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Waldorf Materialism

I came across an interesting concept recently: Waldorf Materialism. It sounds like an oxymoron – after all Waldorf is supposed to be born of Anthroposophy with a spiritual background. It is not at all uncommon to hear materialism denounced in Waldorf circles. So what is Waldorf Materialism? Well, one thing that attracts people to Waldorf is the style of interior decoration in the Kindergarten: Natural fibers, wooden toys, faceless dolls and knitted gnomes. These come with precise explanations: nurturing the senses, inspiring the child’s power of imagination, etc. So what does the newly enthusiastic parent do? Go to the store and spend 3 grand on a whole new set of toys, and all the old ones go in the dumpster (or perhaps to the school’s rummage sale)! The child’s room at home then looks exactly like the Waldorf kindergarten (minus all the other children). That is Waldorf Materialism – spending a lot of money to replicate the material aspects of the Waldorf environment.

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