Festivals, Music, Bugs and Bottles…..

Time for an update…..

We’ve been busy with K2, for which we are following Waldorf Essentials. We are still enjoying the stories and activities. We have had a busy few months celebrating all sorts of autumn festivals, and now we are getting excited for our copy of The Gnomes’ Yuletide Advent Mystery’ which is a brand new book of magical Advent stories and activities. There’s also excellent video support to go along with the activities, so go check it out if you are celebrating Waldorf Advent this year!

I’ve been practicing my flute, took me a year to get started but thanks to Music Unfolds  I can now play a few songs, and The Bundles are enjoying singing along, which makes circle time and movement a lot of fun!



Our most regular home ed group stopped for a while back in September but we are getting back into the swing of groups again now with two regular groups, although this also means the inevitable winter colds and bugs which have now had us holed up for nearly a week! Lots of stories, drawing, painting and playdough going on here while we recover, and we’ve also been watching some old TV shows . There’s only so much CBeebies anyone can stand, and these older ones seem to have the added bonus of not making everybody wired and crazy, at least so far! Bundle Number One is finding Trumpton hilarious!

Image result for trumpton images free to share

Meanwhile, lots of knitting and podcasts for me after bedtime, and while the wind and icy rain rage outside. Currently listening to; 

The Home Education Podcast , 

Home Ed Matters 

and The Homeschool Sisters Podcast.  

On the subject of podcasts,  a fellow home educating mama (from ‘The Home Education Podcast’)  has written a fantastic book!  Great for reading aloud by the fire on those chilly winter afternoons, and you’re supporting a home ed family at the same time, win! Grab a copy here

In other news, after seeing the amount of waste collected on our local beaches we have been trying to reduce our waste, plastic usage in particular. We did some research and came up with some small changes we can make, beginning with using stainless steel bottles. A lot of the bottles on offer were pretty expensive but we did find these which are ideal. Great for keeping drinks hot/cold and they come complete with two interchangeable caps, and lots of other bits. Fun colour choices too 😉 

Image result for super sparrow bottles

What have you been up to this Autumn? Let us know in the comments 🙂





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‘Making the Children’s Year’……our review



Making the Children’s Year

Seasonal Waldorf Crafts with Children

by Marije Rowling

Published by Hawthorn Press


We have (and love!) the previous version of this book  ‘The Children’s Year’. It was one of the first craft books we purchased when we first discovered Waldorf, and it has facilitated many a making session.  I was delighted to see that an update was coming, and our lovely friends at Hawthorn Press offered to send us a copy for review

This volume ‘Making the Children’s Year’ is an updated version of the previous book, put together by Marije Rowling (one of the original authors of the previous edition) It offers a brand new layout and more information for each season, including a very inspiring piece on colour throughout the year, the nature table, information on craft materials and where to source them, tips and abbreviations for sewing and knitting, information on fabric dyeing, pattern tips for tracing and transferring and much more. 

There’s a wealth of seasonal offerings within these pages, things to make for outdoor play, indoor play, cards, nature crafts, lanterns, decorations, dolls and doll’s clothes, children’s clothing and accessories and more.

I  especially like the knitting patterns because knitting is my favourite craft. I have previously made the mittens, hat and jumper from this book, actually, the first jumper I ever knitted was the one in this book, thanks to the easy to understand, yet thorough pattern instructions. Imagine my delight when I discovered that such well loved, familiar patterns now have beautiful colour illustrations! 


Of course I paged through to the autumn portion first, because its my favourite season, and also because we are currently gearing up to begin Kindergarten again this autumn so this is perfect timing for some extra autumn craft inspiration. Much is included for festival crafts, as well as some lovely ideas for gifts and little play figures and even some creative and beautiful storage solutions. The Bundles delighted in looking at the illustrations and telling me which things we should have a go at making (so, basically everything!)


This book is accessible for both those who are already crafty and seeking seasonal inspiration, and equally for those who would like to learn.  There are patterns offered for adults, older children and younger children, and the illustrations are captivating to all!  It is an Invaluable resource for Waldorf home educators, indeed for anyone wishing to bring rich, seasonal crafts to their family, group or community. 

Bringing seasonal delight and a reminder of the importance of creativity and handwork, this book is a real treasure and we most definitely recommend it!

Our friends at Hawthorn Press are so excited about this title that they have made it available early! Order your copy here 


Blogmas Day 8, Candy Cane Craft and ‘Eggs in a Poke’

Our festive gnome, Eggnog, is delivering activity suggestions and things to try for each day of December…… 


Today’s activity was making pipe cleaner candy canes to decorate our tree! Along with a handwritten note in a tiny wooden advent house,  Eggnog always leaves any supplies we might need for our activity in his little box beneath the tree. Today we found a collection of red and white pipe cleaners.

