Friday, July 1, 2011

Our steiner inspired play space

I have taken a few pictures of our play area before, however I thought I would show you in a little more detail. I took these photos while the girls were in the bath last night  (supervised by Dad) so the lighting is not great. 
However you get the idea. 

I will start by saying I am not an expert on Steiner Philosophy. 
A great resource for new parents or those interested in a practical resource on Steiner thinking and raising children is  "You are your child's first teacher
However from what I have read and learnt from others...

here is our play space

Standing dolls
homemade felt balls (I use wool fleece around little plastic cat balls with bells
Felt and wooden animals - I continually rotate these, putting some away and bring out others as I find too many means none get played with

Dolly items....any unfinished knitting pieces? 
cast off and children will use them for so many thing

The little yellow piece was knitted by my grandma. She helped me thread the coloured thread and stitch on a button when I was about 5 years old... my little one loves wrapping it around the standing dolls or the bigger dolls like a cape

Wood phone made by the very talented Carla de Jong

Wooden bowl I found at a second hand shop with pinecones, shells and seed pods thanks to Mother Nature. 

wooden stove/ cooking area - this is one of the most used areas (probably because I spend the majority of my day in the kitchen also!) 
The kettle was found at a garage sale, the little metal cups are from a homeware shop, the little wooden spoons are eco disposable cutlery, empty baking powder tins are a favourite too...all very accessible and affordable items.

This gorgeous little stove also made by Carla ....we love local, handmade toys :)

Felt fruit - my girl loves putting these little things in and out of the pots and cups

this lovely treehouse was also made by Carla de Jong

a rocking horse 

A table with some beeswax crayon blocks ready to draw

A basket full of silks and muslin cloths....these are loved for peekaboo through the day. 
For the bigger girls, they are capes, wraps for the babies, a cubby house...the list goes on

A little cradle and high chair for the dolls....we cover them with a blue cloth at the end of the day so that they drift into a dreamy sleep

To me, our play space is gentle and warm, 
it is close by to where I spend my day, 
the toys are inviting and all made of natural materials, 
the toys each have a home,
 we pack them away at the end of the day together, 
our toys enable her to act out and process all that she is
 experiencing and seeing in her daily life. 

Even when I am 'consumed' in daily chores I am conscious that she is watching me and the way in which I work. 

I try to take care with everything I do 
the young child is always observing and learning from us

I feel that I have made a good impression when my little girl frequently runs off to collect the broom in the corner to sweep the floor after she has eaten 
(especially as it is not my most favourite chore).

Another thing I feel is very important is allowing her to explore our house & garden. Obviously there are risks associated with a toddler being given free rein. I am very cautious to always keep her within my sight, and at the same time allowing her some time on her own to explore.

In the kitchen anything dangerous is out of reach and I do have a homemade contraption locking the cupboard under the sink (although as you all know by now, there are no chemicals there....nor anywhere here!) however other than this, she is free to open the drawers and cupboards...which she often utilises and I have to take a deep breathe as my cupboard contents are laid across the floor. 

I have a drawer in the kitchen with her name. 
In the drawer is her bowls, cups, bibs, washers, tissues and some snacks (nuts / sultanas etc). 

I find it amazing that at only 15 months old, she will go to her drawer and get a tissue and wipe her nose, sometimes it is needing to be wiped, other times I just wiped mine and other times she is probably just practising/ imitating others. 

She will collect a little pot from her drawer and walk over the freezer every evening when I begin cooking dinner and (squeek) that she would like me to open the door.....because it is frozen pea time! (and yes they MUST be frozen otherwise they are not eaten).  
Rhythm is just so important for a young child.....more on that another time.

To me, these everyday objects and being able to access these everyday things, are as much a part of her play as "conventional toys"

I hope you have enjoyed reading....a little lengthy, I kind of go on a bit.


  1. Just wonderful, really beautiful. cheers Marie

  2. Beautiful space... frozen peas are a favourite in this house too!

  3. So beautiful. I wish I'd had such lovely things t play with as a child .What a lucky girl! xo m.

  4. I had to giggle at the frozen peas... very much loved here! eaten like candy!


Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you and will respond to any questions in the comments sections. Natalie

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