As renowned child psychologist Jean Piaget said “play is the work of children.” So what better way to play than by using the Waldorf philosophy of head, heart, and hands. With the holiday season quickly approaching, we have compiled a list of the best Waldorf toys this year, from natural toys, nature toys, and everyone’s favorite; wooden animals! All to foster play and creative open ended work for your child.
Best Waldorf Toys for Toddlers
Although these years are short, a toddler’s mind is soaking in all kinds of new information each day. Simple, organic materials can still spark curiosity and fun, without taking away from the work of play. Discovery, and cause and effect toys, are the perfect stepping stones into their journey.
figurines. This German based company adheres to strict EU safety testing standards, using native hardwoods and non toxic stains and paints. What child doesn't want a whole zoo full of these handcrafted critters?
I am a firm believer in that wooden blocks never go out of style. There is no figuring it out, no learning how to play with it, blocks and can be anything in a child’s hand. Uncle Goose’s Wooden Blocks are functional, but also lovely to look at. They are handmade in Michigan with sustainable wood, they third party test their inks, and pride themselves on their desire to go way above any safety requirements. Their classic letters are standard but I am really loving their specialty blocks too, featuring different languages and even American Sign Language blocks
A musical gift with soft acoustics, parents rejoice! This set of rainbow wooden eggs from Haba is specifically crafted with sensitive ears in mind. Each rainbow egg creates a different pleasant noise, perfectly sized for small hands. Suitable for younger toddlers with its nontoxic water based paints. HABA has been a staple brand in many Montessori classrooms for years, and its musical eggs are a promised hit for even older kids.
Best Waldorf Toys for Preschool Age
Here are some natural toys and products made for children to decide the narrative. Imaginative, whimsical toys and dress up items, so your child can keep on playing and exploring to their wildest dreams.
Dreaming of spring and stunning colors? Jack Be Nimble has you covered! These hand painted and sewn wings are made in the USA, in a small woman-owned business. These soft wings are fitted with comfy wide straps, able to fit over coats for fun outdoor pretend play even in the chiller months. With over 15 styles to choose from, these wings make the perfect addition to any child’s dress up wardrobe.
If you only buy one doll for this year, let it be one of these. These dolls are hand crafted into a fantasy fashion that definitely sparks imagination. Each style is unique with textiles ranging from linen, cotton, mohair, all hand sewn with care. From pixies, to unicorns, to mermaids, there is something for everyone, child or adult alike.
Best Waldorf Toys for Older Kids
Here we have compiled a mix of hands on play, and handicrafts, to inspire and challenge our children. Now they are old enough to explore independently, or collaborate with mom & dad for impressive and artfully made pieces.Wooden Fairy Treehouse
I would be lying if I said as an adult I didn’t crave my own treehouse just like this one! This magical wooden fairy treehouse toy from Bella Luna Toys, is brimming with enchanted parts and adornments everywhere you look. Made of a a variety of high quality hardwoods and finished with a non toxic linseed oil, so you can feel confident of its longevity as a parent. I think making some wooden peg dolls would be a great addition and activity alongside this treehouse.Flower Paper Making Kit
Or a kid who appreciates process art? This flower paper making kit is a great choice for incorporating art and bespoke cards this holiday season. By fostering a new craft or hobby, you could open a great medium for you to share together, and look forward to foraging flowers and plants this spring for your gorgeous handmade paper.Wooden Peg Loom
Looms and fibers have made a big comeback in the last few years. Watch your child feel pride and joy in creating a handmade work of art. Slanted rugged pegs, and a large needle make it easier for small hands to maneuver. This loom from Harrisville Design is a “Oppenheim Toy Portfoilo Gold Seal'' winner.
Choosing thoughtfully created and made toys is a great way to create a fun environment for children, without the chaos of “too much.” Traditional and natural toys offer an easier way to stimulate cognitive development and creative energy. After all, play is a brain building activity!