My son goes to a special kind of German kindergarten called a Waldorf kindergarten. It’s about the sweetest, earthiest place you could find. They’re very into natural materials and foods and learning through play, fostering imagination. The kids also garden, bake, knit, and weave. Waldorf schools and kindergartens exist in the U.S. but are not all that common, so we feel lucky for the chance to have our son in one.
Part of having your kids at the Waldorf kindergarten means you agree to help out the school in various ways. I’m signed up for the handbarbeitsgruppe, which is the handcrafts group making items for the bazaars. You can imagine what a struggle this is for me. Haha! It’s a lot of fun.
Waldorf-inspired toys are the best in the universe: handmade from natural materials and all about encouraging imaginative play. It’s good for my German, too, although I have to say I prefer it when the group is small because I can follow along a lot better.
I’m really impressed with the quality of the other parents’ work. There is all sorts of intricate needle-felting and doll-making going on. Thankfully, they gave me a beginner’s project: making handfuls of these teeny little Waldorfy dolls (these caps are a Waldorf motif). I can sew just fine but am not really great at detail work. These babies are really simple but start to look special when you do the blanket stitching around the edges (also a very Waldorf motif). The best part is their secret superpower: inside you put pipe cleaners so that they become little action figures when you bend their arms and legs, like so:
Drop and give me twenty!