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Toys, A Crunchy Perspective

10.02.09 Toys, A Crunchy Perspective

With the holidays coming up, it seems an appropriate time to discuss the crunchy parent’s toy philosophy. As a not QUITE crunchy parent, I spend a lot of time with crunchy parents learning from them and admiring their conviction.

My crunchy parent friends have homes carefully filled with beautiful, often handmade, toys made of natural materials, primarily wood. Most eschew plastic and electronic toys and veer away from licensed products. Truly crunchy homes seem to have very few toys out at a time and use the “rotation into the closet” method with vigor. That’s one of the really appealing parts of being crunchy, not tripping over toys in every room of the house.

Though we NQC types hide away the plastic toys when our crunchy friends come to call, I’m fairly certain many of my friends simply don’t have any. They have classic, Waldorf inspired or Montessori toys.

Perhaps the easiest to find are classic toys, which have made a comeback of sorts in the past few years driven by nostalgia as well as a yearning for simpler times. Wooden food toys, Dolls, that are well, just dolls, not electronic playthings and building blocks are all back in vogue with niches on both ends of the parenting spectrum. Many of these toys, like the ones mentioned, fit in with the crunchy, natural living lifestyle.

The real plus to these types of toys is longevity. Most of these toys are really well made. Nothing beats wood for sturdiness. Waldorf toys, with their focus on open-ended play morph into new play toys as the child grows. Good in that you do not have to constantly buy new toys; bad in that you rarely can give anything away. On the other hand, they will still be in good shape and in style when your grandchildren come along!

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