Today we have a very special guest contributor on the Moon Child blog, Stephanie Green, founder of Waldorf Family.
Stephanie is an artist and mother based in England where she develops her line of unique Waldorf-inspired toys and decor. Here she shares her thoughts on the importance of celebrating the seasons with your children and how you can bring some of her favorite traditions to your own home.
Take it away, Stephanie!
We joined Waldorf education when my oldest was just 6 months old, diving into the parent and child group at our local school. That opened the door to this wonderful world of seasonal living with children.
Celebrating seasons as they come and go is one of the most natural, human traditions we can embrace. It’s easy to overlook the delicate transformation which is taking place in the natural world around us. Our lives are richer and our children’s lives filled more deeply when we connect to these intuitive cycles.
Celebrating seasons, living with rhythm and festivals that connect us to the Earth and our community help to form a secure base. Children grow and thrive when they are rooted in the rhythm of the year.
The seasons themselves are like breathing in and out, creating space for our inner work as we travel through the year. The expansive joy and possibilities in spring and summer, the coming back to hard work and determination in autumn and the reflection of winter.
As we bring these elements to our children they absorb this heartbeat as naturally as night and day.
Here are some of the ways we celebrate the season throughout the year in our family. We hope you'll find inspiration in these ideas for your own home.
Rotate Seasonal Items
We swap out items that reflect the season in our home. For example, we have wool fairies which hang in different rooms that change throughout the year. Our nature table also changes for each season: spring, summer, autumn and winter, with a colored cloth and a variety of seasonal treasures on them to reflect the world outside.
Change Your Artwork
I hang seasonal postcards in our family spaces and refresh them throughout the year. I love to hang on to everything, but knowing that we have to make room for the new is a constant reminder to live like this too.
Commit to Being in Nature
We walk or ride our bikes as a family. We use the Weather Wheel as part of our observation studies so the children take notice of sunny days, rainy days, all of which usually leads naturally to discussions of water cycles or habitats. Our environment is so connected that it is easy to make links and draw in different elements we are working on.
Grow Seasonal Food
We supplement what we grow with a local veg box (a CSA) but we do make an effort to keep the veggies going. I think it's essential that the children connect to these basic natural elements, plus they love scrumping the fruit in the summer!
Planting seeds and watching them grow, especially if you can eat the results, holds a wealth of experiences and is open to almost anyone as, something like salad greens will grow in a tiny pot on the window sill just as happily as it will in the garden.
Attend Community Celebrations
If you are not part of your local community at the moment, look into upcoming events for a holiday, like Halloween or Easter. When these milestones come around, check to see if your town is holding a shared event. Sharing our connections as a family with our local community is a precious part of our journey and lots of fun.
A favorite is the St John's fire. At school the younger children join in gathering sticks for the fire, they light it and sing songs together. Eventually when they get hungry and a little tired they join together for a feast in the sunshine, sharing bread and colorful summer fruits. The older children then join in and jump the embers of the fire and sing loudly together.
Thank you Stephanie for sharing your family traditions. You can find seasonal items to bring into your own home by shopping our Waldorf Family collection here.