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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently started looking into Waldorf and I would love to introduce it into our family but not sure where to start.<br><br>
My kids are DD10y, DD8y, DS6y, DS3y and DS10m - the eldest 3 are at full time school and DS3y goes to nursery 5 mornings, I stop home with DS10m.<br><br>
We only live in a small house - I would love a playroom for the kids but just don't have the space. I am trying to allocate some space in our small lounge or dining room for a play area. They have loads of plastic crap and hundreds of cuddly toys (mainly kept in the bedrooms except for a couple of storage boxes downstairs) that I am in the middle of downsizing as they just have too much and never play with most of it.<br><br>
What would you say are the best/top 5 toys for each age group or that they could play with together?<br><br>
I would especially appreciate ideas for my eldest two - toys and activities.<br><br>
Can you recommend a good book? I hear good things about "you are your childs first teacher", but is that mainly for younger kids?<br><br>
Thanks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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For the older kids having some plastic around isn't a big problem. What you want in toys is open-endedness. If you have a toy that can only do one sort of thing--bleeping for example--it will not encourage imaginative play.<br><br>
My daughter and her best friend had some nice plastic dolls starting when they were 10 or so. Sasha I think is the name of the line. One had a stuffed dragon, the other a stuffed unicorn. Plus they had access to lots and lots of fabric scraps from my sewing. Out of this they played very long, complicated, imaginative make believe stuff. They would choose a start to the story, costume the dolls authentically, and off they'd go, acting it out and making it up as they went along. They were 12 and 13 when they quit playing like this.<br><br>
So, you need toys that can be used in a variety of ways, and creatively.<br><br>
Just look at each toy you've currently got and try to think of how many different ways it could be used. On that basis you'll be able to decide what to keep and what to give or throw away.<br><br>
Then observe how your kids currently play. This will give you ideas of what could be added to expand or redirect as needed.<br><br>
You are right about the Rahima Baldwin book. It is for small children.<br><br>
But there are some books about older children and waldorf and play. I'll look around if I have time.
 

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That's a great post, Deborah...purplesmiley, do you have a yard? Our (tiny) yard is simply an extension of our house for my kiddos. Perhaps you can begin to think outside toys and begin to organize/eliminate the inside clutter. Like a huge rolling ball that they can get inside (Hearthsong has these), garden tools, a treehouse, baseball supplies, croquet...whatever keeps them outside. Even without a yard you could take all of these to a park regularly. hth
 

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I only recently got a copy of "You are your child's First Teacher" and although my ds is already 4, I still got a lot out of it...and since you still have a couple of very young children...I would highly recommend it! It will help you to understand why so many things are done and will give some insight into building family rhythms, watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, etc. Another good book for this is "Heaven On Earth" by Sharifa Oppenheimer. I would say these books act as starting points into the philosophy no matter what the ages of your children are.<br><br>
Maybe you could just start by incorporating more nature activities into the day if you don't already. Nature walks, sand/mud, water, gardening, berry picking, bird watching...whatever. This could be extended into a nature craft. You could also throw together a little gnome house or something (i use various sticks found outside and tied together with florists wire). Hide it in a little niche somewhere for them to find. Or maybe put a few playsilks in a basket in the living room. First my ds was using them as capes...and now he uses them to build forts (with my help). I think older children would enjoy doing that as well.<br><br>
I would start with small things and add a new thing in here and there. You certainly don't need a playroom...we don't have one either!<br><br>
good luck!
 

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Three things that come to my mind which they all could enjoy toghether 1.- is music (dancing toghether or playing instruments to the songs - you can get small cheap wooden rattles or use just some pots, pans, plastic tubs etc) "a childs garden of songs" by Ted Jacobs is beautiful, so are the Kindermusik CD' s or international music CD's.<br>
2.- the arts (they can felt or paint with water colours, weave a little bag with left over fabrics etc.) and<br>
3.- books, the older ones could read a story to the little ones and play the story out with costumes/dress up (just use some bed sheets or old clothes of yours) or make up a story line for themselves.<br><br>
You can also collect things from nature outside on walks and paint them, make animal rocks, like frogs or ladybugs at home or transform them like a piece of bark into a boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thank you for replying<br><br>
we have a tiny concrete yard (about 8ftx4ft) which has a small plastic slide for my 3yo and a small plastic sandpit - it doesn't get the sun much<br><br>
I will try and do more nature things with the kids. I am also trying to find a place to put a nature table/corner/shelf but struggling due to my clutter problem <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
I think I'll make some playsilks for DS 1st birthday in July - I might get the girls to help me dye them.<br><br>
My girls are interested in those horrid Bratz dolls at the moment, I refused to buy any for them but relatives did for their last birthday <sigh><br><br>
I did find a "make your own flower people kit" in the £1 shop last week and the girls are really interested in having a go with that. I also started teaching the girls how to knit, which they are very excited and proud of. It makes a change from gameboys anyway.<br><br>
I will try and get hold of "you are your childs first teacher" as I would like to change the way I do things with the younger children at least, and maybe it will rub off on the older kids as well.<br><br>
We bought DS3yo a wooden instrument kit for his birthday - it has a tamborine, shakers, clackers, triangle, sleigh bells and a xylophone. The kids love playing with them together so I will try and encourage more of that.<br><br>
You have given me some great ideas - thank you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Also I would love any more book recommendations as I love to read and find out about things.
 

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One good book, nothing to do with waldorf, is <i>Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood</i> by Susan Linn. If you feel as though there are forces trying to influence your children--you are absolutely right. You can probably get it through your local library and if they don't have it they can find it for you via interlibrary loan.<br><br>
The mention of Bratz dolls brought this book to mind, the first edition has a cover picture of shopping Barbie--ugh!
 
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