Any waldorf-inspired families do any plastic toys - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I know it seems like a strange question. We are a waldorf inspired family. We aren't super strict, but have tried to incorporate the parts we really like. We have almost all natural, wooden toys, have rhythms to our day, have a nature table, spend a lot of our time outside. Bake, clean, cook together.
My four year old is really into superheroes. He doesn't play so much with his wooden animals, wooden blocks...and other waldorf inspired toys. He has a handful of plastic superhero toys he has collected from other people, and honestly he plays with them creatively and loves it.
Now Christmas is approaching and he wants legos. Up until now I have worked hard to avoid all plastic toys, but I feel bad that he knows he wants certain toys and I keep saying no.
I can keep spending an arm and a leg on more waldorf toys but they aren't playing with them. Except the silk scarves, they love those.
Do any of you make little exceptions for things like legos (or what my son asks for everyday...the bat cave?)
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#2 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 12:37 PM
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One of my dearest friends is a longer-term Waldorf parent of three girls (I'm new to this!), and while she's very very Waldorf, she said that Legos are one of two plastic toys (perler beads is the other) that are so so good for kids, and don't really have a corresponding Waldorfian counterpart.


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#3 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 01:27 PM
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DH and DD love doing Legos together, and we have a table that's just for them...I think they are one of the finer plastic toys. That and we also love Playmobiles!

Again, only Waldorf inspired...

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#4 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 01:43 PM
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We are also Waldorf-inspired, and have a good mix of both plastic and wood. If a child wants something creative that's plastic that badly i love to give it to them, it makes them so happy.

"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

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#5 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 02:59 PM
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We are Waldorf-inspired and we love legos (duplos still, actually). My son plays with them in a very open-ended and imaginative way. We have mostly bricks with a few people and animals and some cars. We'll probably use the duplo for a long time still because I think the kit nature of big kid legos can be less creative.

But that is pretty much all we do in plastic, at least partly for safety reasons. Most lego and playmobil are made in Europe.
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#6 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 03:04 PM
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I think Legos are fantastic. They encourage a lot of creative play, especially if you get some of the more basic sets. If my son asked for a "themed" set - i.e. "toy story" legos, I would probably say no, they aren't as open ended either. We are Waldorf inspired, have a lot of wood toys, etc. My son's favorite toys are his Legos. He doesn't do a whole lot with our wood animals, either. He prefers the Schleich animals. I don't think that you have to have 100 percent wooden/natural toys, there are a lot of really great, open ended toys that happen to be plastic. We have legos, some Playmobil, a few Schleich animals and a plastic dump truck. Most of the rest of our toys are Waldorf-y.

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#7 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 03:19 PM
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Get him the legos. We have legos from my df childhood that will be brought out sometime in the not too distant future and I look forward to the creativity it will bring. As much as I would love to have only wooden toys, it's not going to happen in our home.
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#8 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 03:43 PM
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Legos are wonderful for older children, but I would try to avoid the licensed character versions as they limit the play pattern for some children.

As for plastic toys in general, it was my understanding that this aversion to plastic was for younger children who were still developing through tactile experience.
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#9 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 04:34 PM
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At this point we aren't doing any plastic toys at all. My daughter is 3.5 and does know some plastic toys exist and has asked to buy them. When I tell her that our family doesn't buy anything that is plastic she accepts it and is ok with it.
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#10 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 05:09 PM
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We only use plastic in two contexts: bath toys and outdoor (sandbox) toys. I love Waldorf and agree with the entire philosophy, but the sad fact is that water and wood DON'T mix.
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#11 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 05:19 PM
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It's the way a child plays with a toy, not the material it's made from - barring contaminants - that matters.

So yeah, plenty of Legos and plastic beach and backyard toys, plastic firetruck, plastic doll, etc.
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#12 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 05:21 PM
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we are very heavily inspired by waldorf education... but as homeschoolers/unschoolers we are not too strict about anything.

id say 90% of our toys are wooden/cotton/handmade.... but my 5 yo does like my little ponies (older style), my little pet shops and legos.

we support her playing with anything open ended.

she builds the most amazing things with legos- straight from her imagination...spends hours and hours with them- really- i sit in awe a lot of the time.

i cannot imagine not letting her have legos.

also- most legos are not made in china. you just have to be careful when purchasing to check that.

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#13 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 05:43 PM
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We have a few plastic things- legos (the big kind, she uses them at MILs house), and a magnetic doodle board. When DD isn't feeling well and needs to rest in bed she plays with that thing for hours. She just draws and erases and draws and doesn't stop.

We're waldorf inspired too.

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#14 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 07:59 PM
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basically, what zinemama said. if they are open ended and such, then it's not a big deal.

we also have plastic tubs and stuff for sand/beach/water and so on. ours are all old yogurt containers of different sizes, but it works.
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#15 of 25 Old 11-04-2010, 10:46 PM
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We do mostly wooden toys but I don't have a problem with my son playing with duplos. He has a plastic firetruck that he loves and I like the company it comes from and would buy him the dump truck and recycling truck they make if he asked for either. We are Waldorf-inspired as well, not strictly Waldorf. I'm not sure I could subscribe to any philosophy lock, stock and barrel.

