DD doesn't play with her Little People sets too much, but does play with her friend's wooden dollhouse & furniture.
That's sort of funny! The Little People stuff were among the few survivors of the plastic purge! Although it seems like he plays with them less these days and prefers his other animals. The airplane still gets used all the time though---to fly the horses around!

Quote:
Originally Posted by copperfox View Post
Personally, *I* like the wooden toys better. I'm more inclined to play with them myself! I mean, the toys in Magic Cabin (for example) are just so beautiful! I wish I had had them when I was a kid!
I think that's where the danger comes in! I completely admit that his dollhouse is for me--I love it! And the few pieces of castle we have...they're his to play with, but when he outgrows them, they will live in my house! This holiday season, I picked a couple of Ostheimer figures for my own Christmas present! The switch to natural toys can be all-consuming! (But it's fun too!)
Just take it slow and gradual!

My favorite part is that they're so beautiful. You can display them nicely throughout the house. Easy access for the little ones, but it doesn't look like Toys R Us exploded in your house! And even the higher price take has an advantage in really curbing the number of toys (works for over-generous relatives too!!). We just spent a week where DS had no toys other than 1 stuffed animal, and a few of his castle people, a notebook and colored pencils and 3 books. His play was more involved and creative than usual! If I had the guts, I could chuck 90% of it and he'd be perfectly happy!!!
RollerCoasterMama is online now  
Old 09-03-2010, 12:18 AM
 
ourdayourjourney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i agree with going going slow and again i learned the hard way too. i think that when you come into waldorf later you feel you have to replace everything so you switch out your play kitchen, play food, doll stroller, dollhouse, etc. Then, you come to realize that a wooden box could be a kitchen or dollhouse or stable or doll pram. You realize a basket could be a grocery cart or a cash register or a doll pram and you realize that you probably did not need the play food either. It really is about less is more and I am really enjoying reading the book Simplicity Parenting.

There was a great thread about top 3 toys or something and another about play kitchens or simplicity, not sure, but it linked to this smart mama
http://zachaboard.blogspot.com/2010/05/making-do.html

I was never able to narrow down my list to 3 things, but I think you could be resourceful and not purchase everything
1. dress-up clothing (thrift stores, attics) playsilks
2. doll with a basket for a pram
3. wool roving, wool felt or yarn to make some toys, including wool balls
4. tree stump blocks or wooden blocks (both of which you could make)
5. a pot, pan and spoon from the kitchen
6. art supplies. wet-on-wet watercolors, both of you should paint and beeswax crayons
7. baskets of natural treasures (acorns, shells, polished stones, pine cones, sticks from your nature walks)
8. nature table
9. real gardening tools
ourdayourjourney is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 12:58 AM
Banned
 
accountclosed3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,594
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my DS is not that old.

but, his "play kitchen" is the bench in our kitchen. at playgroup, he uses the crate as a play kitchen.

i never had a doll house myself. i made them out of cloths. i would make one cloth one room, adn another cloth another, and so on. then play with my (plastic) dolls.

less is more with waldorf (or anything IMO), and so keep it simple, open ended and it can be many things.

some waldorf families go very minimal: crates, baskets, blocks, wooden clothes-pin like figures (literally without paint on them or anything), rocks, shells, pine cones, etc etc. kids will create.

my guy uses his wooden train (which has only three cars, maybe four), and put pens through the windows to make it a plane. he builds massive houses with his blocks. shells are birds nests, boats, beds, bath tubs. . .he only has two shells. LOL

he's only 2, but it's pretty amazing what he has accomplished with very few toys.
accountclosed3 is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 01:02 AM
Banned
 
accountclosed3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,594
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
oh, and we have started wool felting so that we can decorate our home--make things for our nature table, a few toys for DS (as we want to add to that), and also gifts for family and friends.

