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Best Waldorf Toys: A Teacher’s Top Five Picks

I am often asked by parents who are waiting to transform their child’s playthings from commercial plastic toys to more natural Waldorf toys for my recommendations of the most essential Waldorf toys. This week on “Sunday with Sarah” I share five of my top picks and discuss the play value of each.

Keep in mind that if you are limited by budget some of these toys can be handmade or built oneself!

Video Highlights: 

1:00  Heavy Baby Waldorf Dolls
2:30  Play Silks (Playsilks)
4:00  Ostheimer Wooden Toys
5:16   Waldorf Play Stands (Playstands)
6:35   Wooden Play Kitchens
7:23   Waldorf Rocker Board
10:09 Upcoming Giveaway – Win a Waldorf Rocker Board!

Giveaway!

Mark your calendar and be sure to come back next Sunday (August 25, 2013) for a chance to win a Curvy Board Waldorf Rocker Board from Bella Luna Toys.

Do you or your child have a favorite Waldorf toy? What would be on your top five list? Anything you think I’ve omitted? Please share your thoughts, comments, and questions here!

 

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28 Comments

  • Reply Heidi August 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Yeah!

  • Reply Pam Andrews August 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Sarah! Thank you for your wonderful suggestions! You carry such lovely things at your website; I love getting ideas from you! Cheers!

  • Reply Melba Caldcleugh August 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Great list! I would add to your great list the wooden clips as a favorite toy in the kindergarten classroom and felted wool balls. Even though it seems these would have only one purpose, the clips are used for other purposes as well as together with the wool balls make ice cream cones or headlights on “car” etc. The clips can be used to make tents for under tables, in car, in hotel rooms. Wool balls can get wet and make great bathroom toys. I had all sizes from the princess’s golden ball for a fairy tale to a giant size ball. Smaller ones are used for food or tie yarn around them for fishing etc.

  • Reply Erin August 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    This was a very helpful video! I love all your suggestions on how to use the silks and the rocker board!!

  • Reply Danielle August 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Sara,

    I have been following your blog and Sundays with Sara for a while now. I love waldorf toys, I am a mother of two young children as well as an early childhood educator, this year I will be teaching kindergarten. You’ve inspired me to bring waldorf style teaching into my home and classroom. we have two rocker boards on our Christmas list! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  • Reply Lia Millard August 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you Sarah! I have been watching your Sunday with Sarah videos for a few months now. This is the first time I felt compelled to write something. This was a very helpful video. I think our next purchase for our kids 3 and 7 will be a rocker board. I had no idea of the many uses is has. I was wondering if you might do a future video on how to set up a Waldorf play area in your home. Is it best to use a corner of your living-room space or
    in the child’s room? My children don’t seem to like playing much in their rooms but my husband does not like having toys all over our living space. Thanks so much. Lia

  • Reply Zhana Nedelcheva August 19, 2013 at 2:45 am

    It is a lovely video! I love the silk part. I just have bought different colors silk, to make scarves and a fairy dress for my daughter’s 4th birthday. I am doing my best to create Waldorf environment for my kids, even that they are not Waldorf students yet. Thanks for all interesting ideas about the rocker board. Zhana Nedelcheva

  • Reply mygambell August 19, 2013 at 4:13 am

    we have so many waldorf inspired toys that the children grew up with and now our grand babies will be playing with them. we have kitchen furniture and items, dolls, silks, play stands, animals, puppets, music and i need to replenish the art supply items! i forgot about the wool balls! and pinning silks to them the children loved that! they became shooting stars one afternoon! i know i can always go to your store and find exactly what i want to present to a friend with young ones or my grand babies.

  • Reply Anne August 19, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Thank you Sarah! My daughter is about to turn 3 and my husband and I were going to make a Waldorf style dollhouse for her (I love the open, flowing style of those houses), but now I’m intrigued by your comment about how children ages 2-3 years like to build their own houses. So I will talk with my husband about a playstand instead (just not sure where we will put it in our home). What age would you recommend a dollhouse? I made peg person dolls with felt clothes and needle felted hair (Mother Earth and the Root Children) this summer and our daughter delights in playing with them so I thought she might be ready for a dollhouse. I loved caring for and creating in my dollhouse when I was a girl.

