Children's Work is Play!

Free play, imaginative pretending and having parents who leave time and space for their kids to have freedom to explore are in my experience some of the most important ingredients for enriching childhoods.

I've been so impressed with Mrs. Ewing's children, her mothering and ideas about play. So I asked her if I could share some of her ideas and her kids play here on the blog.

Here is what she has to say:

waldorf families

The toys are kept near where she works so the kids play close to her. They are open ended and beautiful.

This is her daughter playing midwife unicorn, with playsilks green as grass and turquoise as water. Wooden animals and trees complete the scene, with lots of imagination added!


Simple birthdays are the best!

Here is her daughter in her birthday crown and with her beloved new doll!

One or two well loved dolls is better than too many. 

waldorf birthday crown

A dressup basket will be used over and over again!

Here are girls playing pretend butterfly fairies in their fairy skirts.

silk fairy skirts

"Boredom is always there best door to the imagination. At least with my girls, their most in depth and longest times in play have come out of a moment of boredom." ~Mrs. Ewling

grimm's wooden toys 

Adding blocks and wooden animals from makers like Osteimer and Grimm's Wooden Toys adds simple beauty and lots of possibility to the play room.

homeschool Sarah Lee

Also important are nature studies of common items found in the yard, and of course, lots of time playing outside.

Combined with lots of love, healthy meals, and good sleep makes for happy, healthy childhoods!

Family play ideas and photos from @_mrsewlingdrygoods


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We try to leave a lot of the house free play zones. we have an easel always set up, a tent in the livingroom, climbing wall, sandbox outside. we try to play w. her when she asks or sometimes when she doesn’t….

Jodi Armstrong

I love all the photos. I’ve been eyeing the play silks for so long to use for all kinds of open play. I love the endless possibilities!


What lovely images! Thanks for sharing! We actually do all of these things in our home as well! The dress up box is a favorite for my 3 and 9 year old boys!


Great article! I love the photos and ideas. We have art supplies easily accessible at all times. And my boys’ toys are ones that lend themselves to creative play. Kapla planks, wooden vehicles, Playmobil figures, Legos, etc. Tons of outside time in the sandboxes and on the climbing dome, or digging/building in the backyard “construction site” – a back corner of the yard that we turned into an area for digging, building, etc., with no restrictions.


I love to see my kids explore nature and creating with their imaginations. They have created forts in our yard with sticks, logs, pinecones and whatever else they can find/imagine. We started this at a young age, allowing them freedom to create, and they continue doing so and their play becomes more elaborate as they age. Such a wonderful gift!

Liz H

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