Lasting Bonds

Recently, our school director Ms. Neale shared these sweet photos of her daughters’ “wee ones,” Sunbeam and Moonbeam, sitting together in her garden on a sunny summer morning. Kindergarten parents make these small fabric dolls for their children, which are magically delivered by fairy mother to kindergartners throughout the year.

Ms. Neale’s daughters graduated from our school eight years ago, but her daughters’ wee ones still live at home.

This is one very small illustration of the way Waldorf education touches the whole family, creating memories and experiences that bond us to our children and last for decades. Thanks for sharing, Ms. Neale!

This Week: May Faire 2020

In the open space around our Lucas Valley campus, the hills are blooming with poppies and buttercups. In our school garden, spring flowers are emerging in brilliant colors. No wonder we choose to celebrate spring at the beginning of May each year!

For our May Faire 2020, we planned to welcome our beloved grandparents to campus to celebrate May Faire as our guests of honor, which would have made the day even more memorable.

While we can’t be together on campus, we can still celebrate spring (and honor our grandparents) as a community. Here’s our plan for May Faire 2020, and, as always, the more MWS families who get involved, the more beautiful it will be.

Create!
MWS families, please take this week to create something at home to celebrate spring: make paper flower garlands, use garden flowers to make a traditional May Faire flower crown, link together a daisy chain, or create a vase full of tissue-paper flowers. Make a collection of beeswax buttercups. Or you might collect wildflowers, scatter wildflower seeds outside, or find a flower in nature and draw it in detail. Use the items you have in your house! Love is the most important ingredient!

If you need some inspiration, we have many tips and tutorials for creating homemade flowers in the post It’s Spring! Flower Projects to Celebrate May Faire.

Spread Joy
Now that you’ve made something at home, let’s share our spring celebration with the people around us. Deliver a paper flower, a bunch of wildflowers, or a note of spring cheer to your neighbors. Or leave a beautiful gift on your mailbox for the mail carrier, at grocery stores, or for anyone else in your community.

Share It Here
Send a photo of your flower creation and your acts of kindness. We’ll create a beautiful collage of images and good cheer right here on Grandmother Oak.

… And we’ll use our images to create a small token to share with our beloved grandparents. Please send them to Julie at grandmotheroak@marinwaldorf.org. (If you’d like to dedicate your flower crown or creation to a grandparent, please let me know!)

Come Together
On Sunday morning, wear your flower crowns, bring your paper flower bouquet, or show up in any other flower trappings to celebrate the May Faire at the Community Coffee on Sunday. We’ll have a special lineup of music that day! Stay tuned for details.

It’s Spring! Flower Projects to Celebrate May Faire

UPDATED WITH MORE RESOURCES! Our annual May Faire is a celebration of spring and of community. While our campus is closed, we have a plan to celebrate the hope and beauty of springtime together, in addition to spreading that joy to our neighbors, friends, and grandparents, who were supposed to be the guests of honor at this year’s May Faire (stay tuned for more information on that!).

Flower Crowns
At school, every student and teacher (as well as many parents) create flower crowns from fresh flowers woven into a ring of braided raffia. If you have an abundant garden at home or a stash of silk flowers to use, making a crown is the traditional way to celebrate May Faire. Our colleagues at the Pasadena Waldorf School have some wonderful suggestions for creating May Faire baskets and flower crowns, as well as other May Faire beauty, at home. Here’s another video tutorial for making a fresh flower crown with floral wire or headband.

Missing the raffia or floral wire? Here is a lovely tutorial for creating a finger-knit crown with fresh flowers from Cedarwood Waldorf School. Or you could try this Celtic-knot headband made of an old T-shirt.

Missing the garden roses? Try one of the flower-making tutorials we’ve recommended below.

Folded Paper Flowers & Recycled Paper Flowers
Tiny hands could help create these pretty accordion paper flowers, as well as the pastel-swirl coffee filter flowers from First Palette. Westside Waldorf School created this awesome video tutorial on creating a paper flower crown. If you have some more time on your hands, these recycled paper flowers from Rock ‘n’ Roll Bride look amazing when complete.

For more elaborate bouquets, Origami Guide has a step-by-step guide to creating paper lotus flowers. Choose a piece of paper that won’t rip easily, and don’t worry if your corners start looking worn as you fold and fold: the result is lovely when the flower is complete. This video shows you how to create surprisingly pretty paper flowers using Post-it notes.

Draw Flowers
For younger children, this bubble-flower hydrangea project from A Piece of Rainbow would be fun and easy to replicate! Here’s a guide to drawing flowers from artist Kate Kyehyun Park at My Modern Met, as well as this step-by-step guide to drawing roses.

Use Wildflowers
Here is a video tutorial for creating a flower crown out of ubiquitous golden dandelion flowers.

You can also collect and dry wildflowers, or gather them for a May Faire basket.

Photo by 6th Grader Alina

What other creative ways can we celebrate the blossoming of spring? Please share your ideas for making flowers at home with us by emailing grandmotheroak@marinwaldorf.org.

Friday Cheer: A Waldorf Nook at Home

“We have been having a wonderful time at home discovering new ways of bonding as a family, and settling into a routine that honors everyone’s needs,” says preschool mom Elizabeth. “We have transformed a corner under the stairs into our Waldorf inspired area, which we call it “La casita de los chiquitines.”  Our children love spending time in their new space.”

Here’s a picture of the space before they transformed it into a children’s nook.

And here (drum roll please!) is the after …

When the children aren’t playing, “We have also been having fun cooking, singing, watching seeds grow, harvesting veggies and herbs from our small potted garden, watercoloring, making watercolor paints out of spices, and improvising puppet shows,” says Elizabeth!

Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing these amazing photos of your home!

Spring Crafts for Sunny Days at Home

At Marin Waldorf School, we celebrate spring in many ways, and it’s something we can all do at home. Here are some of the pictures we’ve received from families recently, showing their creative days at home, often made using household ingredients.

The spectacular spring basket pictured here was made by a Kindergarten family and is filled with quail and chicken eggs dyed with beet, blueberry and onion skin on a living chia garden nest. If you want to create a beautiful spring basket of your own, here is primer from Waldorf Today on creating homemade natural dyes and egg decorating. (Photo by Maggie Dawson.)

Ojos de Dios
Tissue paper window decorations

Felted animals and a spring table

What have you and your family been making at home? Please share! Families, send pictures and descriptions to Julie at grandmotheroak@marinwaldorf.org.