Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Most Wonderful Waldorf Toy and Art Store

Welcome to our shop, Waldorf on Etsy. 
Come spend time with us, browse our aisles, daydream and enter into a world of imagination. Make sure to bring the little ones.
Our shop is filled with handcrafted toys and other items, inspired by Waldorf schools, and created from natural materials by crafters and artists from all over the world. 
Our shop exists online as the Waldorf on Etsy team.
We are Waldorf parents, Waldorf teachers, homeschoolers, Waldorf alumni.  We are inspired by the beautiful, natural toys that are the tradition in Waldorf schools. 

We come from the mountains of California, the farms of New England, towns in the Midwest, as well as Australia, Kenya, the British Isles, Chile, France . . . We have more than 250 members from across the globe.
Our individual shops offer a plethora of toys that will inspire a child’s imagination, as well as other Waldorf inspired art and items.
 We have sweet, huggable Waldorf dolls in every style imaginable and huggable creatures as well. Our shops include lovely items for the nature table, like needle-felted animals, fairies and gnomes. 
Spend hours storytelling with finger puppets, peg dolls and fairy tale dolls. Our favorite materials are wool, wood, silk and cotton.
Some of our shops include wearables like crafting aprons, birthday crowns, and flower hairclips and headbands. 

We have soft and natural playthings for babies and Waldorf fairies and toys that teach children about nature, the seasons, the weather and the world.
We are like so many parents who take a natural approach to parenting; most of us started out by making toys for our own children.
 Please take some time to explore our individual shops and see how Waldorf has inspired and united us.
Thank you for visiting please come again!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Drop of Joy

Today we welcome Tatum from Waldorf on Etsy Team Shop: 
Waldorf Inspired, Knit With Love
Soft Wool Flower Baby Teether
 I craft natural, Waldorf-inspired items for my own family and friends, and for yours. These are pieces which can last generations and will inspire hours of creative play. It is my hope that each piece I create and send out into the world will add at least a drop of joy.
Waldorf Birthday Crown

 My personal journey with Waldorf Education began in kindergarten and spanned 12 amazing years. Little did I know at the time, but I was immensely fortunate in having revered Waldorf teacher, Jack Petrash, as my primary instructor. As all students of Waldorf schools, or those experiencing Waldorf/Steiner homeschool guidance, my soul was enriched and nurtured through the holistic environment I spent so much time surrounded in. However, it was not until I had children of my own that the true beauty of the Waldorf lifestyle and education process became apparent.
Insulating Water Bottle Cover
Not having spent much (or any) time around young children as an adult, I had no real idea of how lacking in warmth and nurture our general environment is. I had the naive expectation that the experiences which nurtured my childhood were more or less the same as everyone else's. Further, I thought my children would be welcomed into the community in the same gentile and loving manner. Instead, I found myself surrounded by more plastic and battery operated gizmos and special contraptions to control or encourage every new developmental shift than I care to remember. None of it felt authentic or comfortable, and it wasn't until I reached back out to the greater Waldorf community that I truly found my footing as a mother.
Celebration Ring
Life has offered my family the opportunity to homeschool my children and truly incorporate Waldorf rhythms into every nook and cranny of our lives.  It has been an unexpected joy to be able to share the crafts I'm inspired to create for my own children with the Waldorf community at large via Etsy.  The items I offer are pieces I care deeply about.  Loving focus and energy are poured into bringing beauty and durability to each offering.  It is my hope that my small creations inspire you and bring alog a drop of joy into your home!
To see more of Tatum's creations please visit her
Waldorf on Etsy shop:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Today we welcome Michelle of MOLICAAustralia to our 
Waldorf on Etsy Team!
MOLICAAustralia is about the love of natural materials, the beauty of uniquely handcrafted fiber art and eco friendly living.
  Michelle has been working with 100% Wool Felt and Fleece since 2005, because the colors and textures of these natural mediums are both attractive and comforting to people of all ages.  She creates pieces with the intention of inspiring creativity and imaginative play, whilst also reducing our environmental footprint.
The business name ‘MOLICA’ is a combination of her two daughter’s names because her interest in Natural Fiber Art was inspired by them.  They are now both budding artists and do some amazing work, which they are beginning to list for sale. 

