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March 01, 2024

Using a Waldorf Playstand in our Montessori Home

It's no secret that I love play silks in my Montessori home. I mean we really love them. They are used nearly every day around here for some sort of pretend play by all of my kids. Capes and forts, dress up and small world play - you name it, they have probably done it with a play silk. Even in our home, firmly rooted in Montessori, we have found that the Waldorf magic just creeps in and brings their play to the next level. 

But, when Sarah's Silks approached me with the idea of trying a Waldorf Playstand, I hesitated a little bit. Would we really need such a large piece of furniture geared toward pretend play? Would it really see that much use? Ultimately, I decided to give it a try and gave it to Penelope for her second birthday. 

Waldorf Playstands and Montessori Play

And once we added the Waldorf playstand to our home, a magical thing happened. Play exploded. And, I'm not just talking about my toddler, but with each of my kids. Suddenly my kids are in Penelope's room all the time playing, pretending and really enjoying their time together. My bigs are past the age of really playing pretend like this but there is something about the playstand that is pulling them together. 

For my little kids, the playstands are everything - they have been a house, a store, a car repair shop, a doctor's office, and a coffee shop. They can easily lift the play silk up to create a window, or pull it down to have a roof. I love the flexibility of the play and that the children can really take it in any direction that they want. 

And, this shouldn't surprise me, we know that beauty attracts children. Maria Montessori was very clear about that. When we create environments that invite our children to activity, we see more independence, play, concentration, and learning. As Maria Montessori said, "it is almost possible to say that there is a mathematical relationship between the beauty  of his surroundings and the activity of the child; he will make discoveries rather more voluntarily in a gracious setting than in an ugly one." (Child in the Family)

As a Montessori parent, I also love that the shelves are so flexible. I have been putting a combination of open ended materials and simple fine motor challenges on the shelves. I can easily switch the materials, the height of the shelves, and even the playsilk to match Penelope's developmental stage and interests. I know that as she moves away napping and into quiet time, this is going to be the perfect way to engage her in independent play. 

Practically speaking, these shelves can be used for years to come! The arch comes off of them when Penelope gets a bit older. While they are sturdy they are also lightweight enough for me to move around, and set up on my own. They are a great size for a variety of play materials, puzzles, dolls, and more. And, honestly, anything that gets all five of my children interested in being together joining in the magic of childhood for just a little longer wins my seal of approval. 

I can't wait to see all the ways that they each continue to connect over this lovely play feature. Again, in the words of Maria Montessori, "the child must live in an environment of beauty" (The Secret of Childhood) and wow does this playstand make that possible! 

Struggling with sparking creativity in your children? Discover how a Waldorf Playstand can revolutionize playtime in your Montessori home. From capes to forts, and small world play, you'll be amazed to see how something so simple can bring so much joy. Click to delve into our adventure with Sarah's Silks Waldorf Playstand.

Thank you to Sarah's Silks who gifted us this playstand. While this was gifted, all opinions shared here are my own.  

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