As I weed through our current playthings, I’ve been dreaming of a whole new room stocked with beautiful wooden toys, luminous playsilks and quality art supplies. We really don’t need too much (restraint is key here), but there are certain Waldorf-inspired play ideas that feel so right for my family. Besides doing a little shopping at my store (Liam is going to love these Cathedral Blocks!), I’ve been browsing all over the internet at zillions of Waldorf and natural toy stores.
Today I finally made a purchase at www.Palumba.com. Palumba has a beautiful selection of natural toys (80% made in the USA; the others are crafted in Fair Trade Cooperatives) and is one of the very few Waldorf toy stores to offer free shipping. In fact, Palumba was kind enough to give us a little extra incentive: 5% off with coupon code “euphoria”.
Anyhoo, I purchased this rainbow child’s broom, which I’m sure my kids will LOVE. They use one like it to sweep the porch at Grandma’s house any chance they get. One of the tennets of Waldorf theory is that young children learn best by imitation. Children are naturally drawn to toys that give them an opportunity to imitate real work. And, these toys develop real skills too! It’s not fancy, but they’ll love it.
I also splurged on this gorgeous silk play canopy called Morning Sun. I think it will fit beautifully in Aria’s soft pink room. This canopy is a long piece of silk dyed in various shades of pink, orange and golden yellow. It is traditionally draped over a Waldorf playstand, as shown, to create a special play space for little one’s to make all their own. A playstand can be anything: a castle, a kitchen, a store, a boat. It’s one of the classic, open-ended Waldorf toys that I’d love to have. Since they’re quite pricey and my husband does woodwork, he’s planning to make one for us sometime this winter. Until then, we’ll see what fun we can have with this luxurious silk. Given my daughter’s intense attachment to her nighttime silk blankie, I think this is going to be one of her favorite Christmas presents. By the way, www.Palumba.com does sell playstands from Camden Rose, who makes the loveliest playstand on the market.
Last but not least, I purchased from Palumba some watercolor supplies that I’m just dyeing to use! Waldorf schools everywhere use the wet watercoloring method. The idea is that quality watercolor paints come alive to the young child when worked on wet paper. For little ones, painting is about self-expression, self-discovery and the enjoyment of color, making the wet watercolor method ideal. Besides having great paints (Stockmar is best!) and quality watercolor paper, it helps to have painting boards and paint jar holders to make things as easy and mess-free as possible. I can’t wait for our supplies to arrive so that we can experiment with wet watercolor!