During my Mother Blessing that took place almost two years ago this June, all of the women brought a bead for me that was somehow connected to our friendship or to my future birth. Among them were a bead made from a bean (since my friends and I are gardeners and beans remind me the shape of wee ones snuggled up in our wombs), a Hungarian eye bead for good luck, a glass bead with a tree inside for being rooted during birth, among many others. The necklace hangs in my son’s room where we often look at it and I tell him the story of both the necklace and his birth. I got to thinking that similar activities would be a wonderful idea to incorporate into other family traditions or holidays as well.
For a child’s birthday celebration have each child make a salt dough or clay bead that reminds them of the guest of honor. You can later string the necklace with your child and they will have a lovely memory of the day celebrating with their friends.
Have everyone in the family give your child a special bead each year for his or her birthday, that reminds you of something they have gone through or represents a significant milestone. When they are older, they will have a birthday necklace complete with beads from the family.
For an upcoming sibling arrival, help your child make their own birth blessing necklace for mother and baby by cutting old strips of fabric and lacing it with wooden beads, each bead representing a “wish” from child to mother and baby. Your child may also make one for himself, or with parents complete with “wishes” for becoming a big brother or sister.
An example wish might be: I wish to make my baby sister smile when she is feeling sad. Taking the time together to create something that honors this new transition seems like a simple way for kids to participate in a new and mysterious time.
For Spring, have your children string beads, popcorn and berries onto wire to create a “bird necklace” which can be hung on a tree branch for the birds. Say a little blessing for them to be well-nourished as spring slowly reveals her abundance.
To celebrate Earth Day, have children make necklaces for the trees out of natural found materials or have older children crochet a tree necklace, complete with a blessing or wish.
Elise Bowan lives in Colorado with her husband, two amazing boys, and two crazy dogs. She is an avid gardener, baker & cook, holistic healer, and adores simple living and a nature-inspired lifestyle. She is a founding board member for the Mountain Song Community School, a waldorf- methods charter, set to open in 2013. She blogs at Mumacita.
Top photo credits: DeFiore Photography