I am starting a Waldorf Parent-Toddler Group that will be meeting weekly.

I know that Christian hardly qualifies as a toddler, but I see it as a part of my own Waldorf education – and the building of a network of like-minded families for us. And a weekly playgroup of gentle singing and imaginative play will nurture Christian, even as an observer (at first), and the information is also helping to direct my many choices as a parent. There was interest in my attachment parenting group and I am using that interest as an impetus to rediscover Waldorf philosophies.

In my efforts to get informed, I have been meeting with early education Waldorf teacher Devana Came, who will be teaching a pre-school and hosting a parent-toddler group from her home in Corona starting in the fall of 2009. (If you are interested in that, you can contact her directly at soblessedby3@verizon.net) She has been a wonderfully generous support. In fact, we’ve only met twice, but I feel as though I’ve been through some kind of intensive Waldorf training!

The playgroup will follow the format that she uses (as closely as we can manage) and I posted those notes here.

And while her classroom is still under construction (the walls will be painted in washes of watercolor and the floor will be bamboo – everything is green in this room), she let me take a few pictures. You’ll get the idea of what a sweet, imaginative place space this will be with all its wooden, open-ended toys.

If I had the means, I would create a room identical to this for Christian. In fact, I am going to start making and collecting as many of the things pictured as possible (as Devana has).

A classic Waldorf playspace - covered with a rainbow silk. I think the stands can be made easily.

A classic Waldorf playspace - covered with a rainbow silk. I think the stands can be made easily.

Each toy has its own space, and many are ojects like seashells and pine cones collected from nature. The bottom two baskets are filled with blocks made from sections of treetrunks and branches.

Each toy has its own space, and many are objects like seashells and pine cones collected from nature. The bottom two baskets are filled with blocks made from sections of tree trunks and branches. Another basket is filled with silks and another with simply carved wooden animals and figures.

Another basket is filled with trees and wooden houses and buildings. Devana made most of these trees herself by tracing one that she had purchased!

Another basket is filled with trees and wooden houses and buildings. Devana made most of these trees herself by tracing one that she had purchased!

Devana and her husband made this beautiful play kitchen. Ive seen (and coveted) kitchens like this one for $350. I have got to learn how to use a saw...

Devana and her husband made this beautiful play kitchen. I've seen (and coveted) kitchens like this one for $350. I have got to learn how to use a saw...

Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery while I was shooting these pics, but I want to mention a  toy that made an impression on me. It was a heavy wooden block in the shape of a house or a building, with just the barest dark smudges for windows and doors. There were no straight lines or right angles (in the anthroposophical way), and the wood itself had a lovely heft and fit perfectly in the hand. It was a lovely object, handmade and completely unique. It made me want to hunker down and surround it with a little play forest – it was incredibe how much I could feel my imagination being ignited. And that house had belonged to Devana’s mother as a child!

P.S. Here is a glimpse of the beautiful finished classroom.

P.P.S. Click here to read my Waldorf Toddler/Parent Playgroup Framework.

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