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Raising a bilingual child: Waldorf education and Grimm’s Wooden toys

Holidays are coming very soon and our little not to say our very grown up Baba1 is going to enrol in Reception 1 in September. We wanted to help her the best for what next year will bring in her little life: new challenges, new expectations and new experiences.

We have always encouraged learning through activities and playtime since she is very young. She is very creative and loves manual activities. It definitely helps her to concentrate and learn. It is not always easy to get a young child attention and do deliver a content, most of all to make sure the content is integrated.

raising bilangual children

Because she is being raised in a bi/trilingual environment, we are quite active in all aspects of her education. Baby, her speech was delayed. She started speaking only when she was 2 and a half years old. We were not really worried as she clearly understood and pointed at things.

When she started nursery, she was familiar to English but just a bit. Raising a bilingual child demands to make choices and take decisions.

Our choice is: no English at home. We speak only french.

I should say that I was so worried for her before starting nursery that I gave her as much possible input in English. She has been very fine and in after 3 months, she was completely fluent in English! Today, sometimes she prefers speaking English at home as this is her main language with her friends and social interactions. But we are firm, only french at home.

multilingual1

Why? Her dad and I are both trilingual. We have grown up in contact with many languages and we have only “kept” those that we have practised regularly. We want our children to be perfectly fluent in French and English with none of this language having a predominance over the other.

I have used a lot of supports until now to help her distinguish things and learn both languages.

This summer, we would like her to get ready to mathematics and writing. Baba1 has always been a bit different. You can give her a lot of input and will not receive any output from her until she feels she is ready.

So we are going to give her as much possible input and will let her decide when she is ready. It is just giving to someone the keys and let her decide when to open the doors. I wanted as usual something with a lot fun and colourful. We love the Montessori and Steiner Education.

Learning by playing and discovering.

We have decided to introduce our daughters to the Waldorf univers with Grimm’s Wooden toys.


Grimm’s Wooden toys and Waldorf Education


Grimm´s Spiel und Holz Design is a family owned company based in Hochdorf, Germany known for their unique hand-made wooden toys.

GrimmsLogo_largeInspired by the educational philosophies of Rudolf Steiner, Grimm’s believes that creativity develops the imagination and free spirit and their toys are therefore suitable for Waldorf education. Grimm’s Toys are inspired by the Waldorf Steiner education.

It is all about learning through thoughtful, creative play in a calm environment. Toys play an important part of the learning experience and Waldorf toys are made with natural materials, beautiful and simplistic.

Waldorf philosophy is to keep thinks simple with a voluntary lack of details to allow children to fill in the blanks with their imaginations. They can be used in multiple ways in creative play scenarios, rather than being prescriptive. Waldorf toys are wonderfully tactile and call on children to play with them.

Grimm’s is all about the rainbow, happy colours, creativity, and the imagination. Lovingly hand finished with non-toxic and water based stains (unvarnished) by a specialist team in Germany, the puzzles, building sets, and toys are gorgeous, and also work as décor pieces for a beautiful home.

Just play, learn, and enjoy.


Our First Grimm’s selection of Toys


Our choice:

Grimm's wooden toysWhy?

I was not very sure about mixing a pastel tunnel and rainbow semi-circles. I was just sure I wanted a pastel tunnel. Children are used to conventional rainbow colours and primary colours. I want to teach our daughters the nuances and pastel shades {Baba1 is already aware of all the range of colours like dark and clear but wanted to illustrate}. It was also important to have a normal rainbow to really show the difference between bright and clear.

I looked at Google, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube trying to find the Grimm’s Pastel Rainbow tunnel and Rainbow semi-circles* combination. I have found nothing so took the risk.

I bought my sets from Little Earth Farm. To know more about this shop, please read my review.

Little Earth farm


First Play session and Reviews


We have first set up and played with the tunnel.

Grimm's Pastel Rainbow tunnelBaba1 is so in love with it! She enjoyed every bit: stacking, counting! She was happy to have a pastel rainbow and was very curious about it, asking me a lot of questions. I was really happy as it was what I wanted. We have not done a lot of things yet as this tunnel offers such a large and various range of imaginative play. I will show few things to my daughter and then let her ty by herself and explore.

Grimm's Pastel tunnelWe have then added the semi-circles to build two towers.

I was really worried by the results of mixing pastel colours and bright ones.

So are you chocked? Actually, I like the contrast and the Grimm’s friends added a lot of fun and harmony to the scene. It was easier for Baba1 to match the colours!

Introducing the mobile home with the Grimm’s friends.

I think this is her favourite for the moment and this is the one she played with the most. First time she played with it, she was a bit “shy”:

The second time, she really appreciated the fact that the house and all it contents were build together. She loved playing with the Grimm’s friends and did not want to add any Playmobil to the scene. She eventually added some Holztiger animals to the joy of her Little Sister who was starring at her with sparkles in her eyes and admiration in front of all these colours.


CONCLUSION


We have had a lot of fun and we are going to have more and more. I am planning a lot of acticities for this summer around these toys and they offer such a variety of things. Just open your mind to the magic of imaginative play. I will surely add some silks to create scenes and we already have wooden numbers and Holztiger animals.

I am very happy with this investment, because it is one clearly. I have been lucky to have a 10% discount because it was Little Earth Farm Birthday! Check their Facebook and Instagram accounts. They recently had a giveaway with a Rainbow tunnel!

Pros:

  • Quality wood,
  • Infinity of play combination,
  • imaginative,
  • sustain child development,
  • eco-friendly

Cons: Very expensive! This is my only negative point. I have to say that even if these toys are pricey they are worth it. I’d rather have one Grimm’s rainbow tunnel at home that 10 plastic and electronic toys. For so many reasons, these wooden toys can be so helpful, you can pass them on and no need of batteries or any other silly things. A very Green parenting solution.

tested and approved by oummanna

 

Note : I have been generously offered the product with * mentioned in this post for this review purpose and did this review because I wanted to, no  financial compensation was received for doing it. No one has told me what to write, all words (including spelling mistakes) and opinions are 100% my own and genuine.

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