I had THE MOST FUN recording this episode with Meagan Wilson of Wholefamilyrhythms.com. Meagan is amazing, it's my third time having her on the show and she has so much wisdom to share it's always a true pleasure to have her.
For those of you who are not familiar with her, Meagan is the founder and educator behind Whole Family Rhythms. She is mother to four beautiful souls and a grateful and loving wife to Brad. After living ten years in Sydney, Australia they have recently put down new roots in the Canadian countryside just outside of Toronto.
After the birth of her first child, she developed an interest in play-based learning, natural parenting and Waldorf Education and went on to complete her Foundations in Steiner Education and Anthroposophy at Sydney Steiner College. In 2017, under the direction of Kim John Payne and Davina Muse, she received her certification as a simplicity parenting family life coach. She is currently studying to receive a certificate in Waldorf Early Childhood Education at the Toronto Steiner Center.
Meagan began to document her journey as a Mama to young children on her blog almost ten years ago. At Wholefamilyrhythms.com Meagan offers a range of digital guides, courses and one-on-one coaching to support parents in their striving towards a more holistic and conscious way of parenting. On her website she hopes to connect holistic parents with each other and parenting experts from around the globe.
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In this episode Meagan and I discuss all things relating to Waldorf toys and books.
Meagan has an incredible wealth of knowledge about all things Waldorf. At the onset of this episode we discuss the most basic question, "What is a Waldorf toy?". She elaborates by bringing in a quote of Rudolf Stiener's (the founder of Waldorf education) touching on how it's desirable for toys to not be fully formed. If you've ever seen a Waldorf doll, which often will just have eyes or eyes and a mouth, you'll know what we're talking about. In his time, dolls were often made of porcelain. These dolls were often dressed ornately and had all the features of their face painted on. Steiner observed that when a child has a simple doll made of something like cloth, without every little feature depicted on it's face allowed the child to imagine the dolls face, it allowed the child to fill in what the doll would be experiencing and feeling. In a material like cloth, or even a corn husk doll, there's more of a sense of warmth and softness, where as porcelain or today's plastics feel cold and simply aren't as cuddly.
We also tackle the big question of why Waldorf toys are almost all made of many natural materials. There are a few reasons for this. Natural materials are beautiful and it's a good thing to surround young children with natural beauty. Also natural materials give a warm and inviting feel. Natural materials like wool, wood and silk, also make great open ended toys. I also answer this question more in depth in my post, "Why Is Everything Natural In A Waldorf Classroom?". If you want to learn more.
In much of this episode Meagan and I talk about our own personal experience with Waldorf toys from our perspective as parents and my experience having been a Waldorf kid. We talk about which toys see the most play and which do not. We also touch what toys are best suited for the different stages of childhood play. As always I love having Meagan as a guest and I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording with her!
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I strongly recommend you check out Meagan's website, wholefamilyrhythms.com. She has some really amazing resources there.
Meagan's Whole Family Rhythms Toddler Board Book recommendations. She has many great book lists on her site including Waldorf and nature inspried seasonal book lists for children.
Meagan's article, "When It Comes To Toys, Less Is More".
Meagan's article, "Simple Preparations For Meaningful Gift Giving."