Sunday, May 25, 2008

Help promote Waldorf on FACEBOOK :)

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Waldorf Play with Non-Waldorf Toys

Baby bathing tub is really a toy bin to collect backyard toys at night. Fishy scrubber is from the bathroom upstairs. Bowl is from my kitchen, glass stones are from the fairy house and inside the bowl is a knick-knack in stone from my shelf in the livingroom. Robe is from the bedroom. In the next photo...chairs are from the garage and are usually used for emergency seating at large parties, the wooden table is for homeschooling work & art, the cloth is a headscarf from the dress-up bin, the plate is a garden tray of terracotta and the "food" in it is weeds from the garden. Cups are from the picnic basket. The spray bottle is supposed to be near the worm bin to keep it moist.

I would so love to write a 2-page article about this today but I don't have the time - LOL! I guess that is what BLOGS are for, after all!

I have been thinking about this idea for a long time. I had this friend ten years ago who's mom used to buy her kids all these plastic toys from Goodwill (it was her mom's form of entertainment) and she would just toss them all down in the basement playroom and let the kids play with them when they wanted. I was attending the Four Winds Waldorf School at that time and when I watched these children play it struck me how they played with these toys in such a "Waldorf Way" even though they were plastic, some broken, and some really odd toys! In fact, their style of play was more "Waldorf" than many of the kids at the school I knew.

Why was this? Well first, I need to define what I mean by "Waldorf Play". Waldorf toys seek to cultivate a bond with nature, a respect for nature and to nurture creativity in children by providing toys that they can be creative with. Rather than providing a toy that does only "one thing" a Waldorf toy is a toy that can be "many things". Children are encouraged to play creatively. When a child plays they are encouraged to connect with nature, to model what the environment around them is doing, and to use their body & voices to experience the imaginary world that they see as real. Of course, this is not a comprehensive description, but it is a start.

What I saw with these children was everything above. I saw them creating spaces by organizing the toys in certain ways. They never played with the toys the way they were meant to be played with. Instead (perhaps this was because there were so many and they were more like objects at that point rather than toys?) they would create new things with these toys, imaginary scenes, imaginary worlds and much more. They would often bring the toys outside or make the toys into "trees", 'Animals" or "plants". I was amazed at this because most children I saw playing with toy rooms filled with plastic toys were not having this kind of play. I did see a lot of creative play. However, the extent of creative play was not the same as with these two children. There was SOMETHING ELSE there. What was it?

I started to observe the family. Well, not really, they were my friends, so I just noticed things while I was hanging out with them! What I noticed was that the mother was very nature centered herself. Every day she took the children out to the local nature center or would walk on the trails near their home. She took them fishing and spent a lot of time outdoors with them in the garden or playing with their backyard fishpond. When they played they often spent time modeling her work by helping prepare a healthy snack or by weeding the garden with her.

So when it came time to play with the ole plastic toys in the basement...these toys became PART of their natural environment instead of the other way around. Because their minds and lives were filled with nature and mother energies everything around them became imbued with that flavor - even the plastic toys.

This led me to become convinced - not that plastic toys are OK in Waldorf or that they are better - but that there is something more to Waldorf Play than just what toys a child has. I had another friend who was very well off at the time and had a basement filled with a virtual Waldorf School. It was amazing and I was envious I admit! She had everything from the Waldorf Catalogs. However, her children were often in front of the TV and when they did play in their Waldorf paradise, they often had a very orderly way of doing it, the creativity and joy were not there. It was almost as if their creativity had been smothered by too many toys. The mother had placed them in such a wonderful and orderly way, they were so pretty! One was almost scared to play with them!

These are two extreme examples. Everyone I know now is someone in-between these two examples and I do have to say that I have not met anyone like these two women since. I have sense lost track of them. However, they did provide a good lesson for me in Waldorf play.

So what brought this topic into my head again today? Two things. Someone asked me about how to set up a playroom for their child and yesterday Sofi and her friend spent FOUR HOURS creating a paradise outside from plastic and wooden toys and nature.

I could make this post so much longer but for now I will just share what I have learned (and some pictures):

1. Waldorf toys are wonderful but more important is letting children choose their own toys from their environment and modeling after the parent. Perhaps flowers in the garden, some rocks and acorns become a toy, perhaps some pots and pans and a wooden spoon from the kitchen, or perhaps they love the plastic cups in your picnic basket. Whatever it is - the fact that the child discovered it and decided they wanted to play with it is very important.

2. If you want a child to play with more natural toys make sure that more things around your house are natural - not just the toys. And make sure they get out into nature more so they can gather treasures from the natural world around them.

3. Playing in a "Waldorf Way" needs to have an element of freedom (time to play), creativity (not restricted to one use for the toy) and nature (playing outdoors frequently).

4. Toddlers often play by modeling what a parent is doing - not necessarily by playing with their toys. This is the best way for a toddler to play.

5. Children will play in the world they know. If you spend all your time at the mall, in front of the TV and are surrounded by electronics and plastic your child will often create electronic plastic worlds from their nice wooden Waldorf toys (I've seen kids make a wooden block into a TV more than once!). If a child is surrounded by nature and nurture then they will be able to create this from any toy they have.

6. Ideally toys should be handmade and natural. This is important. But you can't feel guilty or bad or disqualify the value of a child's play just because they are not. Waldorf play is only partially about what toy the child is playing WITH.


Blessings & Health.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Egg & Phone Experiment

This can now be found at

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Additional Information & Discounted Payment Options

This can now be found at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Summer School Lesson Plans

This can now be found at:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Organization for the Temperaments

I am more than thrilled to announce that the Organization and the Temperaments Video/Ebook SET are now ready.

Thrilled? Yes! Because it took me a long time to complete this project (and we all know how good it feels to get a project done) AND because this is a completely original way of looking at the world of organization that I think will really help a lot of people who are not comfortable with their organizational skills at this point or who feel they could be "more organized" or who have spouses or kids who are "not organized". You may be surprised at some of the things you hear in this lecture. However, the best part is that the E-book comes with FOUR SETS of charts - one set for each temperament. So if you are sanguine you can print out the organizational charts for the sanguine. If you have a melancholic child you can print out different charts for them! Information IS included on how to tell which type you are. I can also help with this if you need me to.

You can purchase this set (the video and the E-book were just uploaded now so you can instantly download them) at:

Organization for the Temperaments

Enjoy! I look forward to hearing more feedback on this lecture/Ebook. Feedback from the conference (where the original lecture took place) has been more than positive.

Blessings & Health,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Waldorf Channel Show: A Fairy Mayfair

Enjoy two new shows on The Waldorf Channel this week called:


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Herbal Fairytale Site

I am excited to announce the opening of the official Herbal Fairytales site. The young illustrators of the series have all posted letters to the site and they are wonderful! We are all very proud of our work and excited to be able to share it.

You can visit the young illustrators and author and find out more about the books at:

Blessings & Health,


Monday, May 5, 2008

Our Goblin Fairy Tree

We have this tree that stares at our lives on the lawn right next to us and watches us every day. It is interesting to note that the man living in the house next to us is a private investigator! So perhaps his fairy is too and she charmed this tree! In any case, they sure do a good job of keeping an eye on us. This tree stares straight into five rooms of our house. Enjoy the picture!
Blessings & Health,

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mayfair & Maypole Tips, Hints & Secrets

This can now be found at