What makes a toy a Steiner or Waldorf toy?

What makes a toy a Steiner or Waldorf toy?

Nov 25, '21

With modern day technology, everything we want to learn or find to purchase is at our fingertips.  There are hundreds of toy brand that claim to be Waldorf inspired but what really makes a toy a Waldorf or Steiner toy.  At Growing Instincts we don’t consider a toy to be a disposable item.  Our toys are more than just wooden, eco friendly and organic toys, they imitate a lifestyle choice our customers make for the toys to be passed on to the generations.

It is important for us to remind ourselves that we are playing.  We are playing at work, playing at loading the dishwasher, playing with the dust as we brush it around the house and land it in the bin. This is the child’s world. Children can be most settled when immersed in this parallel play with adults, where adults are playing at their daily chores and the child is ‘helping’. We need a lot of patience, we need to see the fun in it and be forgiving of the child that enjoys sweeping so much that they cannot make neat piles. 

 We have a large range of child sized toys that mirror adult toys. Your child may like our kids Natural Outdoor ToysKitchen and House Play Dress Up Collection or Baby Toys. You will note that even though these are play toys, they are built to last and will provide your child with the same satisfaction you have when you cook with your mothers pot, or that quality wedding pan, or lay out your special dining set on that special occasion.

 Our toys are built in a way that support open ended play.   Speaking of open ended play, have you seen our range of blockspuzzlesSilks, musical instruments and Arts and Crafts supplies. These toys are built of natural fibers such as wood, timber, wool, skins, silk and cotton and dyed with food grade non toxic dyes. Have a look, and contact us if you have any questions.  

 So, when considering what makes a Steiner or Waldorf Toy unique, there are no hard and fast rules only guiding principles. The Waldorf education movement has grown from the teachings of Rudolph Steiner.

 The following points may be useful to think about when making your Toy selection?

  • Is the toy nourishing to the child senses? What sense is your child developing and exploring?
  • Is the toy beautiful and will it contribute, to a beautiful environment? Simplicity and the absence of disposable clutter reinforces belonging, care, purpose and place.
  • What does the toy teach our child about aesthetic appreciation? To have appreciation is to have care.
  • Does it inspire the imagination? Can it be used for multiple purposes in multiple contexts?
  • Does the toy offer softness, eloquence, and simplicity. The absence of detail can encourage imaginative play rather than prescribe purpose.
  • Will the toy provide a tactile experience? Is it weighted, nice to hold and to touch?
  • Does the toy encourage imitation? Play is the child’s work and toys are the child’s tools. (Our work is our play, let us not forget!)
  • Is the toy made of natural fibres? Will it encourage a greater connection and flow with indoor and outdoor worlds and appreciation of the natural environment?
  • Is the toy toxic? Does the toy contain petroleum based PVC or BPA plastics and paints, lead, other known carcinogens and hormone disrupters?

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