waldorf inspired playroom - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 11-19-2005, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone, I'm new to the waldorf board. I've been watching for a while now, getting educated on waldorf philosophy (we have a great waldorf school in my town and we are thinking of sending ds there). anyways, our addition to our house is finally finished which means we get to design and decorate ds's playroom. we're already making him a nature table but its going in the living room. we've sorted out his toys and we're getting rid of a lot of the plastic ones (we're keeping some untill we can replace them with wood toys). what suggestions do you have for making his playroom? we want to put baskets with rocks and shells and pinecones and things (although some we might need to wait untill he's a little less oral) DS is 11 months now. Thanks so much for any suggestions!
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#2 of 28 Old 11-19-2005, 10:35 PM
 
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Hi and welcome! I'm a Waldorf newbie myself (Ds is in the Parent and Tot class for his second year, and we did Morning Garden baby music before that). I have daydreams about having a Waldorf-y playroom, so I have some ideas for you!
Sheer curtains (pink and lavender are in the early childhood classrooms at our school) and/or natural blinds (bamboo, etc.).

Paint the walls a soft color, or better yet, there is a painting (?) technique that is used in our school that uses different soft colors, looks like watercolor on the walls. Someone here can probably fill you in on what it is called, and how to do it.

A nice natural fiber rug to play on. Since your babe is so young, softness should be emphasized in all the decorating.

Low shelves for toys. Good toys for your son would be wooden nesting bowls, a simple knot doll, blocks for stacking, some wooden cars, a wooden clacky lawnmower, play silks, and simple picture board books (I love the Gerda Muller ones!) A couple of websites I've enjoyed are www.threesisterstoys.com and novanatural.com.

My son still loves this wooden butterfly mobile that is hanging in the classroom at school. That might be a nice addition.

Sorry for rambling. I really all the Waldorfy softness for children. It looks and feels so warm and safe and womb-like.
Have fun decorating!

so many roads to ease my soul...

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#3 of 28 Old 11-19-2005, 11:29 PM
 
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We have a nature table and lots of natural toys. I would, however, be very careful about getting rid of any toys he likes just because they are plastic.

It's a fine line bewteen wanting natural toys for esthetic reasons, and disrespecting the particular toys a child has a bond with. I'd be very careful about throwing or giving things he likes away. I want to say "check with your child'. If he has no preferances--carry on.
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#4 of 28 Old 11-19-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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I use lots and lots of baskets. We have never had the luxury of having a separate room just for the children. However, we add baskets in each room - with wooden vehicles, silks, wooden and knit animals, pinecones, knit dolls, knit balls.

We have just moved and we still have to put our nature table (shelf for us) back up.

We are renting a house in in our "main" room - we have a large round table - and the walls are all an off white - I hope to hand dye some silks for curtains and also put some silks around our chalkboard to add more softness.

I like the idea about the mobiles. I have also seen a fairly large branch hung from the ceiling with items added to it as the seasons change - such as snowflakes for winter, flowers, butterflies, leaves, etc... I think we will do that this week!

I also agree to check out www.threesisterstoys.com as she has some nice examples in pictures of actual rooms.

Warm wishes,
Tonya

Simple Living, Joyful Homemaking, Homeschooling Mom of 6
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#5 of 28 Old 11-20-2005, 01:46 AM
 
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I am in the process of doing the same thing.
Great ideas, please keep them coming
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#6 of 28 Old 11-20-2005, 01:23 PM
 
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Trestles. Trestles are seen in almost every Waldorf Kindergarten. My son loved trestles. They became all sorts of houses, shops, boats, buses, etc. Now that the kids are older, they use them for sleepovers to make little caves. If you can do any wood working at all, they are pretty easy to make. There are also lots of places that sell them. We have 2 which seemed to be the perfect number. My daughter would put them together to form a table.
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#7 of 28 Old 11-20-2005, 03:49 PM
 
