As a member of many Waldorf spaces both online and in-person, I observe the same scenario over and over again. Members of these communities, especially new members, are very concerned about their child’s toys and if they are in alignment with the principles of Waldorf; if they are “Waldorf enough” or not. Parents are donating and discarding loads of toys to replace them with more expensive "Waldorf upgrades." There is a fair about of confusion and shame over what toys we provide for our children.
I know this concern because I was once in the same place. When I first became a parent, I was enthusiastically against all things plastic and set in place strict filters around the types of toys I had for my children and would allow in my home. When I opened my program over a decade ago, I also had high standards and desires for a classroom full of “Waldorf toys.”
But why? What was making these toys “Waldorf?”