What Are Waldorf Toys?
At Babipur, we’ve been selling fair trade, ethical, eco toys made from sustainable wood and organic cotton since 2007 but we’ve recently been buzzing about Waldorf toys – but just what makes a toy a Waldorf toy?
Beautiful, sensory and natural
Essentially, Waldorf toys are not just eco toys that are good for the environment but are good for children too. Beautiful, tactile and warm, Waldorf toys appeal to the senses and call upon children to play with them. Unlike many toys in our throw-away culture, Waldorf toys are skilfully crafted from natural materials and are designed to last for future generations. Having been lovingly crafted from natural materials such as sustainable wood, organic cotton, wool and silk, Waldorf toys create a link between the children who play with them and the natural world. Due to the nature of the materials, they need to be treated with care and we think that learning how to take care of the things we own is an invaluable lesson for children.
Learning through imaginative play
Although beautiful to behold, Waldorf toys are usually simplistic – the lack of details allow children to fill in the blanks with their imaginations. They can be used in multiple ways in creative play scenarios, rather than being prescriptive. It is through this discovery of just how many ways one open-ended toy can be used that promotes creative play. Waldorf toys can also help foster independent and imitative play, with children acting out activities they see their parents do, such as cooking or caring for babies.
Waldorf Steiner education
Waldorf toys are inspired by the Waldorf Steiner education movement which advocates learning through thoughtful, creative play at an unhurried pace. Toys play an important part of the learning experience and parents don’t need to subscribe to the Steiner education model to appreciate the toys that have been inspired by the movement.
Step into the Babipur’s wonderful world of Waldorf toys
We sell a wide range of Waldorf inspired toys from various brands including Gluckskafer, Grimm’s Toys, Sarah’s Silks, Bajo, Sew Heart Felt and Keptin Jr. From stacking toys to natural dolls, wooden puzzles, wooden vehicles, curvy rocker boards, play silks, toy kitchens and wooden animals, Waldorf toys will delight children and enrich their play. Here are a few of our favourite Waldorf toys.If you’re looking for an iconic Waldorf toy, look no further than the range of wooden stacking toys and blocks by Grimm’s Toys including the iconic Grimm’s 12 piece rainbow stacker. These natural toys come in a range of shades and sizes, with a rainbow to suit every taste and budget.
The large 12-piece is a fabulous open-ended toy that will wow any child. Choose from soft pastel colours, rainbows, natural wood or monochrome and the blocks can be used in a myriad of ways – stack them up one on top of each other; lean them against one another and watch the rainbow click-clack into place; use as tunnels and bridges for cars and trains; make a cot for baby dolls; create a dolls’ house; use on a farm as animal shelters and fences; make your own ball run… the only limit is your imagination. The 12-Piece Rainbow is even big enough for small children to crawl through and can be spread out to make mermaid tails for their young owners. Steiner educators, nurseries and playgroups will love how this natural toy can be used throughout the day in numerous ways.
These rainbows are cut from a single block of lime wood and the features of the grain show through the water-based colour stain and can run through several different pieces. The sheer flexibility of this open-ended toy, combined with its beauty, craftsmanship and natural qualities mark this out as a Waldorf toy.
Waldorf dolls are typically made from natural fabrics – their bodies are usually made with soft cotton, stuffed with wool, with wool for hair and the most simple of facial expressions painted by hand. While a smiling plastic doll with a beaming smile must always look happy, a Waldorf doll with a simple, pared back appearance with only dots for eyes and the smallest hint of an expressionless mouth can take on whatever mood the child wishes for them.
We have a range of natural dolls from Grimm’s, Peppa and Keptin Jr that children will adore looking after and are perfect for inspiring imaginative and imitative play. Grimm’s soft Waldorf dolls are ideal if you’re looking for a Waldorf baby doll for an older child or a Waldorf baby toy for a new addition to the family. They’re soft and cuddly in their babygrows and nightcaps, made with natural fabrics and have beautifully simple faces. Suitable from birth.
Peppa fair trade Waldorf dolls are dressed in more grown-up clothing and children will love to get them dressed, practising the practical skills required for getting themselves ready in the mornings.
Here at Babipur we are extremely proud to be the first retailer to launch the Wobbelboard in the UK. The Wobbel Board is made from curved wood, but it is much more than curve! Wobbel Board is designed to promote both balance and creativity. Active play is essential for growing children and the Wobbel Board is great for playing with inside and outdoors. Turn it onto its rocker and rock from end to end, sitting or standing, developing core strength and balance, and walk from end to end. Turn it over and have a bridge for toy cars, trains and land yachts to travel under and over. It even makes a stylish seat for little bottoms. The Wobbel Board can bear a load of up to 100kg so can be enjoyed two children at a time, as well as mums and dads too. Made from natural beech plywood, this beautiful rocker board is stylish and wonderfully tactile too. Suitable for toddlers, kids, teens and parents too, this is a toy with heirloom qualities and promises a lifetime of enjoyment. Suitable from 18 months+.
Grimm’s land yachts are fabulous Waldorf toys that come in a pack of four, they are also available to buy individually at Babipur. They can be enjoyed on the floor with the whole family getting involved in races but can also be played with in the bath or at the beach, boating lake or pond, making for a fun sensory experience in the water.
Made with solid lime wood, these little boats and their peg doll sailors enjoy getting wet but must be dried out slowly and carefully, well away from direct heat which would cause the wood to split. Teaching children how to take care of their favourite toys is a key life lesson and the after-care required is just another way to encourage learning through play. The peg dolls can be removed and played with separately in numerous ways.
Holztiger wooden animals are iconic natural toys – made from solid wood that has been shaped and sanded down and naturally stained to create figures that are wonderfully smooth and tactile. Like Waldorf dolls, they are beautiful but simple with details that are never overstated, allowing children to continue moulding them with their imaginations as they play. Whether building a themed collection of farm, wild or woodland animals, or creating a fabulously higgledy-piggledy set, Holztiger animals will encourage communication and nurturing skills as children imitate animal noises and look after their animals – taking them to water, providing food, a bed and animal friends to play with.
Plan Toys are a super eco toy brand and their educational toys appeal to parents who are looking for toys that encourage learning through play. We especially love their toys that are designed to be played with in water. We have a huge selection of natural rubber and wooden BPA free bath toys at Babipur.
The Plan Toys wagon is also a firm favourite of ours, check out Rhys above – he’s had lots of fun collecting apples!
Wooden Toy building blocks are great natural toys and this set will be at home in a Waldorf play room. Haba blocks are smooth and tactile and made from solid wood and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These natural blocks can of course be used to build towers, towns and other imaginative forms but they’re also great in a play kitchen as ingredients, as tools for counting and doing sums, making dolls’ house furniture and a whole lot else besides. They are also great for extending and building onto the marble runs. Wooden toy blocks will bring years of enjoyment to your children before being passed on to the next generation.
Encourage a connection to the natural world with this incredible natural wooden kitchen. Made from alder wood and left unpainted to show off the rich grain, this beautifully crafted toy kitchen is stunning. It has a sink, oven, hob, shelving and hooks for utensils – everything children need to get cooking, just like mum and dad. Simple, beautiful, tactile and encouraging imitative play and learning through play, this kitchen is a fantastic Waldorf toy that will be loved by your children and grandchildren. Suitable from 3 years+.