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there is a great section in the book
"you are your child's first teacher" by
rahima baldwin dancy about setting up
play spaces. very much like a waldorf
classroom (or many other sytles of preschool
classrooms) is set up. Have a cooking/kitchen
area. maybe a little table and chair nearby.
a doll area with cradles, dolls and clothes.
maybe an area for dress up with simple silks
and hats to start out. she suggests everything
have a home etc...

another thing she suggests is just removing
the toys you want to "temporarily" at first in
case they are missed, you can easily retrieve
them and bring them back.

i think a playstand is great to make a little space to crawl
in and play under. and the basket idea is great too.

i think keeping it simple and having things easily accessible
is important. so the child can feel free to go from one
toy to another.
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#8 of 28 Old 11-20-2005, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The painting technique mentioned sounds really neat so if anyone knows how to do I would love to know. We're planning on painting on tuesday but haven't picked out colors or anything yet.
What are trestles?
Thanks
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#9 of 28 Old 11-21-2005, 12:19 AM
 
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I "think" what the mamma ment by trestles are playstands. There are patterns for making them at
www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com and also in the book "toymaking with children" which I highly reccomend. In our playroom we have several wooden cube units stacked together some are filled with baskets which contain the smaller items such as shells/pinecones, ect...... We also have a mobile that we change seasonaly. Right now our playstands are set up side by side with silks hanging as curtains as DD has been pretending she is Clara (from the nutcracker) all week and that is her stage. I would also suggest a small wooden playtable and kitchen if you can afford it. Familyfun has a great kitchen you can make yourself and its addorable. My son is 13 months and the kitchen is his favorite part of the playroom right now.
BTW I believe the painting tequinique they are talking about is called Lazure
You can find some great ideas for setting up a playspace and painting info here
http://www.threesisterstoys.com/parenting/playspace.htm

Have fun mamma!

PS I wanted to warn you that our DD did not really start getting "in" to her nature table untill recently and she just turned 3. I'm not saying you shouldn't have one as it is never too late to start talking about and sharing the special seasons changes wiht our children. I'm just suggesting you keep it simple and most importantly keep it to items that your child CAN play with.
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#10 of 28 Old 11-21-2005, 10:23 AM
 
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Yes, trestles = playstand. Thanks for adding that apmammaof2!
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#11 of 28 Old 11-24-2005, 04:14 AM
 
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DS ( 25 months)

room consists of :

light green painted walls ( painted when he wasnt even born yet)
white guazy flwoing curtains
playstand that contain wooden toys, couple basics :sea shells, his lil wooden cars he loves, blocks of all shapes and sizes

a wall hook thingy my DH made to hang is push toys ( such as a wooden lawn mower(Klacker)

bookshelve with fabric covering it,

will hang a star light on the ceiling ( the paper type made with galvanized wire)

basket of playsilks

basket with puppets and one with finger puppets


Michele
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#12 of 28 Old 11-28-2005, 02:54 AM
 
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Thanks mamas for listing my website as a resource!

Let me know if you want some tips on lazure painting snugglebug. We lazured our twin girls bedroom and it turned out very pretty! We also painted a quote by Steiner across the tops of the walls (where it meets the ceiling). It always reminds me of my intention with my girls when I walk into their room:

Receive the child in reverence
Educate the child with love
Let the child go forth in freedom

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#13 of 28 Old 12-01-2005, 11:23 PM
 
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I hope it's okay if I reply! We do Waldorf-style homeschooling.

Our playroom is a large room off of the living room. It's shaped kind of strangly--a bit like a pentagon on acid. Directly inside the door to the left is a large armoire which holds stacks of castle blocks from Melissa and Doug. They're the large cardboard ones. In front of the armoire sits a wooden rocking horse, a couple of wooden push-toys, and a child-sized rocking chair. Next to the armoire is a grown-up rocking chair with a blanket on it that my grandmother made--perfect for snuggling up with a good story. Next to it is a painted washbasin (it has fairies and stuff all over it--so cute!) that is full of finger puppets.

