Waldorf education has been a great gift to our family. We happened upon it when K was 3 and fell in love with its gentle, nature based learning. Slowly, we have incorporated many of the Waldorf philosophies into our everyday lives. I did not expect to find myself raising my family in one of the biggest metropolises in the world and, for a while there, I found myself caught up in the frantic ‘bigger, better, MORE!’ syndrome that living in a huge city inflicts. I am so relieved that Waldorf has slowed us down, brought us back into connectedness with nature, helped us clear away the unnecessary clutter so that we can see the beauty in the dewey grass and hear the crazy calling of the mocking bird over the drone of the freeway. Life is much fuller with less stuff!
Making our own toys brings us particular delight. It is magical to watch my children start with a few natural materials and see their wonder as those plain, everyday things become a cherished toy. It is so empowering for them to know that they are creative… they can make things they really love!
Today we made little Walnut boats. This is a wonderful Waldorf activity… it uses natural materials, requires skill, hand/eye coordination, foresight, planning, patience and imagination. The delicate boats are magical… just big enough for an elf to sail. They inspire hours of imaginative and creative play… in soothing, calming water. All these things are a gift to a child’s spirit.
We used broken brown crayons instead of bee’s wax. Mr T took great pleasure in breaking them up into tiny pieces and putting them into the glass jar.
He has always been a good crayon breaker!
Once all of the crayon pieces were in the jar, I microwaved it for one and a half minutes to melt the crayons.
I carefully (it is HOT!) poured the melted crayon into the empty walnut shells and set them aside for a few moments to cool.
While the wax was cooling, we broke our long stick into two 2 inch shorter sticks for the boats mast. When the wax was cooled to the consistency of peanut butter, we inserted the masts into the wax. As the wax cools further, it holds the masts fast.
To make the sails, we used strong card paper. K used my leaf paper-cutter to punch out an oak leaf for her sail. T preferred a triangle. They punched two vertical holes in the sails for the masts to fit through.
They threaded the masts through the punched holes in their sails and their boat toys were ready for sailing.
They looked too sweet sailing around our fountain.T and K discovered that they could move their boats through the water by blowing softly on them. Boat races ensued which brought much joy and laughter! To find out more about Waldorf Education, visit Why Waldorf Works.
Happy boat making!
Blessings and magic.
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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.