DS and I are making a mobile for his cousin, wool felting rocks for paperweights for the men, and using more wool balls to make tree ornaments. he really likes working with the wool.

so, yeah>
accountclosed3 is offline  
Old 09-03-2010, 01:44 AM
 
dogretro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do so love this quote from boatbaby: And it makes me realize we don't need a "play castle" to play castle.

It's so v v true that less is more. We do have the $700 wooden kitchen set & the fancy play stand & the wool gnomes & the wooden animal & wooden blocks.. Yanno what her favourite toy is? Her giant sticker collection. Yup, all those lovely lovely sheets of stickers that I collected all throughout my youth and adolescence have already given my eldest daughter HOURS and DAYS worth of enjoyment all before she is even old enough to peel and stick them! She sorts thru that box every single day. She will also look at books until the cows come home and harass you all day to read to her. Really, she could survive quite nicely w/out any real toys, thank you v much.

We came to Waldorf when dd1 was still a baby, so there never really was a great purge. I just got rid of stuff that didn't "fit" and got her things that did. Almost all of our toys have been gifts (I am an only child & she is the first great-grandbaby). Big family, lots of friends, good birthday parties, etc. If we were paying for everything, it would be some wooden animals, playsilks, and maybe some blocks if there was anything left over, lol.

You can make a v v nice kitchen area out of a kid-sized table and real kitchen stuff from the thrift store. That is what our kitchen area used to be. Now, dd1 is only two, so she does not play much w/ her kitchen by herself, but she will if we play w/ her and every single kid who visits us, no matter their age, heads immediately to play w/ the kitchen set. I know she will grow into it. And she does play w/ her dollhouse a lot. Hers is a set, tho. Wooden & everything came w/ it for only $100. We do have some plastic toys, not a lot. Most of them are piddly little things, like rubber snakes, dentist-type prizes, McDonald's prizes from my childhood, etc. Goofy little junky things that dd1 likes to sort thru and play with.

I told dh the other day that since dd1 does not really play w/ her toys that I am putting most of them away and replacing them w/ baskets of shells & nuts & rocks. He agreed. I led some imaginative play the other night and she just ate it up! Totally loved making a birthday party and tea for the gnomes. I still think I'm putting most of the stuff up & working to lead more play & we'll see what develops!

Oh, and, uh, yeah they totally have many toys that I thought looked awesome but that never get played with!!!! Maybe they will in the future, but for now at least they are nice to look at! I do feel peaceful and happy when I look at the playroom.

jumpers.gif

DD (4.25.08)  DD (4.23.10)  DD (10.13.12)

dogretro is offline  
Old 09-04-2010, 02:51 AM
 
tallulahma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: detroit
Posts: 2,609
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we got the beautiful kitchen, dollhouse and playstands on craigslist from another MDC family for less than half their worth AND they threw in allll the accessories. so keep your eyes open for deals if you are going to start buying heirloom quality toys.

personally, i find that the wooden toys get played with more. there was a quote in a you tube video that really put it well, it was something like children do not know what to do with plastic blinking toys other than sit their astonished at it.

im way paraphrasing... however i do find that my kids will start playing with the dollhouse and then it evolves and evolves and an hour or two later they are still playing with the same toys but doing completely different things.

same with playsilks- they are used every single day.

little pet shops and my little ponies are here- but they get used alongside their faceless waldorf dolls too.

i try to keep it to all open ended toys. and we also have a fairly strict "no batteries" rule... aside from the zhu zhu pets and tv/computers (which we do not restrict)

i think you just need to start slow and watch your kids to figure out what they do best with.

i notice my girls are more aggressive with plastic "disposable looking" toys.

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
tallulahma is offline  
Old 09-05-2010, 11:25 AM
 
Astrid1024's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I agree with the previous posters - slow and steady or you'll overwhelm both yourself and your child. Getting everything all at once would send a confusing message to your daughter I think.