Then there is the wooden castle with the castle figures hanging out on the tressles (although I continually find the knight in the dungeon, for some reason. ) Above the castle is a little peg coatrack that is covered in playsilks and fairy wings. Next we have a set of bins set up--the kind that have a wooden "holder" that has three levels of two wooden bins. In the first bin are wooden blocks, then Lincoln Logs, Matchbox cars, craft supplies (embroidery thread, pipe cleaners, lots of felt), wooden cars, and wool.

There is a length of train track set up with Thomas trains in various positions, and then--on the far wall away from the door--is a little table and chairs with drawing paper and a basket of beeswax crayons. The bookshelf houses fairy tales, gnome families, etc, with the nature table on top.

There is a basket of dress-up clothing and a large bookshelf-type of thing that holds all of their homeschool books, Good Books, and various supplies (beeswax candles, lap looms, watercolor paints and brushes, etc). Underneath the shelving portion of this bookshelf is a bunch of wooden cars, a stack of wooden puzzles, and a basket of modeling beeswax.

All in all it's a lovely little room, I must say. We haven't painted the walls but they are wooden paneling, which is surprisingly comforting. Their watercolor paintings and colored drawings are hanging on the walls.

For Christmas they are getting a wooden kitchen, so I'm sure that will cause complete upheavel of how we have the room set up now.

Homesteading Mama to homeschoolin' kiddos London (10) ; Alexander (8) :; Holden (5) :; and Sergei born at home 8/18/08
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#14 of 28 Old 12-04-2005, 09:44 PM
 
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I just wanted to suggest a wool stuffed, or wool felt ball for a child of this age, very versatile, and it lasts for a long time.

All of the suggestions are great. We are currently living in a small space, and we use LOTS of baskets, one filled with playsilks, another with wood animals, one with some tree blocks we made (both branchy pieces and flat rounds from wider parts of the tree), and another with some small, soft toys.

I really recommend Toymaking with Children as well, it's a fabulous ook. I also made my DD a simple knot doll from the book with a pale playsilk, very simple, very unformed, basically just a big wool stuffed head, and she still identifies it as a baby and plays with it. Interestingly, my nieces and nephews, who are used to far more detailed, commercially available toys also (though at first thinking the 'baby' was a bit odd) started treating it just like a real baby, one of them is 5, the other is 11, it was very sweet, and telling as to the simplicity, and natural materials of waldorf toys speaking to all children.
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#15 of 28 Old 12-10-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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Toys:

There is one pine/wooden barn ($25.00 at Target) and three baskets of wooden toys (which include an Ostheimer wooden lake and trees as well as animals and people). That's it.

To me, less is more...

We have a lavender wooden goose mobil hanging from the ceiling and a felted yellow sunshine smiling on the wall and four cotton gauze "silks" in different colors are kept in one of the baskets.

Overall Colors of the room:

Since our kids are up to age 10, our den/playroom is a pastel blue-green, has a fireplace that has the brick painted white but the mantle is just unfinished pine.



The simple blinds at the window are of light unstained wood ($9.00 each).

There is a white built-in bookshelf that holds the tv so it is covered by a hanging rainbow silk strung from clothespins on a $3.00 spring rod/curtain rod when not in use. Our futon frame is pine and the cover on the mattress is purple.
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#16 of 28 Old 02-08-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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-----Let me know if you want some tips on lazure painting snugglebug.----

Hey, I'd love some tips on doing it yourself. I am a SAHM to a beautiful 10 month old and would love to use lazure painting on his bedroom walls. Since money is not easy to come by, I'd like to attempt it myself but I cant find a good website that gives directions to do-it-yourselvers. Any advice is appreciated!
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#17 of 28 Old 02-08-2006, 01:18 PM
 
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#18 of 28 Old 02-13-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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I also want to mention The Children's Year has many toys and items you can make yourself for you ds..which in my family my babies reallylove the toys we make together or that dh and I make for them.
"The camp" is a goody in our house that dh and I just made for $20 out of that book. It is a fantastic additon to your playstands other posters have mentioned earlier.

