This fantastic review was written by Amber of Roam the Gnome, a family travel website and blog. Many thanks to her for reviewing this title, and for letting us reproduce her review on our website. Please note, this is an edited extract; to read the full review, follow the link at the foot of the page.
Making the Children’s Year
by Marije Rowling
reviewed by Amber on Roam the Gnome
In my “former” life before I was a full-time Travel Writer/Family Explorer, I was a Steiner Early Childhood Teacher for 10 years and during this time I handcrafted my share of Steiner toys.
You might wonder how someone with a serious case of wanderlust and a passion for writing and film ever became a teacher, let alone a Steiner Kindergarten teacher, living each and every day inside the same classroom, in a pattern of daily and weekly rhythms that didn’t offer much change, let alone any chances to wander and explore the world beyond. I do too!
But there were SO many gifts in this unexpected career of mine, and while for me it was a shortish interlude, for most teachers working in this way, it is a calling, a passion, a dream come true.
Steiner Waldorf Craft and Steiner Toys
One of my favourite parts of my job was MAKING STUFF. As a lifelong creative, the chance to felt, sew, paint, sing, dance, move, cook, and garden, while ‘working’ (not too hard) with children all around me, was a pretty happy way to spend my days. I made beautiful, heartfelt, handmade stuff with the children every single day.
Toys, crafts for all the seasons, festival invitations, decorations for the room, garlands, costumes, birthday gifts, drawing books, birthday posters, birthday books, story props and props for circle time, gifts for Mothers and Fathers, gifts for new babies, and things to embellish the nature table.
Handmade Waldorf Steiner Toys
Early in my journey, I discovered a book about Waldorf Steiner Toys called ‘The Children’s Year’, a compendium of children’s crafts and activities to celebrate the ever-changing seasons of the year. There were super simple toys such as felt balls, felt ducks, pom pom rabbits and the cutest flower fairy dolls, and knitted chickens that even a beginner could make.
Just a few weeks ago, I got the news that this book has been lovingly reprinted as a fully revised edition of the original “The Children’s Year” by Christine Fynes-Clinton, Stephanie Cooper, and Marije Rowling. It’s now called ‘Making the Children’s Year’- Seasonal Waldorf Crafts with Children, thanks to an update by one of the original writers, Marije Rowling.
It’s simply beautiful, a book for all families, a book for travelling families, and not just Steiner Waldorf -inspired ones.
For those families who love travel, and especially slow travel, this book should be a mandatory item on the family travel packing list, along with a few basic craft supplies such as wool felt, needles and thread, a pair of scissors, colourful ribbon lengths, and knitting wool.
Add a few of nature’s treasures such as seedpods, rocks, leaves and sticks to the mix, along with some found objects such as empty matchboxes, cardboard, and scraps of paper, and you’re set.
The new coloured illustrations add to the magic and bring the book to life.
I loved it then, but I love it even more now.
Buy the book here…
More about Roam the Gnome (including full review) here…