In thinking of the things my son plays with most out of his wood toys, I'd say:

2. His wooden kitchen from Little Colorado http://www.littlecolorado.com/ and his felted food from Etsy.
3. His train set - Nuchi, I think - and train table we got from Craigslist.
4. The elements set of Spiel & Holz stacking toys - http://www.finewoodentoys.com/pro685326.html
5. His Holtztiger farm animals - He LOVES these. Plays with them upwards of five times a day, making little farms using blocks and playsilks and then arranging the cows and other animals. http://www.padilly.com/farmanimaltoys.html He also uses the S&H stackers to make tunnels and houses for the animals.
6. Kinderkram vehicles - http://www.padilly.com/passengerbus.html (we have the bus, the van and the helicopter)

and the number one thing he plays with:
The very large and DURABLE trucks and vehicles from Community Playthings - http://www.communityplaythings.com/p...cks/index.html - these are expensive, but they are worth their weight in gold. I would purchase them again and again and again, he gets so much use out of them, but I will never need to because a mack truck could run over them and they would still be in great shape. They're used in daycares, schools and libraries because they are so durable. Fagus trucks break so easily IMO but the Community Playthings trucks are just so great.

We put everything into natural baskets on a wooden shelf where he knows exactly where each toy is. He loves his polished stones we've found on rocks and carries that basket around with him, dumping the rocks into different trucks throughout the day.

Have fun with the new school and toys purge.

Mother to L.O. born at home 10.17.08 EDD for #2 4.21.2011
Astrid1024 is offline  
Old 09-07-2010, 07:34 PM
 
JudiAU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Where creepy facebook-featured threads can't find me
Posts: 3,608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
As everyone suggested, buy gradually so you don't overwhelm your child. These are the toys I pick up most frequently =) We have 3 year old DS and a 1 year old DD

Elements set from Spiel and Holz linked above
Schliech little animals, first farm and then dinosaurs and the sea
train and road tracks, I like the pieces from Plan Toys and Maple Landmark, we don't choose pieces with obvious branding, we have some of the PT people too
All of the above are played with extensively, every day, in very creative ways

play kitchen (small haba stove top) and wood and felt food, mostly wood because I am not crafty and felt food from etsy is quite expensive
blocks, we have nice wooden haba blocks (plain and fancy) but the Lego duplo blocks get far more play
art supplies
music-making, mostly from nova naturals, the baby especially likes to make NOISE
floor puzzles
sand toys (DS would happily play in the sand for at least an hour every day)
now that DS is older, some board games like Animal Upon Animal or Orchard or Slips and Ladders, I try to us

The baby also has various stackers, ball track, balls, shaper sorters, etc.

We have play silks but I've never been able to interest DS in them. If he didn't already have an active imaginary life I'd be concerned. He just doesn't seem to be interested in being a direct participant, maybe he is too young.

We are not strictly Waldorf but I do pay very close attention to natural/open ended/green/creative values in toys. We probably have more toys then we need but it follows the same format. I only purchase quality toys that can be played with in lots of ways, and I don't ever buy licensed characters/ junk and very, very little plastic. Anything plastic has be manufactured in Europe or the US.
JudiAU is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 10:38 AM
 
boatbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Afloat
Posts: 3,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can I play devil's advocate? I think on of the things that rubs me the wrong way about the lists of "must have" Waldorf toys are the brand names that go along with them. Why do the wooden animals have to be Holztiger? Why do the stackers have to be Speil & Holz? And why do people feel compelled to always mention the brand name of their wooden toys? To me, it's just as bad as saying "My Nike shoes." or "My son's Ralph Lauren jacket." Wooden open ended toys are wooden open ended toys. And it shouldn't matter if your grandpa made them, if you got them at the thrift store, if they are from etsy, or if you paid full price for the most popular brand.

Am I alone on this?

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
boatbaby is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 11:20 AM
 
Astrid1024's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I see my post was one that rubbed you the wrong way, Boat Baby. Those specific toys are ones I know to be well-made. I specified toy "brands" (though these are hardly like those you find in K-mart or Toys Are Us) in case she was interested in purchasing well-made toys the first time around, as I have certainly had wood toys I gave to my son break.

