When I was first invited into the world of Waldorf, I noticed something was different, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I felt an immediate sense of ease and comfort.
Children must feel safe to thrive. Just as too much adult attention can send a child hiding behind their caregiver, too much detail in a toy can override a toy’s usefulness to the imagination. Waldorf toys are gentle on the senses. They are made of natural materials, have soft features, and are beautiful and soft to touch. Natural materials provide a connection to the natural world. This is a foundation of the education cycle and of rooting a child in the reality of life here on earth. The toys are made from wood, wool, silk, mohair and from collections of shells, sticks, flowers and more that the children themselves gather. These natural materials nourish a connection to the natural world and a sense of belonging for the developing child.
Another notable feature of Waldorf toys, are the dolls, they have a simple face. The strong and static face of a plastic baby doesn’t leave room for imagination. The simple face of a Waldorf doll allows the child’s own imaginative play to set the emotion of the baby. Further the soft dolls are pleasing to touch and comfortable to snuggle. In these ways, the dolls nourish the senses while allowing (rather than stimulating) imaginative play.
Ultimately, it is an environment in which children are trusted to grow through their own interaction with their own imagination. It is a place of support of the natural rhythm of life and a child’s own unique relationship to their growing world.
This year we are excited to announce that Mount Baker Preschool’s Family Dance fundraising event we will have a beautiful selection of Waldorf toys as well as several handmade items that your little one can take their chances on at our Waldorf toy raffle!