  • Reply Bonnie Harrington August 20, 2013 at 12:28 am

    This was a great video! Thank you! I think Ostheimer toys are so amazing…my kids play with theirs EVERY DAY!

  • Reply Dreamer...Becky August 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Thank you so much for sharing…our all-time favorite toys are ‘silks’ – with their unlimited creativity! We have been using our silks for years & they are still a daily ‘go-to’ item (: Thank you also for your generous give-away, we would LOVE a chance to win the rocker board…another item with unlimited potential! xox

  • Reply Vanessa August 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Hello!

    I am writing to ask for a recommendation for my 2.5 year old son. I am expecting a baby in December, another little boy! My son is in a Montessori school, but we use a more Waldorf style approach at home.

    I have noticed he is extra rough with other children at times, a little bit sensory seeking, but is very loving. I think a heavy baby doll might help. Would you recommend the bigger doll or the smaller doll? Any advice you have for additional toys or books to help ease this transition would be so very appreciated.

    Also I know you are the mother of two sons. I would love to hear your insight on raising boys. I have been enjoying your weekly video blog posts.

  • Reply karen August 24, 2013 at 2:45 am

    This was great to watch. Your shop looks so lovely and cozy:) The most played with toys in my home day care over the years have always been play silks. One of my favourite things to do with them is float them up high and let them slowly drift down to the children’s heads. At the moment the children are loving all going under one silk together and calling it a cubby. They also love waldorf dolls that I’ve made and the rocking cradle. I’m hoping that once i’ve got our curvy board they might just stop trying to climb in the poor little doll cradle to rock:)

  • Reply Doreen August 24, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Thank you again Sarah ! As I share your toy/ play ideas with my grandchildren we find more joy simply!!!

  • Reply Kristina August 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Sarah- you hit it on the head with this post! Everything you recommended is so wonderful! I also think that children need quality art supplies- quality truly does make a difference in longevity and creativity in children’s artwork. I also think that children should have a sandbox and the lots of water play. Good gardening tools are great, too, along with LOTS of books!

  • Reply Lucy N. August 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I’m in love with the rocker board!! I love the open endedness of it and how it can grow with my little one. Thank you for the opportunity :)

  • Reply Kelly S August 27, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I have a small in home preschool with 4 children. I know this rocker board would give them unlimited opportunities for creative play. :-)

  • Reply Kelly S August 27, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Shared on Facebook

  • Reply Kelly S August 27, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Pinned on Pinterest

  • Reply Erin August 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    What I love most about this toy is the variety of ways it can be used AND that it can provide great sensory input – something we think a lot about in our home!!

  • Reply Melissa August 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    So excited to enter the contest. I shared on pinterest and facebook!

  • Reply Christina August 29, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I would love this for my children. I’ve been wanting one for their OT and PT theropy and ofcouse just open ended play.

  • Reply Cristina August 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I’d like to join the rocker giveaway! I hope I am posting in the right place! Am sharing on pinterest and facebook too!!

  • Reply Kristina August 29, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I live that my children can use this toy in so many different ways.

  • Reply Kelsi Nibbana August 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I love that when my 6 year old watched the video, she told me she really, really wanted a curvy board. It’s a just a board, but she told me she wanted to use it for her dolls, her puppies (stuffed, not real) and she wanted to rock on it while we read stories at night during family time! This is a wonderful improvement over the non-open-ended toys we often hear she wants. Thanks!

  • Reply Kelsi Nibbana August 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I shared in Facebook too, in hopes of winning Abby a rocker board :)

  • Reply Sally September 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you so much for this helpful video! My family and I have been trying to make the transition to more natural toys and fewer of them. I appreciate all the information you shared here.

  • Reply Thomson Toys July 1, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I really love the heavy baby, the fact it’s filled with lavender is a plus. So pretty and realistic ( in the sense of weight). Thank you for a fantastic video, you have an excellent variety of toys.

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