I'll leave it to you ladies who post here on a regular basis to discuss these things from now on.

Mother to L.O. born at home 10.17.08 EDD for #2 4.21.2011
Astrid1024 is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
copperfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: DC --> AVL --> PDX
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
Can I play devil's advocate? I think on of the things that rubs me the wrong way about the lists of "must have" Waldorf toys are the brand names that go along with them. Why do the wooden animals have to be Holztiger? Why do the stackers have to be Speil & Holz? And why do people feel compelled to always mention the brand name of their wooden toys? To me, it's just as bad as saying "My Nike shoes." or "My son's Ralph Lauren jacket." Wooden open ended toys are wooden open ended toys. And it shouldn't matter if your grandpa made them, if you got them at the thrift store, if they are from etsy, or if you paid full price for the most popular brand.

Am I alone on this?
Yeah, I see your point, but I don't think that was the intent. I think it was more a use of a descriptive term. I haven't heard of Holztiger or Speil & Holz, so now I can Google those terms and find out what they are. I certainly wouldn't buy something for the name alone, but it does help to learn what's out there besides Haba. And Haba blocks have a different look & feel than, say, wooden blocks one would find at Walmart, for example.

Michelle --- AMAzing Mama to DD1 (04.07) & DD2 (05.10)    
copperfox is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 11:37 AM
 
boatbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Afloat
Posts: 3,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrid1024 View Post
I see my post was one that rubbed you the wrong way, Boat Baby. Those specific toys are ones I know to be well-made. I specified toy "brands" (though these are hardly like those you find in K-mart or Toys Are Us) in case she was interested in purchasing well-made toys the first time around, as I have certainly had wood toys I gave to my son break.

I'll leave it to you ladies who post here on a regular basis to discuss these things from now on.
It truly was not aimed at you. I see it here and all over the Waldorf Blog-o-sphere ALL the time. It's been on my mind for a while now. It just seemed relevent to the conversations happening here at this time.

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
boatbaby is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 02:14 PM
 
tallulahma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: detroit
Posts: 2,609
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
Can I play devil's advocate? I think on of the things that rubs me the wrong way about the lists of "must have" Waldorf toys are the brand names that go along with them. Why do the wooden animals have to be Holztiger? Why do the stackers have to be Speil & Holz? And why do people feel compelled to always mention the brand name of their wooden toys? To me, it's just as bad as saying "My Nike shoes." or "My son's Ralph Lauren jacket." Wooden open ended toys are wooden open ended toys. And it shouldn't matter if your grandpa made them, if you got them at the thrift store, if they are from etsy, or if you paid full price for the most popular brand.

Am I alone on this?
i do think its frustrating because the good brands are the most expensive and it can get overwhelming to try to build your child's playroom if you are strapped for money...

however- open ended wooden toys are not all the same-

ive gotten beautiful handmade wooden cars from an old man on the street in colorado- that have fallen apart time and again requiring lots of regluing, etc.

ive gotten things on etsy that have been great and some that have been horrible.

same with some wooden toys that are painted with lead tainted paints, etc...

i dont think its like saying "my nike shoes" and trying to brag about a brand thats cool. , i think its more like if you specified that a tshirt was "american apparel" in an attempt to tell someone that it is fair trade cotton and made by people being paid fair wages.

certain names in the wooden toy industry carry safety standards that are far and away from the wooden open ended toys that some people sell.

that said- the only high end wooden toys I have were second (or third) hand....

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
tallulahma is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Coconut Chronicles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Windermere Florida
Posts: 1,250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have two plastic toys in our home: a Vtech toddler laptop (that DS prefers to use as a chair) and one of those rainbow donut stacker's which we are going to replace soon... the rest are wood and cloth and the wooden toys are by far the most used at our house. The best thing I ever bought DS was his play kitchen. It amuses him for ages... gives me enough time to cook dinner or take care of general household chores. Well worth the cost!

