Opening an imaginative space? A study of toys and toy-play in a Swedish Waldorf kindergarten

  • Sara Frödén Örebro University
  • Anna-Lova Rosell Örebro University


The aim of this study is to examine how the triadic relationship between children, toys and the educational
context of a Waldorf preschool may contribute to children’s growing imagination. The toys
provided at Waldorf preschools in general are simple objects, and the selection is limited. Still, the
toys are supposed to stimulate the imagination of children. In this analysis, we draw on Iris Murdoch’s
distinction between imagination and fantasy in order to highlight two qualities of the ability
of imagination: Imagination implies openness and curiosity towards new ways of being and acting,
and fantasy suggests a closed approach that offers few new possibilities. The distinction between
these qualities enables us to examine how the relationship between children, toys and educational
context opens or closes the children’s growing imagination. The study identifies three particular
factors that influence the possibilities for children’s imagination. These are: a) the form of the toys;
b) the placement of the toys; and c) the pedagogical intentions of the teachers and their interactions
with the children.

Totale nedlastinger:
Download data is not yet available.
Hvordan sitere
Frödén, S., & Rosell, A.-L. (2019). Opening an imaginative space? A study of toys and toy-play in a Swedish Waldorf kindergarten. Nordisk Tidsskrift for Pedagogikk Og Kritikk, 5.
Fokus: Steinerpedagogikk
Emneord (Nøkkelord)
imagination, Steiner Waldorf pedagogy, toys, early childhood education, play