 Michelle's work is a mixture of sewn and needle felted pieces, sometimes combining the two. Some pieces are adapted from pattern books, some are her own organic patterns.  Her needle felted sculptures come from a range of inspirations and imagination, all original works.
With a background in early childhood education and working with vulnerable families teaching parenting skills, Michelle wanted to do something that combined her early childhood knowledge around children’s play and development while at the same time supporting more environmentally ways of living and enjoy her creative pursuits.
                 All of her work is made with care and attention, from quality natural materials, either sculpted from wool fleece or hand cut and sewn from 100% wool felt. Sewn items are stuffed with 100% pure wool fleece and sewn with quality cotton or silk thread.
  Michelle is:
 "Inspired by nature and motivated by the pleasure this work brings to me and to those who receive a unique gift hand made with care and creativity. My work celebrates nature, living simply and having reverence for beautiful handmade creations and artistic work."
Visit MOLICAAustralia at the following websites:

And be sure to check out Michelle's blog Step Lightly on the Earth where she celebrates nature, living simply and having reverence for beautiful creations, handmade from natural materials.
Remember,  the world of natural fiber art isn't just about the 'end product'.  It is about the rhythm of the making, discovery, creative expression and a way of living...... that is what her blog is about!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Upcycling Summertime Project for Kids: Pop Top Bracelets

 Happy June!
 Here's a fun summertime arts and crafts project to do with kids (or on your own).  It involves up-cycling soda can tops, also called pop tops, into bracelets.  This project is easy for both boys and girls and makes a great gift for the crafter or someone special in their lives.
While far from a traditional Waldorf craft, these pop top bracelets are woven together with ribbon and help children practice finger dexterity and patterns.  They show how "trash" can be turned into "treasure" and offer a unique starting point for a dialog about reducing, reusing and recycling.
Before you begin you'll want to collect about 30 pop tops per bracelet.  Wash them and use a small hammer to flatten out any sharp edges.  If you're working with older kids they can help with this stage.  Next cut a piece of ribbon about 3 feet long and slide a clasp onto the ribbon letting it rest in the middle.
 Next tie the ribbon with the clasp onto the first pop top.
 Lay the tied pop top on top of an upside down pop top.  Be sure that the holes are opposite each other.  See the picture below where the small hole is on the bottom of the top pop top and on the top of the bottom one.  Rough sides face inside, the smooth sides of the pop tops face out.
 Now thread each side of the ribbon through the bottom pop top and then through the top pop top.  (In the picture below the pop tops from the above picture are flipped over.)
 Below is a picture of the pop tops flipped over again to see what it looks like when the ribbon comes up through the top pop top.
 Now get a third pop top and use the ribbon in a crisscross pattern to connect it to the first pop top, being sure to thread the ribbon down through the bottom pop top (the bottom pop top is the second one you put on).
 Get another pop top and place it next to the bottom one.  Weave the ribbon onto the new pop top and back up through the third pop top.  With the exception of the very first and very last pop top, the ribbon always goes through two pop tops at a time.
 Time to crisscross the ribbon again.  
If you like you can add an accent bead here.
 Keep up the pattern of weaving through the pop tops, crisscrossing on the top layer but not on the bottom.  The picture below is how the front or top layer should look. 
The picture below is how the back of the bracelet will look.  Remember that the smoother side of the pop tops always faces out, the rougher sides will touch each other.
Once your bracelet is as long as you'd like it to be, put a knot in the ribbon and then attach the other side of the clasp.  If you don't have any clasps you can omit this step and simply tie the ribbon together.  You can use wire, string, or ribbon to attach more beads or charms to the bracelets.  Or keep going and make a necklace :)
 Thanks for visiting and happy crafting!
If you'd like to purchase either of the pieces displayed here, please visit my Waldorf on Etsy shop:  BeadCanyon
or connect with me on Facebook

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Making Granola with Your Kids

Today we feature a post from Lila Kids.  It's a great activity to share with your children ~ Enjoy!

