Ostheimer toys are designed to awaken and encourage the creative forces in children. For whatever fails to take root in childhood, remains barren for an entire life.
Imagination… To have an artistic bent is in every person – our responsibility is to awaken it. Only then can it become a valuable companion throughout our entire lives. Today more than ever these creative forces are necessary to meet the various demands of modern life.
Using your creative imagination means seeing something you don’t have directly in front of you or, if it is in front of you adding something to it from within you. Children still have direct access to this creative ability because they have not yet allowed themselves to be constrained by the narrow boundaries of reality. If we give them the space to use their imaginations while still children, then they will be able to deal much more creatively with the reality that surrounds them – more creatively than if from the outset they live in a world of toys that provide them everything in perfect detail.
A fundamental objective of Ostheimer toys is to preserve this space for children’s imaginations. In their interaction with the condensed forms and soft colors of the figures, children learn to enliven them with their own imaginative abilities and to provide them with everything they need for the game in question. Children at play decide whether a horse is a wild stallion galloping across the prairie or an old nag tiredly trotting along the road. Children participate in the creation of their own toys. That is to say, they are allowed to be themselves.
An increase in loneliness and a lack of social mores already bear witness to the consequences of one-sidedly intellectual upbringing. It is now generally accepted that, well into one’s career and indeed into the highest echelons of management, it is not just specialized knowledge, but also flexibility and creativity that are sorely needed. The days in which a good final grade was more important than a wealth of ideas have long since past.
In a visionary way and based on her studies of both Waldorf pedagogy and anthroposophic ideas, Margarete Ostheimer began a collection of toys which today more than ever is justified and necessary. The collection was established fifty years ago as an alternative to a “plastic world” and is today a necessary counterweight to the “high tech world” of the playroom.