Waldorf education sees learning as something to be experienced. A Waldorf educator is someone who understands human development and embraces the need to individually assess each child.  They encourage the child to learn through writing, reading, dance, music, etc. Unlike other educational systems, the lessons and curriculum are individually focused. Waldorf education allows for imagination, free thought, and exploration!

Rudolf  Steiner created this philosophy over 100 years ago.  He began using the arts in all of the academic disciplines.  Since then, the positive benefits of Waldorf education have been observed through children around the world.  

Sunbridge Education lists many great benefits of Waldorf Education: 

  • Unhurried learning
  • Age-appropriate and hands-on learning
  • In-depth studying
  • Children take an active role in their education
  • Children become well-rounded individuals
  • Children gain lifelong passion for learning
  • Mostly screen-free 
  • More relaxed environment
  • Creates motivated learners
  • Self-actualization

We believe, one of the most exciting experiences of Waldorf education is outdoor exploration. This is essential to their emotional, mental, and spiritual development. Playing outside builds their interest in science, gives opportunities for social interaction, allows for collaborative play, engages their physical bodies in exercise, helps them to sleep better, presents opportunities to take risks, supports STEM skills, and integrates them with the real world. 

While children are indoors, they will engage in a natural daily rhythm. They will breathe in stories and breath out adventures! With the guidance of their teacher, they can participate in play without major time constraints. Students that are a part of the Waldorf schools are given the great opportunity to facilitate their own learning experience. Being able to do so, helps guide them to a place of self-actualization.  This type of play based learning is beneficial to their emotional and spiritual development.  

Waldorf toys are simple, open-ended toys that promote creative and imaginative play. They are sustainable, made of natural materials, and if painted, painted with non-toxic paint.  They are much safer without toxic substances, such as BPA, PBC, and lead paint.  The quality of Waldorf toys allow for the toy to become heirloom and passed on to future generations.

Steiner was able to identify three stages in which children learned:
Stage 1: From birth to ages 6/7, empathy, experience and imitation were the primary ways in which children learn. The focus of their education should be immersed in real life experience like baking and cleaning and fostering their creativity and imaginative play.
Stage 2: Beginning at age 7, these children will focus on beginning to read, the arts, music, movement, and even foreign languages. Not only did they focus on reading and writing, but they began to draw their own meaning from their experiences.
Stage 3: Once the child reaches 13, they begin to focus on abstract thinking, making judgements, ethics, and their responsibility to their community.

The benefits of Waldorf approved toys include reduced anxiety, sensory development, language development, and increased cooperative play. The simplicity of these toys can reduce anxiety by not causing overstimulation. Due to lack of overstimulation, children can embrace creativity and imaginative play.  All of these benefits are essential to the young children developing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Waldorf recommended toys can be found at The Treehouse Toys. Our recommended favorites are: 

  • Stackable puzzles
  • Dress up clothes
  • Beeswax crayons
  • Rockers
  • Balancing toys and creative blocks
  • Wooden Vehicles
  • Toys the resemble and promote nature

Rudolf Steiner believed that in order for children to be properly educated, they needed to engage their head, heart, and hands. Children lucky enough to be educated in the Waldorf community, gain an educational experience that puts no limits on creativity and is in full support of their interests.  In support of this approach, studies show, Waldorf educated students tend to be highly sought after by universities and places of employment. These children grow to be trustworthy, host fresh perspectives, and are highly creative. The emotional, intellectual, and physical development of these young people are cultivated through each experience. This makes them essential to the community and positive contributors to society. 

If you have any questions about Waldorf approved toys, contact us by emailing nicole@thetreehouse.toys

At The Treehouse, we embrace learning.  That includes tips for imaginative play, tips for educational play, types of play, and how we as parents can positively encourage play in our homes. If you would like to learn more, join our email list below.

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