Every few weeks in our house we make a big batch, sometimes two, of granola. I enjoy making this with my daughter because the quantities are so flexible. The granola is going to taste just as good if some of the oats end up on the floor instead of the mixing bowl and your sous chef eats a large amount of the coconut. And it's incredibly easy and fast. We eat ours on top of plain yogurt, which my husband often makes for us, with raisins or berries. A really delectable treat is Belgian waffles (again made by my husband) topped with yogurt, granola, and strawberries. Strawberry season is still a long way off around here, though.
My daughter wears one of my early sewing projects--an apron I made when she was about three. Even then she could put it on herself because of the elastic neck strap and the velcro waist strap. It still fits her just fine now that she is nearly six. When she was littler I think wearing the apron made her feel like a big girl and a big helper, but now I'm pretty certain she wears it because she knows it's practical. There are quite a number of chocolate stains on hers.
We mix our granola in a mixer with the bread hook, but you could use a really large bowl. I did that for years before we got our mixer; it works fine but it's harder and more time consuming. 
My daugher's apron fabric is from a designer called Unison and was handprinted at the textile mill near my house. I bought the pink fabric before I opened my Etsy shop, and I haven't seen it at the mill since. I really like it, but I don't have any more in that colorway. I have it in a forest green/mint green combo and in a light grey/red-brown combo, but no more pink. The child aprons in my shop are identical in style except most of them have a sweet little pocket in front.

After we mix all the ingredients we spread it out on a large sheet pan. And then we sweep up the floor under the stool!
Here is the recipe.

Mix thoroughly:
4 or 5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (we use pecans, but some folks might like hazelnuts)
1/2 cup oil (we use coconut now but have used canola in the past)
1/2 cup liquid sweetener (honey, agave, and maple syrup are all good)

You could also try adding flax seeds or pumpkin seeds. I have made the recipe above, substituting the nuts for the pumpkin seeds so my daughter could take it to school.

Pour into a large sheet pan and bake for 1 hour in a 300 degree oven. Every 15 minutes, take the granola out and turn it with a large spatula. Let it cool before storing in an airtight container. Doesn't it look fantastic? Too bad you can't smell it!!

It makes a great gift in decorative containers and it's brilliant to serve at brunch--so easy. Enjoy!
A special thank you to Lila Kids for sharing this great post with us!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Storytelling with Props

Verbal Storytelling with Props 
A few ideas to get you started
 By Cheryl Jackson 
Children love stories – whether reading books, listening to story CD’s or having stories told to them. We as parents and caregivers know that stories feed the imagination of children and provide strong foundations for children’s own storytelling, as well as rich and varied language development and a love of books. Sharing stories is also great fun!
 A different approach to stories is making up your own whilst incorporating characters and props in scenes for your children to watch. This can be really personalized for the children and you can pitch the story just right for their attention spans, ages and interests. However it can be a bit of a scary prospect for a novice storyteller! So here are a few ideas to get you started.
Step 1:  Setting the Scene
As you'll see in the photos below, your story can take place anywhere. There should be a defined stage for the story to be enacted upon and a comfy seating area for the audience to sit. In the stories above I have used my dining table while the children sat on the chairs, the sofa and low table with the seating area being cushions on the floor, outdoors on the patio with waterproof fabric to sit on and my seasonal table shelf with beanbag seating. It is enough to suggest the scenery with appropriate colored fabric pieces, natural materials and simple shelters made from folds of fabric, piles of stones, boxes, building bricks etc. The children have great fun guessing what the story will be about as they watch you set the scene.
To populate your stories you can raid bits from the children’s toy boxes or have a special set of figures, animals, etc. that are kept just for telling stories with. You can hand make your own characters and scenic objects – in the stories below I have used felt dolls, needle felted animals and folk, and clay models. Whilst the children model clay or thread felt necklaces, they like to watch me make new props and people for the story basket.
Step 2:  Telling the Story - Seven Story Ideas to Get You Started:
A Winter’s Tale 
Grandma and Grandpa’s day in the snow, caring for the hungry animals, fetching firewood and making tea.
How about a story about a family’s daily activities involving the seasons, festivals and your children’s own daily activities. The family characters can reflect your own family make up and include pets and friends. This type of story can be told daily or weekly and awaken children’s awareness of the cycle of the year and the rhythm of their home life.

