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Archive for July 21st, 2006

Toys, Toys, Toys!!

When it comes to toys…Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight, hit it right on the mark with her wonderful post Nature Play and Stories and More About Tree Blocks.  There is nothing like the look and feel of wood toys and toys made from natural fibers or toys made from love.

Julie’s Stuff  is one of my favorite places to shop.. (or just press my nose up to the window most days…haha)  The wooden toys are great and the baby dolls are so lovely!  The baby spent so many hours snuggling her blanket doll and our little 3yo boy wanted his own baby sooo bad last year and we gave him the Gotz boy doll….He is made so well and looks so real!  He is a regular member of our household! 

When it comes to gift-giving, we would rather one or  two meaningful well made things than a whole bunch of STUFF that just takes up space and is not used.  STUFF just clutters our lives and gets in the way of real creative play.  We only have so much time, so why spend our precious time chained to maintaining all the parts to our STUFF?  I would rather place our toys of love on the shelves and back on the beds and get on to playing and loving with the kids!

Folkmanistiger1k_1Folkmanis puppets have been favorites around here for years…the little finger puppets are great gifts for the tiny ones in your life and if you have an animal enthusiast, they have the BEST large puppets…just ask dh…we gave him the large tiger for his birthday one year.  It was a consolation present, because you see….he wants a REAL one….sorry, hun! ..but you know something??… I think that tiger really IS REAL!!  It has such a great personality, as far as tigers go ;o)  They must be made with love as we have spent many wonderful family hours with them!

Max80040 The children never tire of the wood toys…the wooden trains, the building blocks, tinker toys, Lincoln logs, and our Fortress with the catapult with the "night-night bombs"(large pompoms).    They use these toys daily.  They SOUND great…they FEEL great…they INSPIRE great play!  So many of the other electronic gadgets and such go unused for so long that the kids forget we have them.  After a little while with these kind of toys, the kids tire of the toys playing FOR them…they want to exercise CREATIVITY!  These toys can be used in so many creative ways… So whether the theme of the day is Robin Hood, Little House and Pioneer living, the Wild West, or Knights in Shining Armor…you cant beat the creative play and the stretchability of these toys to span the ages and engage kids of alllllll ages! 

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Cleaning and de-clutering is my primary focus as of late.  I am restructuring this old house for creativity!  It is so hard to be productive, much less creative in a cluttered space or in an area where it is hard to find things because they have no place.   I want the house to be as user-friendly as possible when we are "doing school".  I want to have all my supplies lined up and ready to go…I want to be able to find alll the pieces we have..and purchase the ones that we don’t.  I need to lock up some of the messier items to prohibit toddler distruction, but when the cabinet is open…we will be ready for business!!   I was so busy focussing on Science, History, Math, Geography and Language that I never gave much thought to art….well, until today…busy, busy, busy!…the GOOD kind!

Rita_mala_stockmar_mainpicArt is a wonderful experience for both kids and mom…and a wonderful way to be creative!!  Creativity is God’s wonderful gift to us.  I don’t want my younger children to miss out on any of the wonderful art experiences that the older children and I shared together!  We had some great times using  some of the great art supplies that are seen in many of the Waldorf schools.  Once you use real beeswax crayons, like Stockmar, you will never want to use anything else!  We usually blend our school subjects into art projects as well…and it is so nice to have those items on hand.   It is time for us to restock!
Oooh!  I can’t forget to mention some  of our favorite books!  Including:
Science Arts
Math Arts
Discovering Great Artists
…and so many more! We love the MaryAnn Kohl books!  You can get supplies for many of these projects here at Discount School Supply! (don’t forget to check out all of their great discounted products including sturdy playground toys!!)

So I am preparing.   My great source of inspiration to get it all together is Elizabeth Foss’ great post on The Art Box.  Go ahead and pay her a visit!  You will be INSPIRED!!

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