After breakfast we got to work making our candy canes. This activity is simple enough for most little ones to have a go at, Bundle Number One is five and managed it himself, Bundle Number Two needed a little help.


We also tried another new activity today, which was inspired by yesterday’s Martin and Sylvia Advent story when they had ‘eggs in a poke’ for breakfast. We hadn’t heard of this before but thankfully the lovely people at Sparkle Stories had thought of this and added a ‘how to’ on their blog.

Bundle Number One was thrilled to discover we could make this new dish ourselves so we decided to try it for lunch……


Festive and nutritious, Yum! I would’ve added the avocados and tomatoes personally, but neither Bundle wanted any embellishments so we kept it simple. The Bundles tucked in, discussing which of them would be Martin and which would be Sylvia!




Blogmas Day 7, Gift Ideas for Home Ed Families

Stuck for gift ideas for a home educating family you know? Try these……





Membership Passes for Attractions and Trips Out


English Heritage Membership

National Trust Membership


Parenting Magazine Subscriptions

We like this one and this one


Audio Story Subscriptions and Collections

We love these



Check with the family in question first and find out if there is something in particular they are looking to get, we love Waldorf Essentials



Home Ed Planners and more

We love planners and other handy guides and packs! For gift ideas to help a home ed family begin the new year feeling organised and ready, try here and here



Creative Supplies, Games and Toys

For a wide range of beautiful toys, games, art and craft materials try here and here 



For a wide selection of children’s books, books on festivals and celebrations, craft books and books on education, parenting and child health, try here

For magical Gnome tales go here and use code FRIENDS for 20% off through December

Anything by Ross Mountney is always a winner!




Blogmas Day 6, Lanhydrock at Christmas

Yesterday we took  a trip to experience the magic that is Lanhydrock at Christmas……




Our first visit to this magical place was in January of this year. We just caught the Christmas festivities in time and the place was so enchanting we have visited numerous times this year throughout the seasons and  we have all been very excited to discover what the house has to share with us for this festive season.

The Victorians both revived old traditions and invented new ones and this beautiful house was once home to a Victorian family, heartwarming tales of whom are so lovingly relayed by the dedicated team at Lanhydrock, who we have always found ready and willing to chat and answer questions. So, what better place to experience a true Victorian Christmas!

We love the walk down the hill to the house and gardens and we always look out for the first glimpses of the house through the trees. Yesterday some Reindeer were waiting to greet us which Bundle Number Two was thrilled to see, and at the Gatehouse we were welcomed in by two Christmas trees.


 The house always looks beautiful and has such a welcoming, homely feel especially at this time of year, with smoke rising from the chimney and decorations at the entrance.



Inside the fire was roaring and we were invited to sit in front of it on big squishy sofas and warm up before exploring the house. I am going to be careful what I share from here on in as I don’t want to spoil the magic for anyone who plans to visit, so these next pictures are just some of the highlights……

Some of the wonderful sights you see as you walk the corridors, and in Her Ladyship’s bedroom two dresses are set out. Children visiting are invited to choose which dress they like best and add a marble to a jar to cast their vote!



This year the kitchens are especially magical, alive with sights, sounds and smells! The Bundles were invited to stir Cook’s plum pudding and help prepare Victorian pommanders while Cook told us all about her very important role in the house during the festive season



Meanwhile ‘boxes’ are being prepared to be given to staff on Boxing Day, this was one of my favourite scenes I would love to receive a basket like these!


In the Dining room, the table is set for Christmas Dinner with a huge tree offering festive cheer and plenty of enchanting decorations. We even got to read the menu!




Before you leave, there’s the opportunity for your little ones to dress the part of the children of the house (of which there were 10!) in Victorian outfits and stand beneath the tree for a photo. This tree is decorated with photographs of the family who lived her which is a really special touch.



We had a really magical time during our visit to Lanhydrock this week, and will be visiting again before Christmas. There is always something you notice second (or more!) time around and next time we will also try the Christmas Robin garden trail 




If you are visiting Cornwall this festive season or of course if you are local then please be sure to visit Lanhydrock for a magical journey back in time to experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas!





Blogmas Day 5, Our December Book Box

Our December book box is all set up and we are enjoying story time……



This is our Advent chapter book, it has a chapter for each leading up to Christmas and it’s a tradition in our house to read each day’s chapter beneath the tree before bedtime


……and here’s a selection of favourites from inside our book box. Some are new this year and others are old favourites!