Free To Be~
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"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
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#19 of 28 Old 05-18-2006, 01:43 AM
 
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Solange,
What is "the camp?" Sounds like a fun place to be! My kids may love that...
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#20 of 28 Old 05-18-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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Hope you don't mind me responding about The Camp

It really is cool. I bought it from Marmalade Trees cause I know dh would never get around to making one for us We used it when the baby was little to kind of block off a separate play area for him.

Here is the description they give:
The Camp
$65
These sturdy folding frames have been a favorite in our household. The imaginative play that comes from The Camp is endless. Our own children have used them for hideouts, secret corners, and walls for playhouses. When not in used they can be folded and tucked neatly away. Each frame is tied to the next in a unique way that allows for smooth folding and unfolding of the frame. The fabric for "The Camp" has been hand-dyed using the 3 primary colors. Each section of "The Camp" measures 26 inches tall by 21 inches wide. There are 5 frames in each set. The Camp is shipped ready for you to assemble in less than 10 minutes with complete step by step instructions.


Here is a link to the picture

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#21 of 28 Old 05-18-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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well, for some reason the pic doesn't work! You can see it on their site atr: http://www.marmaladetrees.com/Home.htm

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#22 of 28 Old 05-28-2006, 12:26 AM
 
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We have a beautiful playstand that my dh made as well as custom wooden shelves that we keep our natural toys on. I make sure none of our toys make noise and we've elminated 95% of plastic. Our wooden play kitchen and food is by far the most used item... I crochet a lot of my dd's playfood. We also have a wooden bridge that turns over into a rocking boat that the kids love (I run a home daycare part-time). If you want to see pics you can look at my blog www.eileensplace.blogspot.com

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#23 of 28 Old 05-28-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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Lazure painting is very involved, but you can google it and find some great examples on websites. You can do a simple wash to a room by starting with white walls and adding VERY dilute watercolor paint with a soft large artistic finishing wall brush. If it's too bright, you can go back over the finish with a little white paint and glaze very sparingly. I did a rainbow aroud my kids' room where the colors begin to blend into one another. They love it and are very proud of mom for doing it.

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#24 of 28 Old 05-28-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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Eileen,
That's a beautiful playspace! Very inspiring!

RN, Tree-huggin, chicken-raisin'chicken3.gif, mountain climbing, yoga attempting namaste.gif Mama to Miss Areading.gif (10) and Miss K joy.gif(8). Newly re-married wife to DHpartners.gif We're pregnant!!belly.gifExpecting our new little addition this November!
 

 

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#25 of 28 Old 05-28-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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Thanks so much Joanna! Thats my daycare room too so it gets a lot of use!

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#26 of 28 Old 06-07-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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Eileen,

I was unable to view the pics however love the rest of your blog...

Michele
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#27 of 28 Old 06-07-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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Thanks! In my blog there are various photos of our playspace... you may have to click archives and scroll down on various pages.

Little Acorn Learning - Celebrating the Seasons with Children - Monthly Guides for Homeschool and Childcare - Visit Our Website and Our Blog
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#28 of 28 Old 05-26-2007, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by browneyedsol View Post
Lazure painting is very involved, but you can google it and find some great examples on websites. You can do a simple wash to a room by starting with white walls and adding VERY dilute watercolor paint with a soft large artistic finishing wall brush. If it's too bright, you can go back over the finish with a little white paint and glaze very sparingly. I did a rainbow aroud my kids' room where the colors begin to blend into one another. They love it and are very proud of mom for doing it.

Can you post pictures????

Mom to three and owner of Earthetarian Happy, healthy and handmade.
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