Parenting, Sunday With Sarah, Toddlers, Waldorf Education, Waldorf Toys

Sarah Answers Your Questions: Toddlers, Toys & Teaching


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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  • Reply Mama Songbird March 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you for another great segment, Sarah! I’m enrolled in a Foundation Studies/Teacher Training in Ghent, NY and it truly is life-changing self-education! Thanks for answering my question!

    • Reply Sarah Baldwin March 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Lucky you, Michelle! So enriching, isn’t it?

  • Reply Kiya March 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks again for your time and wonderful words of advice!

  • Reply Maggie March 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Dear Sarah, Thank you so much for another really nice video! I feel posting your videos on a Sunday so appropriate, because they are (you are!) so calming.

    About unwanted toys: When my son was 3, he received a small computer from an extended family member (who did not know our parenting philosophy well). My son was really impressed with all the buttons, music, the screen,… my husband and I were so so annoyed by it. The day after his birthday party, I put the computer away before he woke up. A couple days later, my son asked for the computer. I said “sure, wait for me, I’ll go get it for you”. As soon as he was done with it, I would put it back without him seeing where it was. And that’s what we did, until he forgot about it. We still have it… because I don’t where it is now so I can’t put it in the trash!

    You mentionned in your video doing a post just on unwanted toys. May I suggest a post on pressure/influence from extended family and neighbors on toys, but also on our media free home, sugar, the importance we put on simplicity (e.g. our birthday parties are not what most families are used to. Grandmothers think I am depriving my children…), and rythm, etc. My son is now six, and attends regular public school (no Waldorf schools nearby). There are things I let go of (and I’m totally fine with not being 100% Waldorf), but I struggle with how much I should let go and still be who I want to be, and the ways I want to raise my children. Even when my son attended a Waldorf preschool (we lived in a different city then), I was still struggling with the influence of some neighbors. Anyway, would love to get your words of advice on such hot topic!

  • Reply T. March 5, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    So great. I love the practical ideas. Just today I was going through toys and feeling like we just drown in plastic. I am inspired to get together at least a few bags for Goodwill! :)

  • Reply Emily March 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you so much for you weekly videos! Our family began our Waldorf journey about a year ago when our children were one and two. I’ve been trying to read as many books on Waldorf education as time will allow, but I haven’t been able to find any resources for listening to some of the songs that would be helpful in our daily rhythm. I’m not a particularly musical person, so being able to hear someone else sing them before I begin to attempt them would be very helpful. Do you know of any videos online or websites that would help with this? It is something you could cover in a Sunday session? Additionally, as we are entering the “pre-school” age years I want to provide as rich of a home environment for my kids as I can – for a variety of reasons will we not be able to send our kids to a Waldorf school. From a home schooling perspective do you find it helpful to include elements like “circle time” at home or in the early years is it really just about learning through life – cooking, cleaning, crafting, observing us involved in real work and including our kids as much as possible? Again, thank you so much for you weekly sessions!

    • Reply Mama Songbird March 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Emily, You should definitely get yourself a few of the books by Mary Thienes Schunemann. They come with a CD of Mary’s beautiful voice singing the songs, and the melodies are very easy to learn and quite appropriate for early childhood. I am a classically trained vocalist and also a music educator, now on the path to becoming a Waldorf Early Childhood teacher, and I really cannot speak highly enough about these books. “This is the Way We Wash a Day” is wonderful for songs for your rhythm with chores and household tasks, and “Sing a Song of Seasons” offers great songs for Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn.

      • Reply Sarah Baldwin March 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

        Yes, Emily, I agree wholeheartedly with Michelle. The Mary Thienes Schunemann books are priceless. They have been on my list of products to add at Bella Luna Toys for a long time. I am happy to say, that they will be available shortly!

        • Reply Emily March 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm

          Thank you so much! I will look into the books right away!

  • Reply Christie Jones Ray March 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Dear Sarah…
    I am enjoying my “day off” from tending to our 2 year old granddaughter who has come to live with us for an undetermined amount of time. How thankful I am to come upon, first your lovely shop, and now your blog…and your video post is so timely! I have just begun my Waldorf research, and as a former public middle school educator, with my focus having been early childhood education, I am impressed. I am also giving myself just a little pat on the back for establishing an environment here in our little victorian cottage in Franklin, Tennessee…very much along the lines of a Waldorf preschool classroom. Wooden blocks, puzzles, birds nests, eggs, pussywillow branches in her room and soothing music playing. I will be following you for support and encouragement and ideas…and am so thrilled to find we live 20 minutes away from the Linden Waldorf School! I will be scheduling a time to visit, there in the near future. Any thoughts or advice is most welcome:)
    Many many thanks for your inspiration!

  • Reply Kelly March 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you so much for answering my question! I am looking into it now and cannot be more sure of my decision to start. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply Victoria March 25, 2013 at 12:04 am

    We love Lorraine Nelson Wolf’s CDs – come follow me volumes 1&2. I found them easier to listen to and understand. We make up simple songs and also like Shea Darien’s Seven Times the Sun cd.

    I also wanted to share one of our successful distractions. I lay a towel on the table and give my little guy a large baking tray filled with flour. He loves to play with construction vehicles in it (plan toys and some vintage metal matchbox). Some days it gets a bit messy to clean up and change his clothes, but I can usually get at least 45 min to get something done
    Oats, dried beans, sand and cornmeal work too, and he likes the variety.

    Hope this helps some of you!
    I love all your suggestions, Sarah!

  • Reply Emily S. April 12, 2013 at 3:20 am

    With 5 kids the issue of unwanted birthday presents has long been a challenge for me. As my kids outgrew the ‘disappearing’ approach I’ve simply added ‘Please forgo gifts. We’re just excited for your company!’ to the other info on invitations. And who isn’t happy to have one less present to run out and get? I’ve been amazed by the colorful, and thoughtful homemade cards and drawings we’ve received. My birthday kiddo is also freed from the gluttony that can overshadow such a fun and special day.
    Sarah your videos are like a cool drink of water. Thank you for taking the time!

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