Though the most appropriate toy for children is as formed as little as possible (think sticks, tree stumps, branches, etc.) sometimes we want to get something a little special for our little ones. There are some lovely little wooden toys out there that make simply beautiful gifts.
Puzzles are often turned to by grandparents and well-meaning family members when Waldorf families request wooden toys. Wooden puzzles are easily found and they appeal to relatives’ desire to cultivate thinking in our children. In truth, though, puzzles are just the kind of limiting, round-peg-round-hole kind of toy that can stifle the imagination.
Why am I recommending a puzzle, then? I just love this puzzle. First of all, the pieces make sense. You’re not looking at a cat broken up into different pieces (Ewww.). The cats in the tree puzzle is about as holistic as a puzzle can get. Second, the pieces can be played with separately. They can be transformed into imaginative toys. Perfect! A Child’s Dream Come True carries several different versions of this type of puzzle.
Ostheimer figures are just my favorite. They are simply beautiful and truly encourage imaginative play. They’re not cheap, but if you build up a collection over time (a new figure for every birthday and Christmas) you’ll have quite a collection before you know it. Definitely worth the investment.
Tree blocks are an absolute essential. You can easily make them yourself and put your little ones to work sanding and rubbing with beeswax, but if you feel like you don’t have the know how, this is a beautiful set that is well-worth it’s $29 cost.