Discovering Waldorf – ‘The Magic Of Play Silks’

Welcome back to Discovering Waldorf, Jennifer. So glad to have you back and talking about one of our favorite playthings… silks.
For those of you who don’t know Jennifer, she is one of the coolest mama’s I know… as we speak, she is 9 and a half months pregnant and has been having contractions on and off for a week… who knows, maybe baby Tan will be born as you are reading Jenn’s words :-)

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The Magic of Play Silks

Play silks are pure magic – soft yet strong, colorful yet translucent – they are fairy wings, a king’s cape, a mermaid’s tail. 

Lay them down on a table and they serve as a beautiful base or background for your nature table. Create forts, host puppet shows, make costumes, and create villages with silks! 

Wrap a Waldorf doll in a silk “blanket”, swim in a “river” of blue silks, or hang a rainbow silk from your favorite window. Silks are symbols of magic in many forms of play and display.

Babies laugh in delight as silks are thrown into the air, or used to play “peek-a-bo”! 

Adults use silks in spiritual displays, as lovely table cloths, to wrap birthday and holiday presents (no paper waste!), or as a beautiful scarf around the neck.

Families not only enjoy incorporating silks into their home, but also revel in dyeing them.

Jennifer and family at the annual Griffin Dyeworks Dye & Fiber Retreat in Castaic, CA

Tie-dyeing and plant-dyeing are two wonderful ways to experience the magical process of creating a rainbow of colors for your own set of silks.

Silks may be seamlessly incorporated into lessons about entomology (silk worms), geography (China), and handwork (dyeing) with older children.

Find a special basket and gently fold your silks for storage. Keep the basket handy for children to reach and enjoy regularly. 

Feature seasonal colors throughout your home. Tie them together, use wood play clips, or sew them into curtains or puppets. Use your imagination, and watch as beautiful silks infuse magic into your home!


Dyed silks and eBook on dyeing with children:

Plant dyes and annual dye & fiber retreat:

Undyed silks and tie-dye supplies:

Wood play clips:

About the Author
Jennifer Tan, MA is a homeschooling consultant, fiber artist, musician and aromatherapist. She leads workshops, teleseminars, eCourses and writes eBooks for parents in the areas of Waldorf curriculum, homeschooling and handwork. Jennifer lives in beautiful Davis, California with her husband, Waldorf teacher Dr. Rick Tan, and their three children (and a baby due in October!). Jennifer may be reached through her website (sign up for the monthly newsletter), her Etsy shop which features dyed silks and an eBook on dyeing with children, her blog, and on Facebook

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Thank you dear Jennifer… oh, you have shared so many wonderful ways our kids can play with silks. They truly are the most beautiful, tactile, versatile and open-ended of toys.

Jennifer has beautiful silks for sale in her shop Syrendell on Etsy. And I have rainbow silks available in my shop, Fairyfolk, too.

Please visit my new Discovering Waldorf page to find out more about his super series and read the other posts in the archive (see the page heading at the top under my blog banner?)

And, please enter the Fairy Garden Competition if you haven’t already. Due to numerous requests, closing date has been extended for a few weeks. Click on this link for more information…

Blessings and magic to you!



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3 Responses

  1. I found this post by Googling, “Why are playsilks made of silk?” I am wondering, what is the significance of silk vs say, cotton or some other fabric? I’m a single mama on a tight budget, trying to make my home more Waldorf-y, and have been considering just buying cotton fabric and hemming the edges…

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