Mother to L.O. born at home 10.17.08 EDD for #2 4.21.2011
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#16 of 25 Old 11-05-2010, 12:11 AM
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Yep, we're all wooden here except for duplo (and lego in the future)

My mom is danish (where they were invented) and whenever we're over there she buys a new set, and I have no problem with that

Canadian Mama to E 6yrs and I 3 years
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#17 of 25 Old 11-05-2010, 05:01 PM
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i've said this before here, and i'll say it again--legos are the great waldorf equalizer. my children have beautiful, hand crafted wooden, wool, silk, etc toys that they enjoy but many of their friends from the neighborhood/cousins/etc have no idea how to play with, but the legos can bring them all together, building an entire world of their own creation. i'd caution against "sets" as they limit imagination and my children have more than one friend who builds the set and then leaves it as is and it goes unplayed with on a shelf. i picked up two buckets of 1200 pieces each at the thrift shop here (score!), and there are more than enough pieces when my children have several friends over to play.
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#18 of 25 Old 11-06-2010, 11:30 PM
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We do Duplos! They have basic blocks and some trucks (two passed down from DH and I!). I definitely agree about avoiding the themed and character sets and that's my plan once we move into regular Legos too. We keep our Duplos upstairs in our "school room" and wooden blocks are in the playroom. They are incredibly creative with both and along with our TAG and Fagus trucks, are the toys that get all the play.

Other than that, we do allow high quality plastic in the sandbox and have a "Toob" of water animals and plastic cups for the tub. I found some nice things over the summer from Muakilo and Moolka in case anyone is looking next year!

Oh, and a Bilibo!
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#19 of 25 Old 11-07-2010, 12:48 AM
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Indoor toys are made of natural materials except for our MagnaTiles. These are awesome and they make so many beautiful creations with them. You can see them here:

The translucent one's are so pretty. We have a set of 100 and will be getting them another set of 100 this Christmas because they use them so much!

Legos are awesome too, although we don't own any right now because all the pieces would probably be a hazard in our household right now, but I can totally foresee us getting the children some in the future.

I say use your own judgment and allow what you think is open ended and creative, regardless of what it is made of (as long as it is safe).

Wife to sweet hubby and Mama to ds 11, ds 10, ds 8, ds 7 dd 5, dd 2, and ds 6mo.
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#20 of 25 Old 11-08-2010, 05:13 AM
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I love wooden and other natural material toys. DS has a lot and enjoys them. However, he also is amazingly creative with legos and playmobile. One of my favorite creations of his (on our living room coffee table .. . .not terribly convenient ) was a city made out of kapla blocks with a playmobile figures, a lego train, and some random snowmen made out of construction paper and cotton balls. Fabulous.

I try not to get caught up in "doctrine" and focus instead on the enjoyment my son gets out of the toys and the creativity he show with them. Plus, as PP said, lots of his friends get confused by too much wood! Legos bring the kids together (thinking this could be a slogan!)
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#21 of 25 Old 11-11-2010, 12:13 PM
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We have lots of legos here!  We are new to Waldorf, so have lots of plastic toys.  When decluttering I got rid of a lot of plastic junk, but think Legos is one of those imagination stimulation kind of toys!

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#22 of 25 Old 11-11-2010, 01:17 PM
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We, as well, aren't super strict about Waldorf, but we do have legos and vintage little people sets.  That's about all the plastic we have though ~ everything else is wood.  I also agree that it's more about open ended toys rather than strictly about what they're made from.

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#23 of 25 Old 11-17-2010, 10:26 PM
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We love legos here. They are the only plastic toys we have (well except American girl dolls)

But if you are worried, Nova Naturals makes wooden "legos" 

 Waldorf Mom to 8 blessings ~6 by birth and 2 by fost/adopt~
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#24 of 25 Old 11-18-2010, 04:42 AM
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We have all wood/cloth etc apart from plastic play-doh cutters.

A UK Waldorf blogging mama!
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#25 of 25 Old 11-27-2010, 07:01 PM
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We're still in the process of phasing out the plastic and replacing them with wood. We have duplo legos and they will not be going anywhere.


Other than the legos our plastic toys:

-tub toys

-green toys brand play dishes, pot, and frying pan (I'd like wood but the kitchen ate up the budget and the green toys plastic is nice and sturdy)

-beads, paint cups, and other art items

-a doll with a plastic head and limbs (it's being replaced by a waldorf doll for Christmas but is an old favorite so will likely stick around)

-little tykes shopping cart (they have a wooden push wagon but the cart gets so much use that I can't take it away)

-a couple toy story toys from the grandparents 

-remote control car

-cash register (I've looked at the wooden ones but they just don't seem nearly as fun plus the kids can work on addition with the electronic one)


I'm totally ok with the plastic toys we have left. They are, except for the toy story ones, open ended and can be played with many ways. I think it's great for kids to have non-plastic toys but if there are a few it's not a big deal, any child with fewer plastic toys is better off.

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