We recently attended a Waldorf winter festival – which was so very interesting! I have been fascinated with the Waldorf philosophy of education for quite some time. I am currently doing some more in depth research on the Waldorf philosophy – and plan on writing a pretty in depth blog post (should you be interested!) I will keep you posted.
In the meantime, at this Waldorf winter festival there were so many neat nature based activities for my wee ones to participate in. Candle making, wet felting (which we had practiced recently with our wet-felting reindeer puppets), and a gnomes journey were my kids favourites. So much so that we have been enjoying all three at home. A lot.
The gnomes journey (as it was called at the winter festival) was absolutely adorable. The Waldorf school had prepared tiny little felt gnomes in walnut shells to journey down a ‘river’ meeting felted animal friends along the way. How did the gnomes journey? The children blew in the water to send them along his way.
Sam and Madeline decided we should make some little gnomes in walnut boats for our house. We made them simply out of felt (which I sewed to look like a tiny gnome, but could easily be hot glued) and stuffed with a tiny bit of poly-fill. We then hot glued them into the bottom of a half walnut shell. Sammy mostly observed this craft (which he was very happy to do – watching his little gnome come to life!). But Madeline could do it independently.
Once the glue had set we popped the boats into some water for some small world play fun. I was rummaging up some little animals, pine cones, rocks, and the like while Sammy started playing. I actually didn’t add them to his small world – as his imagination was running wild. I so often forget that it is usually the simplest activities of all that inspire the most imaginative play. Sammy was talking to the gnomes, then as if he were the gnomes. Imagining animals, and challenges, and successes too!
He used his breath to blow the gnomes around and around their tiny lake, remembering what he had learned at the festival. He also remembered that at the end of the journey the gnomes were rewarded with a star shaped sugar cookie 🙂
I love so many different philosophies of education. And I love the freedom of being at home with my kids to pick and choose parts of one and parts of another, forming our own unique curriculum that is perfect for us. A little bit Waldorf, a little Montessori, some mainstream Education, a lot of experiential learning, definitely some project-based learning too … and I am sure I will just keep adding as we go! There are actually many similarities within the different philosophies – and many beautiful differences too. I feel so happy that my children will get to experience so much!
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