So, rather a long time ago, I wrote a post about Waldorf toys. How I love and value the open-ended properties of simple natural playthings. And already, even then, I knew that some day compromises of some sort would come. What I didn't know then is how very joyful those compromises would be, and how easy it would be to say "yes" to something that I categorically didn't like but would find endless joy in through the eyes of a child. :)
My second child is now the age my first child was when I wrote that lot of shoulds and oughts. You may have noticed I've chucked out a lot of answers I thought I had, along with some of the hard edges of judgement and expertise (I hope). So here's a re-write of sorts.
The foundation of our playthings are still collected nature (pine cones, shells, stones, sticks), wooden stacking arches, naturally shaped wooden blocks and geometric blocks, play silks, and simple animal and people figures.
Those are the things that are played with every day, and that I would recommend as a basic kit for creative play. Also Lego, still a regular fixture. But other things to. The things that spoke to these kidlets of mine, and which we bought over the last year or so as and when they asked (and as and when we saw things we knew they would love).
I don't appeal to my personal dislike of plastic or my own choices about protecting the environment any more to refuse to buy the plastic toys my children love. They have genuine choices, with the money that I treat as belonging to all of us equally. I don't consider what I allow or don't allow all that much any more at all. I choose generosity, and saying yes. I want to follow the joy.
So, we have Moshi Monsters, and My Little Ponies, and Sylvanians, and Octonauts (I joke that those Sylvanians were the gateway drug). And they live in baskets with our Waldorf-sanctioned wooden toys. And it is all good.