Waldorf-Inspired Toys

Over the summer, the exterior of our multi-family condo building was painted, and during the process we removed all of the outside toys from our small, shared backyard. Now that the painting is complete, I thought it was a good opportunity to leave most of the plastic outside toys in the basement (save for bats, balls, and bubbles), and start fresh with Waldorf-inspired outside "toys."

There is a lot about the Waldorf philosophy of early education that I like to incorporate into our days, like lots of baking with children, imaginative play, ample outside nature time, seasonal celebrations, homeschool rhythms, and natural, from-the-earth, multi-purpose playthings. As such, the kids and I gathered pinecones, sticks, seashells, pumpkins and gourds to have handy in our backyard. These natural materials foster open-ended, imaginative play with sticks transforming into drills and violins, shells turning into magical fairy crystals, and pinecones and gourds becoming play figures. The quality of play that originates from using multi-purpose toys compared to single-purpose ones is extraordinary, and makes me all the happier that our big painting project provided the perfect opportunity to start fresh with our outside toys -- just in time for Fall.

And speaking of Fall, there's still time for you to win one of the two children's books I am giving away on Friday to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox! Simply leave a comment on Monday's post with your ideas on how to celebrate autumn with your family. Thanks to those of you who have already shared your wonderful ideas!