One look at our children’s play room will tell you how much I love natural toys. Wood, felt, subtle colors, handmade objects, found tree branches, soft dolls and floaty hand-dyed silks are what fill the woven baskets where we play. It’s pretty standard fare for a Waldorf family but often people come to our house are quite fascinated by what they see.
My attraction to these types of toys and materials began when I started RIE classes with Hari Grebler. She infuses her studio in Santa Monica with natural toys, similar to a Waldorf environment. I began to notice how relaxed I felt in there. Without plastic toys, commercial logos, garish primary colors, and annoying bells & whistles, I could hear myself and see my children clearly. It was peaceful and soothing and the quality of the items was tangible. I could also see that my children were very content and fascinated by these simple objects; they could entertain themselves for sustained periods of time and as they grew, those objects took on many roles and characteristics in their play. They really needed nothing more than their own imaginations, which were flourishing before my eyes.