My DD is still 21 months but I'm starting to collect materials for waldorf homeschooling... does anyone have a list or recommended materials that I should start searching for?
I find many of my best steals on Ebay. If you key word search waldorf you can find toys, homeschool books, etc at great prices. For his age, as you know, you don't need much but your loving attention and the great outdoors. But you are right to start shopping for deals now so you have things on hand down the line. Best of luck!
There is a list in "You Are Your Child's First Teacher" by Rahima Baldwin Dancy, summarizing some recommended toys for the 1st & 2nd year (please don't view it as everything is necessary- they are all just suggestions). This is not "homeschooling supplies..." as you wouldn't "school" the child until the 6th or 7th year... but I am working with Kristie Burns of Earthschooling to create special supply packages she will offer for each age range (Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, and on). When those are ready I can PM you if you like, just to give you an idea of what's on the list for you to consider for the future. I also think Carrie at www.theparentingpassageway.com might have a few lists of this sort?
Here is the list I mentioned from You are Your Child's First Teacher. I would personally add in a play kitchen of some sort with play food, and a barn or dollhouse too once they are a little past 2. I started a permanent online buying club specifically for Waldorf homeschoolers, PM me if interested.
Babies To Toddlers Recommended Items:
children's harp (mother plays this) personally, I prefer the pennywhistle to start!
balls (several sizes, include fabric & large inflatable ones)
basket with large safe objects from nature (piece of driftwood, shell, pretty rock, wooden thread spools, pinecones, etc)
low 4-wheeled toy that can be straddled
push cart or doll carriage
wooden slide and climbing toy
wooden blocks cut from various diameters of tree
wading pool for outdoors, plenty of bath toys for indoors
sandbox and sand toys (sensory table for inside perhaps)
simple first doll
wooden toys that have moving parts
wooden nesting dolls
books with parts that move
from two on, block crayons
empty cardboard boxes
I will just throw in what we have here (we aren't 100% Waldorf, always feel the need to say that..)
Play kitchen & child sized homemaking things; for us this included a small play kitchen and fridge area where we keep the mostly wooden/felted play foods. I really love those huge beautiful wooden kitchens but for us right now a smaller one was more feasible, so that's what we are using and it's fine. Also a child sized broom, apron, and things like that are lovely!
Books - we do a seasonal book basket and that works really well (winter, spring, summer, autumn) and there are books geared towards all ages. I also have a ton of other books and as a future (hopefully!) homeschooler I collect whatever I can get my hands on. Books on nature, beautifully illustrated children's books and so on. Hunt used book stores, bigger book stores, Amazon (used) and whatever else!
Dollhouse/barn/castle - we had a barn but I found my DD wasn't playing with it often so now we have all her wooden animals in a little fenced in area and just changing that "scene" helped her to come up with more creative play. Melissa and Doug makes a wooden castle that's foldable and pretty neat too, and there's a ton of wooden dollhouses out there.
Art supplies - another one of my "can't say no" purchases. We do a lot of art here!
Those are my most important, lots of beautiful things that can inspire creative play (I have a 3.5 year old and a young babe..) are most important at that age.
One thing I might suggest just because, again, I wish I had done it: maybe take a little time here and there to familiarize yourself now with some of the great curricula and resources out there. That way, when you are at a place to make decisions about Kindergarten or Grade One or whatever, you can already have a feel for how a particular resource might fit you and your child. I have started keeping a little folder for each grade and another for festivals, seasonal crafts, etc. When I come across something that resonates for me, I jot it down or print it out and pop in in where I think I could use it later on. Takes very little space and it keeps me thinking and makes me feel that I will be just a little better prepared every year that we do this homeschool thing.
Oh, and if you are looking for bargains, join one of the Yahoo groups that are for trading/selling used Waldorf materials. Just be aware that these can fill up your inbox! We are on a tight budget and I really wish I had bought more really great books earlier. There are some good book lists by age and season on various blogs...Parenting Passageway is a good start.
Enjoy! Sounds like a fun job!
I would recommend looking at Little Acorn Learning and Seasons of Joy. They are both great preschool curricula, chocked full of ideas. As for the stuff, less is more at this age. I always tried to do lots of sensory things and Montessori activities but my dd loved that at age 2. If I had to pick, I'd say nature baskets filled with rocks, shells, feathers, acorns, etc., a handful of playsilks, some kid-sized pots and pans and just whatever random stuff you have around your house that is kid-safe (like a hand-mixer, scoops, sand, bubbles). Oh, and some kind of animals. My dd loved to wash, so we bough Schleich so she could do that.
Join the waldorf home educators yahoo group run by Marsh Johnson. She is a waldorf teacher and posts lessons for FREE in her files sections. Familiarize yourself with the curriculum...what is introduced when and why, the three day rhythm to teaching, etc. She also has a supplies list for each grade. If you can, get a hold of the curriculum chart which lays out what subjects are brought in when (1st grade- language arts: intro to consonants and vowels through grimm's fairy tales, math-quality and quantity of numbers, introduced through stories, etc.) To be honest, I think you are waaaaayyy ahead of the game with your dd not being quite yet 2 (my youngest, dd is also 21 months!). I really like Heaven on Earth and Donna Simmons Kindergarten for your 3-6 year old to give you some guidance for what's to come. Oh and this just made me think of it, in the yahoo group, Marsha has a "how to do it" file. This would be great to read now as well. Lays down what you can be working on now to prepare yourself to teach when dd is 6.5-7 years old (think knitting, modeling with clay and beeswax, wet on wet watercolor, drawing with block crayons, playing recorder, etc.) Hope this helps and feel free to PM me if you have any more questions. There are lots of resources out there!