Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Waldorf-Inspired Natural Christmas Ornaments

This year I'm making more ornaments that are all-natural and more aligned with the Waldorf philosophy which I follow in part when I homeschool my daughters.

Some of the ornaments I am keeping for the Christmas tree and the girls to enjoy. Others I am giving as gifts, swapping, or selling. My Etsy shop has some ornaments that are available.

Why do I spend the time and create natural Christmas ornaments? Why do I make natural toys? I found an interesting article about the philosophy behind Waldorf-inspired toys that sums up how I feel about natural toys and decorations.

Generally, Waldorf toys are:

- Made of natural materials. Waldorf toys have simplicity of design. Constructed of wood, fabrics, beeswax, or items from nature, children fill in the blanks with their own minds. Children enjoy the smell, the sight, and the texture of these toys.

- Open-ended and unstructured. Children do not need to be taught how to play with Waldorf toys. Playtime is kept unstructured. Children are led in play by their own minds and thought processes. Toys are meant to inspire children’s imagination, not to stifle or limit their creativity.

- Multi-purpose and versatile. Toys in Waldorf homes grow with the child. Consider blocks as an example. Babies play with the blocks by banging them together and exploring them with their senses. Young toddlers delight in stacking the blocks in a tower and knocking them over. Older preschoolers use their imagination to create buildings or design patterns from the shapes. These toys offer a longevity of use and duality of play.

- Lacking of commercialism. Unlike the common result of modern children’s toys, the Waldorf philosophy emphasizes that less is more. Parents are discouraged from rushing out and “buying it all.” The belief that with just a few quality toys, children will naturally push their imaginations to create greater meaning and purpose.

These four reasons are plenty of reasons for creating a Christmas tree filled with Waldorf-inspired natural Christmas ornaments, and I'm excited to see my daughters' reactions as they enjoy these new ornaments on the tree this year.

1 comment:

mamazee said...

Love the little sheep and the philosophy...