Spring is here! Bulbs are growing, birds are singing, and at Sunrise, we’re getting ready for spring break. Here are some fun crafts and activities you can use to welcome the season (and keep your children occupied).
Photo by Filip Urban on Unsplash
In Waldorf education, teachers cultivate a child’s connection to the natural world, and inspire a sense of wonder for nature. Parents can do this at home by marking the changing seasons. Since it’s always nice to have a few ideas at hand, we put together a list of crafts and activities to try this spring break.
Take a Nature Walk
This is a simple idea, but can be fun for the whole family. You can make a game out of looking for signs of spring, or spotting fairy and gnome habitats. If you have older children, consider finding a new trail to explore, or a challenging hike.
If you have a nature table at home, take a gathering walk to find new items for the table. A branch of pussy willows, some fresh flowers, or special stones are all welcome additions.
Photo by Sparkle Stories
Make Fairy Houses
Many children delight in making fairy houses, in back yards, wooded areas, or even inside the home. If you’re not sure what a fairy house looks like, or where to start, the Sparkle Stories blog, and Childhood by Nature have some lovely ideas and photos.
Younger children may need some guidance if they have never built a fairy house before. Help them collect sticks, moss, leaves, rocks, or any natural materials that could be fashioned into a fairy dwelling.
Next, find a good location, maybe at the base of a tree or other sheltered area. Little ones will also need guidance to make a structure at first. In time, they will happily make their own.
Older children will be interested in both building and decorating their houses. Their creations may be more elaborate, and include windows, doors, pathways, and painted signs. While natural materials are always best for fairy houses, some glass beads can add enchanting colour.
Photo by Sparkle Stories
Watching tiny seeds sprout new life inspires wonder in all of us. Whether you plan to grow a single plant, or start a few seeds for your garden, this is a fun activity for children of all ages.
One simple option is to grow your own sprouts in a jar. This activity is relatively easy and fast. It takes roughly one week from soaking the seeds to harvesting the sprouts. It may also inspire picky eaters to sample something new!
Window gardening is another popular idea. This upcycled option (courtesy of Sparkle Stories and pictured above) shows how to sprout radish seeds in old CD cases. The transparent container allows children to watch the transformation from seed to sprout day by day.
If you have a few different seeds you would like to start indoors, egg carton seed starters (from Sparkle Stories again) are a perfect option. Children won’t be able to watch the seeds grow in the same way, but will delight as the first green leaves begin to poke their heads out of the soil.
Put on a Puppet Show
A staple of Waldorf preschools and kindergartens, puppet shows are a fun way to share stories about the changing seasons. Younger children will be happy to watch, while older ones may be glad to take charge and put on a show themselves.
The first step is to find, remember, or create a story. They don’t need to be complex, especially for younger children. All you need is a beginning, middle, and an end. This lovely example from the Waldorf Library tells the story of a little seed who wishes she could be as big and beautiful as the plants around her. You can also mine some of your favourite books for inspiration.
Next, find a little space such as a table, a shoe box, or a bit of floor to serve as a stage. Lay a piece of silk or nice fabric over it, if you like.
Finally, use puppets, toys, or figurines from home to tell the story, and have fun!
Photo by Twig and Toadstool
This window butterfly craft from Twig and Toadstool is a charming option for children aged 5-8. They will add colour and cheer to your windows on rainy days.
Photo by Twig and Toadstool
Older children and parents may have fun making these sweet flower children, also from Twig and Toadstool. They are a perfect addition to a nature table, or could be used as puppets in a play!
Photo by A Beautiful Childhood
Eggshell Beeswax Candles
Eggs have been symbols of spring and new life for centuries. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, you may enjoy making these beeswax candles from A Beautiful Childhood blog to brighten a spring evening meal.
Although young children will need to be kept well away from the hot wax, they can help to wash the eggshells and pour beeswax pellets. Older children can participate in more of the process.
Photo by Fiber Artsy
Wet Felted Eggs
If you would like to try wet felting, these colourful eggs are an easy way to start, and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. This tutorial uses plastic eggs to create the egg shape, but balls of wool roving could be used if you want to avoid plastic. They could be a fun addition to an Easter morning egg hunt, for those who celebrate.
However you celebrate spring in your home, we hope the new season brings extra joy and sunshine to you and your family. Have a wonderful spring break!