At the Construction Site 
A handbrake left off and the empty car rolls over the cliff, how the diggers and trucks work together to move the car and take it to be repaired.
Children who enjoy playing with their favorite small world toys love to see them starring in a story. Seeing new possibilities for ways of using these toys helps children to develop their own narrative threads and enriches their play.  Other vehicles, animals, dolls, houses, soft toys, pirates, knights etc. can be used.
The Spider’s Web
How the spider tried to trap the bee in his web and how the other insects saved the bee.
A story can be educational, building on a child’s interests and adding new factual knowledge in a fun way. This type of story can broaden and support topics being learnt at school, perhaps awakening enthusiasm for a subject they find difficult or tedious. Think water cycle, homes and shelters, counting, mini beasts – take time to make sure you understand the subject and have your facts right before you start!

The Lamb Who Never Listened
Naughty lamb never listened to his parents and kept getting into trouble, rescued by the farmer, owl & fawn.
Sometimes children have difficulty in learning acceptable behavior, often in relation to others. Stories that reflect the problems they are experiencing and show how the story characters resolve these difficulties can help a child recognize a new way forward. As well as situations such as sharing and helping others which can positively affect all children, the story can cover a specific issue such as fear of thunder or death of a pet.  Using a gentle, supportive approach helps children who may not want to talk directly about their worries.

Jack Frost and The Snowdrop Girls
How Jack Frost covered the garden in glittering snow and how the Snowdrops Girls swept him away to make Spring arrive.
Fairies, pixies, gnomes, elves, mermaids, witches, wizards – introduce your children to the magical folk that live in your home and garden, maybe only ever seen by children. . . Fantasy worlds populated with dragons and unicorns, full of spells, quests and treasure – add glitter and magic to your children’s imaginations!
Little Red Riding Hood
All the animals warn her about the wolf, the wolf shuts grandma in the outside loo and pretends to be her by dressing in her hat and apron, wolf tries to catch red riding hood, the animals tell the woodcutter, the wood cutter rescues red riding hood and chases the wolf away
A good place to start is retelling a traditional fairy tale. You can use the farm animals, soft toys, dolls etc to retell a story the children know well. Put your own twist on it such as changing the Three Billy Goats Gruff to being about a sheep, a cow and a horse if you don’t have three different sized goat figures. Or maybe the three bears don’t eat porridge but muesli, toast and yoghurt? In your story, Cinderella could have two grumpy brothers and go to the ball in a limo. Allow your children to see other ways to tell a story and that it is good fun to embellish and enlarge on a basic theme.

Step 3: Letting The Children Join In
After the story is finished and you have said ‘The End’, it's the children’s turn. How you do this depends on your children’s age and development, but these are the steps I use as the children grow.
1.  Retell the story and let the children move the characters around the scene.
2.  The children retell the story as they move the characters. At first they just retell key phrases and the bits of the story that interested them the most or the ending which is freshest in their mind, but soon they will remember more of it.
3.  The children will begin to add on their own bits to your story or take the characters in a different direction – it can help if you provide extra props and characters next to the scene so they have fresh ideas to hand.
4.  Don’t forget to role model good audience behavior! Sit still and watch, listen carefully, clap and say thank you at the end of the story. Enjoy your children’s storytelling and discover the events and activities in your lives together that they recall and incorporate into their tales. This can be very surprising!
So gather round, sit yourselves down comfortably and enjoy the story. . .
Special thanks to Cheryl of Waldorf on Etsy shop SoftnWoolly for her wonderful article on storytelling!