Creating a Waldorf home and lifestyle isn’t mysterious or out of reach, but it is a process. Myths are imagined that all Waldorf homes are perfect in some way and all the children just dreamily sing along baking bread.
More than accoutrements, Waldorf living is a feeling that can be invoked in your home. The recipe includes simplicity and beauty with natural materials, mindfulness and rhythm as ingredients.
An uncluttered home is essential for knowing where things belong. Natural baskets work well to house paperwork, mail or keys. I use baskets on my bookshelves for children’s toys and playsilks. Art supplies can be stored in a closet or in open baskets. I have many small baskets that are used to separate block crayons, stick crayons, pencils, paper, and beeswax.
Rhythm is the breathing in and breathing out of our days. We come in together for breakfast, followed by a nature walk outdoors. Circle time connects us and the main lesson allows exploration in paint and art. Children go out to play, then snuggle on mom’s lap for a story. This rhythm gives the parent and the child the ability to share moments throughout the day and have creative time apart.
Limiting or exclusion of screen time for young children is usually part of Waldorf homes. My children do not know what life around a screen is. They spend time creating intricate games and play scenarios without the need for me or a screen to entertain them.
Ideas for beautiful toys are seen in many Waldorf homes, but many items can be found right in your backyard! Woven baskets or boxes filled with acorns, walnuts, shells, pinecones, crystals or stones have been wonderful accessories to my children’s playthings. Tree blocks, easily cut from a large branch, become a forest, cave or setting for our fairy tales. Playsilks can be purchased for less than $10 or can also be dyed using flowers and herbs. These silks are so versatile; whether they clothe the nature table, become a river, or wrap around a child as a cape, they rarely sit idle for long.
Be mindful of too many busy days that interrupt rhythm and play. Allow plenty of free time for children and parent to enjoy those “do nothing” days. Take time to just be.
Donna Ashton is the creator & founder of The Waldorf Connection. She spends her days with her husband and twin girls in Coastal Carolina homeschooling, & creating programs to support homeschoolers. When she can squeeze out time she loves organic gardening, meditating, baking, bike rides and walks on the beach. You can follow her quirky homeschool blog at School for all Seasons.