Our interest in homemade toys naturally follows our desire to teach homesteading values! Isn't something much more meaningful when you made it yourself? Why miss a great learning opportunity?
We also encourage homemade gifts, so these are great ideas about what to make for each other for holidays and birthdays.
Here's some of the things we've made so far and really like.
I'll add more projects as we complete them. I would love to hear about the interesting toys you make, too.
There's a BIG project underway right now, we're so excited! We have built our own 4 level wooden gnome home.
The levels are made of purchased and cut wood, but the maple branches are from a limb that fell off a tree at my grandmother's house. They were sawed into sections then screwed on to look like continuous pieces again. More maple wood slices make the stairways, which are tacked together and slightly moveable.
We made a ladder to connect the upper levels, and we have supplies for building a rope bridge to connect the top two pieces. We'll have more photos as we finish it up and add homemade dollhouse furniture and seasonal decorations.
The plan is to use some of those extra branches that are sticking out as places to hang seasonal flags we make and other holiday decorations.
And who lives in this big beautiful house?
We chose colors of wool felt, wool yarn hair, and cotton embroidery floss to dress our gnome family of wooden peg dolls.
The wood makes them feel solid and sturdy. The wool adds some softness in case they are dropped. It also holds warmth and makes the dolls a pleasure to hold and use.
In the Waldorf tradition, faces are left blank or decorated at the bare minimum so you can imagine whatever expression.
We'll be doing lots of play with gnomes and homemade toys for our two years of homeschooling Waldorf kindergarten!
Please keep in touch so you can see when I share more photos. This project was inspired by the beautiful work and tutorials for a gnome home and accessories at Wee Folk Art.
Teaching our children how to make their own toys is part of the self-reliant mindset we want to cultivate.