The Children's Year

4 Sep 2006

I want to share a wonderful book with you. I discovered this book about nine years ago when I went to a Steiner/Waldorf parenting course run by Adult Education. A wonderful lady who seemed to be the quintissential Grandmother took us on a journey which helped us confirm that the most important job we would ever do was to parent our children and we were right to feel that it was worth devoting our time and efforts into doing the job to the best of our abilities. I don't mean she encouraged us to be supermums, far from it. We were encouraged to take our role seriously and revel in all its many facets, to take the opportunity and time to learn from our children and to grow as a result of our role of mother. It was wonderful to have this validation of the mother/homemaker role that we had chosen and to have someone who seemed very wise tell us that we were doing the right thing.

The book The Children's Year is full of wonderful craft projects to make for your children, with your children and when they are ready they can make the projects themselves. This book is a marker for me reminding me of the time when I found something , a way of thinking which was always within me but finally found a way of being expressed.

Apart from all that I learned during that course I also met a group of women with whom I felt a strong bond . Some of us started a playgroup which in various forms sustained me in my mothering role until my youngest child started school. The group continues with different mums and I have had the priviledge to run some workshops to teach them dollmaking.

I have always enjoyed all sorts of needlecraft since I was a young girl, making clothes for my dolls, making dolls and animals and ofcourse knitting clothes and blankets for my dolls. One aspect of the Steiner/Waldorf approach to parenting and education is its emphasis on handcraft. I truly felt I had come home, and it was a comfortable creative place that nurtured my handcraft skills.

Now I make a little pin money from the sale of my dolls and hopefully the children who receive them feel the warmth and love that goes into making each doll. The wonderful thing about Steiner/Waldorf dolls is that anyone can learn to make them and though each one will look different they all carry a certain childlike quality that celebrates the precious spirit of the child.

11 Responses to “The Children's Year”

  1. I love 'A Children's Year' , and Waldorf Dolls. I've made a few for my girls, including a mermaid - they are now well loved. I've been having some blue days as well. I always get melancholy when my girls go back to school. I miss them and the lazy days of summer. This year it's especially bad because I am going back to work. It's a wonderful job opportunity, but I am really mourning my life as a stay at home mom. It's as though that part of my life is ending, and I'm just so sad.

  2. Dear Beth, its lovely to hear from you again but its awful that you are so sad. Is it full time work that you are going to or part-time.I hope it works out for you. I started a job 5 years ago that was on paper the perfect job but I had such a deep longing in me to be at home that after three years I walked away from it and I don't regret it. I've been home now for two years. Life can be very difficlut and nothing ever stays the same. You have to do what you think is best and live with the consequences. I suppose you can always quit if it makes you too unhappy. There has been a theme of sadness and unwanted change in quite a few North American blogs as the holidays finish and children move on to new lifestages. If I had to go back to work now I would feel just like you.
    lots of love Jenny

  3. I love this book also, and made my girls waldorf dolls many years ago. We stil have them, 20 years old now, these dolls. Thin hair, limb bodies but show how well they were loved.
    Maybe in the next year or so I will get to make more dolls for grandbabies. One phase in life passes and another one begins.

  4. Oh dear, I forgot to say how lovely your dolls are !
    I would like to try and make the little fairy dolls that are wrapped.

  5. Thank you for sharing this Jenny. I'm going to buy the book on Amazon now. I love the fact that the Steiner Waldorf approach is very child centred...children are treated as individuals.

  6. Thank you for sharing this book! and your work is lovely, lovely!


  7. I agree his is a have to have book !! Clarice

  8. I adore this book! I seem to find myself reaching for it at the beginning of each season.

    Your dolls are just precious!

  9. Okay, now here's a new project I can justify beginning! My niece's birthday is at the end of this month and she will often tell me, "Aunt Shell I LOOOOOOVE homemade things."
    That's my girl!
    Thank you for sharing!

  10. Patty, How wonderful that you still have your dolls . I'm sure you will have no trouble making dolls for all those grandchildren you are going to have.

    P&S, I hope you enjoy the book, I know you will.

    g.l.h, thanks for the compliment, I really enjoy making them and my daughter enjoys playing with them.

    Clarice, I know there are lots of things in the book your children will enjoy.

    Danielle, I do the same thing every season just to put me in the mood. Because it is a northern hemispere book though Spring means Easter so I have to do a few adjustments as we have Easter in Autumn.

    Hopeful, I'm know your neice will love the doll. If you have any problems I'm sure your nearest Waldorf school will be only too happy to help. Good luck.

  11. So did your dolls sell?!!?? How exciting!! :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.