Grandma's house, on the other hand, looks like a playskool/fisher price explosion and the most used toys over there are a metal spinning top, wooden blocks (the only wooden thing she has I think) and a (plastic) ride on toy. And she has tons of plastic stuff that sings and chimes (I don't know how she handles it... they would drive me nuts).

read.gifLisa married to geek.gifB WAHM to moon.gifC (08.09)

Coconut Chronicles is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:34 PM
 
JudiAU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Where creepy facebook-featured threads can't find me
Posts: 3,608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
[QUOTE=boatbaby;15819366]Can I play devil's advocate? QUOTE]

I think you made a valid point. Some toys do seem to have cult status with natural and Waldorf parents. Sometimes I don't understand why and sometimes, I really, really do. I included brand names intentionally because sometimes the source really does make a difference.

When our second child was born, I went through all of our baby things for the first year and I checked for recalls. I had seven recalled products that my son used. Another 5 were finally not recalled but "replaced" with a less toxic material. That means in the first year of his life my child had at least 12 products that I KNOW were unhealthy. Things that he sucked on or touched repeatedly or enjoyed or ignored but they all had serious issues. Everyone one of them was made in China. The half that were recalled were tainted, probably by intentional shortcuts in the manufacturing process. The other ones were tainted by design and should never have been sold in the US. They couldn't have been sold in Europe because toys sold in Europe have to meet much higher standards than the US. I really try and avoid products for my children made in China.

So yes, you can buy wooden toys everywhere. There is no magic to it. But by buying a wooden toy you aren't necessarily buying a wooden toy that is well designed, nontoxic, actually wood, durable, and safe. The quality of Plan Toys cutting food is exponentially nicer than Melissa and Doug-- it looks nicer, it feels better in the hand, it lasts longer, the dyes are safer, the color won't chip, and it less likely to be recalled. The wood is actually wood instead of wood composite. I think that is worth mentioning because they are almost the same price.

Spiel and Holz is another good example. Those elemental stackers are unusual, hold up to tons of play, veggie dyed, and although I've seen a couple versions on etsy they aren't as well designed.

I've purchased from good vendors and not-so-good vendors on etsy. I probably wouldn't ever purchase clothing again. If I wanted cute and shoddily made clothing I can make it myself.

Personally, I want to buy products that are safe for my kids and hopefully ethically made. I'd like them to have a natural and appealing beauty, open ended play value, and not trash the earth in their production. And I don't sell my kids, and sometimes certain popular brands (like Thomas trains, which I loathe as licensed, expensive, poorly made, frequently recalled and made by children!) are so ubiquitous as to make other options difficult to find.

Some toys just have a good reputation because they hold up well. Aesthics count, but I see it as an environmental issue as well.

hee hee and I have every intention of selling or giving most of our toys when the time is right. Good toys have good resale value.

Mine is not necessarily the Waldorf perspective. But it is certainly what caused me to seek out Waldorf and be interested in learning more about the theory and practical life.
JudiAU is offline  
Old 09-08-2010, 08:43 PM
 
dogretro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,769
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
Can I play devil's advocate? I think on of the things that rubs me the wrong way about the lists of "must have" Waldorf toys are the brand names that go along with them. Why do the wooden animals have to be Holztiger? Why do the stackers have to be Speil & Holz? And why do people feel compelled to always mention the brand name of their wooden toys? To me, it's just as bad as saying "My Nike shoes." or "My son's Ralph Lauren jacket." Wooden open ended toys are wooden open ended toys. And it shouldn't matter if your grandpa made them, if you got them at the thrift store, if they are from etsy, or if you paid full price for the most popular brand.

