When I was a little girl, there was always a feeling of dreamlike enchantment when I went to play at friends houses from Waldorf families. Looking back I don’t know if it was the light, breathy atmosphere that their homes held, that they were my friends, or the calm tranquil bubble that seemed to settle on us as we sat down to play.
You see, in a Waldorf home, there are no computer games, no television on in the background, and no beeping, flashing wail from brightly coloured plastic toys…
We would sit for hours, creating magical worlds with crystals, little pieces wood with the bark still on, tiny baskets to hold conkers and acorns. The characters that played in these worlds were wooden animals, little felt gnomes – very often these “beings” having been made by the friends’ parents.
I think one particular toy that was a sheer delight to play with were the very special Waldorf dolls. It is strange I was drawn to dolls at all as I have a deep rooted phobia of them!
My parents bought me a china doll once. She used to sit in a wicker chair on the mantle over the fireplace in my bedroom. And she used to stare at me. She would just sit there – and stare. Her cold glass eyes would follow me around the room, daring me to turn my back. I still have her… she is wrapped tightly, inside a box which is taped tightly in our attic. Don’t worry, she can’t get out!
Anyway! I used to ask for one of these special dolls for every occasion but much to my dismay I never had one.
Maybe it is for that reason that my current project feels so solemn and important.
After buying Emily a Waldorf doll for her first birthday, I vowed I would learn how to make them. It has taken two years but here I am making progress on my first one. She is only tiny – her head measures less than two inches tall. Emily has named her Daisy and already told me that she is going to need lots of costumes and dresses and a mermaid tail and and and!
If you have read my blog before, you will have probably guessed by now that I love making toys for my children. Personally I find so much satisfaction and joy in spending time creating for them, handing over the finished item and watching their faces light up as they rush off to play with them.
Plastic still creeps in from well meaning relatives, and, granted my kids do seem to enjoy the toys that make noises and shine – no matter how much I try to avert their attention elsewhere!
It has been my dream to send both Toby and Emily through Steiner education from the moment they were born, but finance and location simply won’t allow it at present. The best I can do is try to create the same sense of enchantment at home and educate them this way.
I must admit to a selfish indulgent enjoyment of joining in at “lunchtime” when the toys get hungry and the little plates of rose quartz sandwiches come out, or when Toby wants to build dens and houses in the woods (if I’m very lucky I get to climb trees too and play on the rope swing – so long as no one else is around for me to embarrass him!).
Our home certainly doesn’t hold the open breathy atmosphere it could… in every room you can find yarn, books and other such items waiting to be put away. I can’t bring myself to throw this or that away – you never know what it could become! Although, when the warm and dry weather comes, we do need to offload at a car boot or two!!
What childhood wishes do you try to bring to life for your children? Do you have any favourite things you like to create for them?
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