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

 

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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! 

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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!)

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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 

 

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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……

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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……

 

 

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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

 

Curriculum 

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 

 

Books 

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……

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

 

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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 

 

 

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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……

 

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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!

Blogmas Day 4, A New Tradition!

 

We began a new December tradition this afternoon……

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               Iimage from Pinterest.com

Listening to a Sparkle Stories Audio Advent Calendar!

We chose the Martin and Sylvia version because we are huge Martin and Sylvia fans. We are so excited to spend December with these familiar and well loved characters, and share in their traditions and festive magic. There’s even related activities and recipes to be found over on the Sparkle Stories blog 

Find out more, and listen to the first story from each Audio Advent Calendar for free here!  

If you are listening to a Sparkle Stories Audio Advent Calendar let us know, we would love to know which you have chosen and what you think so far 🙂