Am I alone on this?
I'm also going to disagree. I found this out when I inquired on MDC about Melissa & Doug toys and learned that they are inferior wooden toys. Inferior meaning that the paint chips off like crazy and some wood has broken & splintered. We have also received the odd M&D toy as a gift & they have always been junky. So, no, just like everything else, all wooden toys are not the same. I do not purchase M&D toys b/c I see it as a waste of money. A lot of non-European wooden toys are made in China by companies who also manufacture cheap plastic crap, so how can I be sure they are safe, too? A stick is a fine plaything until it has been dipped in arsenic.

jumpers.gif

DD (4.25.08)  DD (4.23.10)  DD (10.13.12)

dogretro is offline  
Old 09-10-2010, 04:33 PM
 
stellimamo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,699
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=JudiAU;15822016]
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
Can I play devil's advocate? QUOTE]


Spiel and Holz is another good example. Those elemental stackers are unusual, hold up to tons of play, veggie dyed, and although I've seen a couple versions on etsy they aren't as well designed.
While the Spiel and Holz are dyed with non-toxic, water based dyes the dye they use is not a vegetable based dye.
stellimamo is offline  
Old 09-12-2010, 10:09 PM
 
lyrebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: right here
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, let's just say we all probably have a little materialistic streak, but I think it can be a positive one - putting an emphasis on aesthetics is not the same as evil materialism. So starting out slowly would be advisable - I love some of the suggestions like using a cardboard box for a stove/oven etc., though if the resources are there it would be difficult to resist getting a whole load of lovely toys. I have found it useful finding out about one brand over another - I was thinking of getting something by Fagus for DS1's 5th birthday in October, but I'll hunt around a bit more now. I see your point, Boatbaby, but don't let this comment put anyone off mentioning brands or where they got things if they think it's going to be helpful to others, but perhaps think about your motivation before you post
lyrebird is offline  
Old 09-12-2010, 10:36 PM
 
boatbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Afloat
Posts: 3,346
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyrebird View Post
I see your point, Boatbaby, but don't let this comment put anyone off mentioning brands or where they got things if they think it's going to be helpful to others, but perhaps think about your motivation before you post
Absolutely! I am not trying to point fingers. We have many brand name Waldorf toys as well. It was an honest question meant to start an open discussion, not a mean spirited debate.

I agree that melissa and doug wooden toys can't even begin to compare to Ostheimer. Wooden toys are NOT created equal. But there is quality out there that is not the more popular Waldorf brand names too. For example, we LOVE our stackers from Jalu Toys in Canada and I think they are far superior to the Spiel & Holz ones we have. In a comparison like that, it makes all sorts of sense to name drop. Other times it seems gratuitous.

Just something to think about. There are so many people who are "Waldorf curious" and want to make a transition into a Waldorf lifestyle at home, and I worry that the brand names with the high price attached could scare people off. Sometimes it makes sense to compare brands, like with anything. But I think the emphasis needs to be on the spirit of the toy (open ended natural play) and seeking quality where you can find and afford it.

Does that make any sense?

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
boatbaby is offline  
Old 09-12-2010, 10:57 PM
 
lyrebird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: right here
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
Absolutely! I am not trying to point fingers. We have many brand name Waldorf toys as well. It was an honest question meant to start an open discussion, not a mean spirited debate.
Sorry I'm not suggesting you have started a mean spirited debate at all and I was trying to add to the discussion. I think it has perfect relevance to the topic of acquiring toys for our children. I do think the point is valid and that before people name drop brands they should first question their motivation (is this my materialistic/competitive streak coming out or am I treely ruly trying to be helpful and build a true picture of the possibilities). I'm sure a lot of the times it is the latter, but at times it might be the former. Sorry, this is a bit off topic, but one of the things I have learnt recently is to try to be my own observer/critic a bit more. Before I behave in a certain way - ask myself why I'm about to do something? Being conscious of one's behaviour first. It's a bit new for me and I'm trying to find ways of practising it. That's why I mentioned this.
I always think it's good for people to remember that materialism can be a negative force in the world and accumulating toys CAN be part of that (whether plastic, bad quality wooden OR good quality natural), and CAN set our children up for that in the future too. Might be murky waters here for some...
It would probably pay for all of us to think of play material vs toys first too.
lyrebird is offline  
Old 09-13-2010, 04:35 PM
 
ourdayourjourney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i went back to an older posting in which someone wrote in regards to what makes a "waldorf toy" ...

