(I had asked Ivan if we could make the boys playspace look more like a Waldorf Kindergarten and his reply to me totally without sarcasm was "you mean it doesn't already?")
Many Waldorf Kindergartens have these gorgeous lazured peachy pink walls, which sadly, even as forward thinking as Ivan is, he probably wouldn't allow me to do at home, especially in the dining room which is the boys primary play space. What is really striking for me is the use of natural materials as playthings and furniture. So we spent the weekend gathering wood scraps locally to outfit our playspace.
We brought home two of these redwood stumps from a site where there had been some tree removal.
The boys and I had a splendid time removing the bark from the tree. As much as I appreciate the aesthetic of leaving the bark on, redwood bark can be quite messy and houses some little guests that I don't necessarily want also residing inside our home. I used a hammer and a cold metal chisel to loosen the bark and the boys quite enjoyed ripping it off :). We ended up saving the bark that came off in big pieces as the boys wanted to use it for gnome homes.
After taking the bark off, I moved this massive piece of wood onto to our deck to do the sanding... I mention this only because the darn thing weighs over 80 pounds and I nearly threw out my back moving it! I spent a bit of time sanding the jagged surface and edges. The wood was actually still a bit "wet" from being recently cut and I didn't want some of the pieces hanging to dry and splinter. Matteo told me that he thought the grain looked like a rainbow :).
I have a bit more sanding to do and I'd like to put a finish it. A toymaker told me his trick of mixing flaxseed oil and beeswax, coating the wood object and then letting it sit in the sun covered with a black garbage bag for a few days to let the finish bake in. But for now, my Matteo was anxious to use the table for his own tree blocks building
Once it's done, I'll have Ivan move it indoors where I think it can be various things, like a nature table, play table, kids chair or even turn it upside down to be a teeter totter of sorts. I love that this was something free from nature and that it truly can be whatever we imagine it to be....
What are some of you and your childrens favorite natural toys?
Thanks for checking in on my work in progress! I'm hoping that I'll have something smaller (and significantly lighter!) to share next week!