Learning through play – Rudolf Steiner

Custom Formed doll

‘To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached as well as the mind’. Rudolf Steiner 

A Steiner education aims to develop a lifelong love of learning, building resilience from an early age through connected, stable and loving relationships in everyday life. A child’s sense of belonging is born through participating in life at home and school, observing and playing.

Imagination is the heart of play, to be fully absorbed and completely present in the moment is the pure joy of childhood.

‘If the child has been able in his play to give up his whole being to the world around him, he will be able, in the serious tasks of later life, to devote himself with confidence and power to the service of the world’. RS

Steiner toys are naturally simple to allow the child to decide its purpose and role in the play. The inclusion of more detailed toys might be introduced around 3-4years old with the addition of handmade wooden and felt animals, cloth dolls and other small world play items. The inclusion of everyday ‘house work’ items are also very engaging and purposeful for children who are constantly observing ‘work’ by adults around them. Small brooms and dustpans, shelving with baskets, plates, bowls, pots and pans, trays and spoons invite imitation and role play. Steiner dolls with boxes and cloths as cradles extend homelife play with elements of caring and nurturing, developing compassion and empathy.

‘Receive the child in reverence, educate them in love and send them forth in freedom’. RS

Our handmade Steiner dolls are made in the Waldorf style with gentle features and natural fibres. Our formed dolls for older children are fully dressed and can be made in likeness of your own child. A doll is a special friend that will hold a close bond with your child as they share adventures, stories, joys and hurts.

Formed Waldorf Dolls

Creating a nurturing natural play space in the early years is fundamental  to a natural childhood and ideally should include some or all of the following: natural materials, handmade toys, a garden and animals to care for, time to cook, play and craft, time in nature, opportunities to share and socialise. All these things build strong foundations of connection for more formal learning to build on.

‘Our highest endeavour must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education’. RS

Play

‘Where is the book in which the teacher can read about what teaching is? The children themselves are this book, we should not learn to teach out of any book other than the one lying before us and consisting of the children themselves’. RS