"My DH works at a company that sells "waldorf" toys, and the joke around there is that if they only sold toys they believed are important for childhood, they'd be selling dirt, water, sticks and stones. And maybe a bit of wool.

Really, toys for young children should be beautiful (inherently) and should be warming. So, plastics rob warmth and are often ugly, that points to no plastic. Not all "natural" dolls are made with simple beauty. And so on... Some of it is subjective. The toys are not nearly as important as the spiritual climate of your home."
ourdayourjourney is offline  
Old 09-24-2010, 12:15 AM
 
jbailey313's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
my children are 2 and 4 and we have very little toys but we mostly do have all wood toys I just love the beauty and the durability of wood. Not to mention I try to always buy wood that is processed naturally and non toxic

We have 2 waldorf dolls, a heavy baby (joy's waldorf) and another handmade doll with all limbs (heavy is bunted) This SAHM is an amazing dollmaker 18" Custom Waldorf Doll (a pic of the doll is listed beside the 18" Custom Waldorf Doll) http://hyenacart.com/HillcountryDollmaker/ both dolls are weighted.
We have a haba stroller, the natural color that is used as a stroller, a wagon, a shopping cart, many different things! http://www.amazon.com/Haba-Doll-Pram.../dp/B0002HYDP4
We love our play kitchen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/33798342@N06/3145899401/ from imagine that woodshop on etsy. He is excellent and a wonderful, talented woodworker!!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/imaginethatwoodshop
some food items haba and hand knit plan plates/bowls/utensils, palumba colander, cups and stainless steal food grade cooking small pots and pans.
We have wooden blocks very cheap on Craigslist
a bajo wooden truck with colorful stacker http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/larg...-red-from-bajo and a few other selecta toys (shape sorter, ball/hammer)
Nesting blocks
music instruments http://www.amazon.com/Sounds-Like-Fu...5294323&sr=8-1
silk scarfs (they use these a lot!) got from a SAHM on diaperswappers.com
learning tower with easel use this a lot and we had a detachable slide made for it!! http://www.amazon.com/Little-Partner...5294380&sr=8-2
train table free on side of the road with all trains/tracks and accessories!
Some ostheimer animals (4 or 5)
plan toys stacker (very open toy!) http://www.amazon.com/Plan-Toys-5313...d_bxgy_t_img_b
And this bus from a toy garden played with a lot, especially the people! http://www.atoygarden.com/index.cfm?...Product_ID=906

Some natural art supplies stockmar blocks, crayons, wax, watercolors, paper. Then natural glue, paper, 4 markers, stamps, coloring books, stickers.

That is it!

All of the toys get played with everyday!!!

Have fun on your journey with wood toys!!

Jennifer Wife to my wonderful Husband, Jeremy, mama to my two amazing children DD B (04/14/2006), DS I (10/27/2007) and a precious little one due in June
jbailey313 is offline  
Old 09-24-2010, 12:30 AM
 
jbailey313's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ourdayourjourney View Post
i went back to an older posting in which someone wrote in regards to what makes a "waldorf toy" ...

"My DH works at a company that sells "waldorf" toys, and the joke around there is that if they only sold toys they believed are important for childhood, they'd be selling dirt, water, sticks and stones. And maybe a bit of wool.

Really, toys for young children should be beautiful (inherently) and should be warming. So, plastics rob warmth and are often ugly, that points to no plastic. Not all "natural" dolls are made with simple beauty. And so on... Some of it is subjective. The toys are not nearly as important as the spiritual climate of your home."
Sooo true, my kids can play with rocks, sticks, mud, sand and shells for hours!!!

Jennifer Wife to my wonderful Husband, Jeremy, mama to my two amazing children DD B (04/14/2006), DS I (10/27/2007) and a precious little one due in June
jbailey313 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off