Homemade Waldorf organic toys are a great value from both a monetary and an inspirational aspect. They allow your child hours of pretend play, which is an important part of healthy childhood development.
What Are Waldorf Toys?
A Waldorf education is based on the teaching methods of Rudolf Steiner. Steiner developed the philosophy in 1919, stressing the need to educate the whole child. Part of that education was to allow a child to learn on his or her own terms without interference. A child should be able to take his play in any direction without the toy curbing his ideas.
Waldorf toys encourage this type of learning. Dolls are simple, made from natural materials, and generally lack much expression. This allows the child to create any scenario with the doll. The process of expressing the child's inner thoughts and ideas is unhindered by a particular look on the doll's face.
Other toys are also made of natural materials to create a connection with nature and the environment. Natural materials are considered to be soothing and relaxing in the Waldorf philosophy.
Finding Materials for Homemade Organic Waldorf Toys
The best part of making your own organic Waldorf toys is that they are inexpensive and fun to make. There are a lot of patterns, materials, and ideas to choose from.
In order for your homemade Waldorf toy to truly be organic, you will need to use only organic materials in its construction. Although it may be difficult to find these materials at your local craft or sewing shop, the Internet is a great source of organic fabrics, fillings, and other items.
Here are some sources for organic craft materials:
Materials from Nature
You don't have to buy materials. There are plenty of objects you can find in nature that are great for making homemade Waldorf toys. Consider some of the following:
- Game tokens
- Add to musical shakers
- Use as weights
- Use in decorating or creating doll houses
- Use as part of a building block set
- Cut larger twigs in thin pieces horizontally and use as plates for dolls
Instructions for Homemade Waldorf ToysThe best Waldorf toys are those that begin in the imagination of your child. Ask him what he would like to play with. Astronauts? Dinosaurs? Pretend foods? By knowing your child's likes and interests, you can easily create toys that are completely unique to him.
Checkers is a simple game and when played with natural materials it is even more special. The checkerboard has eight rows of eight squares. Two colors are used, making every other square the same color. You will also need 24 playing pieces, 12 for each side.Now, make a checker board. You can do this any of the following ways:
- Make a wooden square the size that you want and use natural dyes, crayons, or paint to make the checkerboard pattern. Use a stencil to keep the squares exact.
- Make your checkerboard with quilt blocks.
- Make it on paper or cardboard using organic crayons.
Once you have your board, you will need two different types of markers. Some that work well are:
- Small pebbles
Instructions on the Internet
You can find instructions for homemade toys almost anywhere on the Internet. Here are a few to get you started:
Top Organic Toys
You may want to take a look at the LoveToKnow Organic slideshow of top organic toys to get more ideas. Homemade Waldorf organic toys can be anything you or your child wants them to be.Children love to learn and they love to play. When left to their own imaginations, children develop longer attention spans and more creativity. Raising kids organically also has the added benefit of giving them a healthier lifestyle.