WALDORF TOYS

April 27th, 2014 | Crafts, Handmade Toys, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys | Permalink | Comments (1)

 

This spring, we have had a lot of fun new products coming through our doors here at Bella Luna Toys, but I’m not sure that any has caused as much excitement around here as our new book Making Peg Dolls.

How to Make Wooden Peg People Dolls

Its author, Margaret Bloom, had contacted me recently about carrying it. Since I’ve been interested in adding more doll-making crafts so that parents can make their own Waldorf toys, I didn’t hesitate to say yes, but I was unprepared for just how excited I would be once I got the book in my hands and was able to look between its covers.

My assistant Amy and I probably lost an hour of work time as we ooh-ed and ah-ed over Margaret’s adorable creations, and our hands started itching to get busy making families of these sweet little dolls!

I was surprised at how substantial the book is, with over 60 darling wooden peg doll designs for every season, and with nearly 200 pages pages of full-color photographs. There are instructions for creating dolls with fairy tales themes, as well as for holidays and festivals.

Making Peg Dolls - Bluebirds for Spring

The wonderful thing about peg dolls is how easy they are to make, even for someone with very little crafting experience. Best of all, this is a great craft activity that adults and children can do together.

You’ll only need some inexpensive wooden peg doll bases (which we now offer at Bella Luna Toys). Most of the materials used to decorate them, can probably be found around your house. The peg doll forms are made of unfinished wood and can be painted (I recommend Stockmar Opaque Watercolor Paints), or clothed with pieces of wool felt or fabric scraps.

Painting Peg Dolls - Kids

The book offers easy, step-by-step directions with hand-drawn illustrations. You might want to start by following Margaret’s patterns, but you’ll soon be inspired to start designing your own original peg people.

Watch the video above to see a delightful animated video featuring some of Margaret’s creations. I guarantee you’ll be inspired!

Won’t you join Amy and me in creating families of Wooden Peg Dolls? We’d love to see photos of your creations! You can EMAIL them to me, and I will post them on the blog.

Happy doll making!

Sarah Baldwin signature

 

 

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August 18th, 2013 | Natural Toys, Play, Sarah's Silks, Sunday With Sarah, Waldorf Dolls, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys | Permalink | Comments (28)

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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March 2nd, 2013 | Parenting, Sunday With Sarah, Toddlers, Waldorf Education, Waldorf Toys | Permalink | Comments (13)

 

This week on “Sunday With Sarah” I take time to answer some of the questions that viewers have posted here:

  • How to Keep Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy
  • How to Handle Unwanted Toys / Gifts
  • On Becoming a Waldorf Teacher

For more information on becoming a Waldorf teacher and for a list of Waldorf teacher training programs in North America, please visit the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA).

Have any other tips to share? Please leave them here, and keep those questions coming! What topics would you like to hear me discuss in future weeks?

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November 27th, 2012 | Natural Toys, Play, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys | Permalink | Comments (17)

Dear Friends,

Meet ImagiPlanks!

Natural Wooden Outdoor Construction Play Set

I don’t think I’ve been as excited about introducing a new toy since I introduced our Waldorf Rocker Boards at Bella Luna Toys almost two years ago.

I have long been on the lookout for great Waldorf outdoor toys to add to our collection, but, like everything offered at Bella Luna Toys, they must be beautiful, all-natural, and encourage open-ended play and creativity. Further, outdoor toys should invite large-motor movement like jumping, climbing and building. The pickings have been slim.

So imagine my excitement when the inventor of a new wooden outdoor play set contacted me about partnering to offer his yet-unnamed construction set at Bella Luna Toys.

Once I saw this video of the newly-monikered ImagiPlanks in action, I knew this was a match made in heaven! 

As you can see, kids can use ImagiPlanks to build an infinite variety of fun and cool structures:

•  Bridges
•  Tunnels
•  Towers
•  Forts
•  Houses
•  See-Saws

ImagiPlanks - Natural Waldorf Outdoor Toys

Made in the USA of sustainably harvested Ponderosa Pine, the 20 pieces in this set are finished with an all-natural unique blend of pure Linseed Oil, Tung Oil, Pine Rosin, Orange Oil, and Beeswax.

Best of all, ImagiPlanks can also be used indoors—a boon for those of us parents in northern climes who are facing a long winter ahead.

Oh, had only ImagiPlanks been invented when my boys were still young! Guess I’ll have to wait for grandchildren.

 

Tell me what you think. Are you as excited about ImagiPlanks as I am? Share your thoughts here.

 

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February 6th, 2012 | Waldorf Toys | Permalink | Comments (8)

If you were to ask me to recommend my one favorite Waldorf toy, I would have to tell you the Rocker Boards!

You might be surprised, because rocker boards may not yet be thought of as classic Waldorf toys. They are, in fact, a relatively new addition, but I’m confident that in very little time rocker boards will become synonymous with “Waldorf toys”—just like Waldorf playstands, Waldorf dolls, and play silks.

My Introduction to the Wonder of Rocker Boards

I’d been teaching early childhood classes in a Waldorf school for many years, but had never seen nor heard of this toy until one of my colleagues brought two of them back from the East Coast Waldorf Early Childhood Conference in 2006.

When I first saw this unusual plaything–a piece of high quality, thick plywood, about three feet long and one foot wide, curved into a perfect quarter-circle arc–I wondered how interested the children would be and what could be done with them.

I knew how beneficial rocking is for a child’s development: it stimulates the vestibular (balance) system and aids a child’s sense of proprioception (the awareness of being in one’s physical body). It seemed like a good toy for allowing rocking indoors.

I knew how important balance is for a child’s brain development, and it seemed like a good and possibly therapeutic toy for certain children.

Waldorf Wooden Balance Board | Rocker Board

What I didn’t yet know was how much children love this toy!

Rocker Boards in the Classroom

We introduced the rocker boards in our classroom in February of that year, and the children wasted no time in finding them and putting them to use.

I was amazed at all the ways they found to play with them. My limited adult thinking assumed that this was a toy for children to stand on, with one foot on either end, on which they could rock back-and-forth.

I didn’t yet realize it could be so much more!

Right away, these boards became the most popular toys in our classroom. They were the first toys the children would go to as soon as snack time was over and play time began.

Yes, children would stand on them and rock, but they found so many other uses for them:

  • The rocker board would become a slide, with one end propped up on a Waldorf playstand.
  • Tipped over, it became a bridge. The children would act out stories, like the “Three Billy Goats Gruff” and trip-trap over the bridge.
  • It became a sailboat, carrying fishermen off to sea as they cast their nets.
  • It was a pirate ship sailing through mighty storms.
  • It was a cradle for a mama (a 5-year-old) to rock her baby (a 3-year-old) to sleep in.

Read the rest of this entry »

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