Here are 33 home activities based on Waldorf education, which will enrich your life and your perception on the world around you.
1. Supporters of this type of education believe in the child’s freedom, on allowing him to act on his own, without limitations. In their opinion, the mission of the adult isn’t to punish the child, but to show him that there are other interesting ways of manifesting his individuality and the forces within. Use this principle in your daily life. Make your child curious and involve him din different activities, instead of forcing him to do something.
2. Discover the world. Waldorf education is built on the adult discovering the world alongside the child and living the wonder and the awe that this discovery generates. Remember how happy the baby is when he discovers his own feet, how he laughs and tries to taste them? As they get older, people lose the ability to marvel at the world around them, in spite of all the reasons not to. So, at first, it might seem difficult to see something special in everyday things, but it’s worth trying, because it shows the child the beauty of the world he’s living in.
3. Take your time and carefully notice when your child shows you something interesting from his point of view, even if it looks trivial to you. A pebble, a leaf, an ant… look at them through new eyes and genuinely enjoy them. Thank your child for showing them to you, or else you would have carried on living without ever having seen them.
4. Show your child all the beautiful things around, by saying things like: “It smells like leaves in the garden / freshly mowed grass, the river is really blue today, and there are white, fluffy clouds all over the sky.”
5. Emphasize the beauty in everyday things. “Look at that funny crack in the wall” or “Look at the bark on this old oak tree”. Notice these things together, touch them, and look at the ants carrying food on their back and at the rain that falls on the sidewalk.
6. Hide under a table together just to see how the world looks like from under there.
7. Plant a flower, some wheat, onions, condiments etc. and notice how they grow and blooms. You child can water the plant on his own, and take care of it.
8. Every day, for a few minutes, listen to the sounds of silence. Waldorf kindergartens do this on a daily basis.
9. In winter, bring snow inside and notice the melting process along with your child.
10. Notice how the trees grow leaves in spring, how flowers bloom, how fruit ripens, how leaves fall during autumn.
11. Take a few objects (pebbles, leaves, chestnuts, twigs) and notice what they do when you throw them in water: whether they float or sink.
12. Practical life. In a Waldorf kindergarten, the teacher is similar to a mother at home: she takes care of every possible chore, such as the ironing, fixing toys, artistic activities, watercolor painting etc. Every once in a while, she stops her work in order to celebrate a doll’s birthday, to travel on a boat or to help a child.
13. Chose simpler activities that children can imitate: doing the laundry, making breakfast, sweeping the floor etc. Ask the child to join you when you do these activities.
14. Allow your child to cut boiled vegetables, using a knife that is not very sharp, to mend clothes or knit alongside you, to mix the cream for the cake, to pass flour through a sieve.
15. When it comes to colors, a Waldorf educated child will only have three: red, blue and yellow, which he can mix in order to obtain more colors. And kids never draw something in particular; they just play around with colors.
16. Encourage him not to draw something in particular, but to express himself. This is especially important for kids younger than 3. Allow him to “leave tracks”, to paint with his hands on fabrics, paper, cardboard. You can make stamps out of leaves, sponges etc.
17. Along with your child, mix the three basic colors on a wet piece of paper. Notice how red and yellow becomes orange, how red and yellow and blue becomes brown, how from blue and yellow we get green and how blue plus red equals violet.
18. Fill a few transparent glasses with water. Dip the tip of a brush in color, than touch the water from one glass. Notice how the water in the glass slowly changes color. Pick another color and do the same with the other glass. Than let the child mix the water from the two glasses and see how colors interact with one another.
19. Offer the child a piece of play dough or just plain dough and ask him to prepare a festive lunch for dolls. Help him make “donuts”, “sausages”, and “pancakes”.
20. Warm up some wax, make figurines from with your child and wait until it cools.
21. Our entire life is a game. At the age of 2, the way you spend your time may seem boring and pointless to your child. Your kid throws the toy on the floor, you pick it up, and he throws it again. He builds a tower of toys than tears it down. You have to understand that this developmental stage is essential to his perception over life later on.
22. Between the ages on 3 and 5, a child’s imagination starts developing. When they don’t have toys, kids replace them with similar objects. An empty box may look like a bathtub for dolls.
23. In order to develop his imagination, avid offering your child automated toys that do many things on their own. Wooden toys are very useful, though.
24. The Waldorf doll is quite famous. It’s manually built from natural materials, and it has a very delicate head: just eyes and a tiny mouth, no expression on her face, so that the child can decide how the doll feels at any given time. The child not only learns to imagine, but also to express his feelings.
25. Build toys along with your child: a bunny made out of pieces of fabric, or cut out from cardboard or wood, a doll, a chick made of dough etc. Create things together.
26. During play, stimulate his imagination: “This box will be our car and this ribbon, a snake.”
27. Make up and tell your child stories about the ordinary objects from your house or from outdoors. For example, you can tell him a story about the light bulb from the hallway that desperately wanted to meet the sun, thinking it was a bigger light bulb. Or about the door that really likes guests and that’s why it never wants to stay closed.
28. Read your child Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, as he was a master of stories about everyday objects.
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29. When you read or tell a story, do a little scene as well. Take a few of the child’s toys (a mouse, a bunny, a fox), put them in a box and tell the story by taking the characters out of the box one by one and speaking like them. You can even build a background: a cardboard house, play dough or colored paper trees etc. An older child can even play one of the characters.
30. Find a fairy or fairy godmother dress and tell you child stories.
31. Don’t forget Santa’s suit!
32. Dye the Easter eggs together with your child.
33. Establish smaller or bigger holidays that don’t really follow tradition. They can be invented: The Day of The First Snowflake, when you can all go out with candles and say goodbye to heat until spring.
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