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New Books for Autumn 2021

This autumn we are publishing several new books, including Making Waldorf Crafts by Nina Taylor, World Tales for Family Storytelling by Chris Smith and Creative Form Drawing with children aged 9-12 years by Angela Lord.

Making Waldorf Crafts is a recipe book to guide young people through making things on their own (with a little help or guidance from an adult, if needed).

Projects include finger knitting, knitted animals, sewing a flute case and keeping a Handwork Diary. Regular teaching tips guide adults in how best to demonstrate skills and how to make them engaging.

The author, Nina Taylor has spent thirty years in Steiner-Waldorf settings as Handwork Teacher in Canterbury and a qualified Steiner-Waldorf Class Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner House. 

In World Tales for Family Storytelling, children will find 53 ready to tell stories, which are short, simple and quick to learn. They draw on traditional tales, told in the voice of a storyteller.

Author Chris Smith says, ‘These wonderful world tales are all selected from the highly acclaimed 147 Traditional Stories for Primary School Children to Retell, a reference book used by teachers around the globe. In this collection for home use, we focus on tales for children aged 4-6. The stories may be read, told and retold and then explored within the family. They offer a rich vein of world heritage, giving your family a doorway into the wonderful world of traditional tales. Enjoy!‘ 

Chris Smith is a storyteller, musician, educator, father and founder of Storytelling Schools, where children learn to be storytellers. He believes in the power of storytelling to help families thrive.

The second workbook in Angela Lord’s Creative Form Drawing series, Creative Form Drawing with children aged 9-12 years is a form drawing resource for teachers. It is designed to be used with the Steiner/Waldorf curriculum in classes four and five, although it will also be valuable to home-educating parents using the Steiner/Waldorf ethos as their base.

Visit the Hawthorn Press website for our full range of craft, storytelling and Steiner-Waldorf education books.

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Making Waldorf Crafts

This autumn we publish Making Waldorf Crafts by Nina Taylor – a recipe book to guide young people through making things on their own (with a little help or guidance from an adult, if needed).

Techniques in the book include spinning, knitting, sewing and weaving for complete beginners with clear step-by-step illustrations. The projects and techniques are accompanied by stories and anecdotes with a narrative that children won’t be able to resist, with tips for including your own interactive storytelling into sessions.

Group tasks are suggested, as well as individual projects and skills to learn. Some of the more complex projects may require one-to-one attention, so there are also activities included for young people to be getting on with while they are waiting for help, so the teacher isn’t dashing from person to person. Regular teaching tips from the author show you how best to demonstrate skills and how to keep the lessons engaging.

The author, Nina Taylor, has decades of teaching and teacher-training experience which she has distilled onto the pages of the book. Invaluable for teachers Making Waldorf Crafts is also a book to be used by children at home as they make their first creative ventures.

The more we take into account that intellect develops from the movement of limb, from dexterity and skills, the better it will be.

Rudolf Steiner

As school curriculums are under more pressure to fulfill academic goals, these projects will provide opportunities to develop dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination and creativity with a series of tried and tested, age-appropriate projects to gradually build up skills.

Rudolf Steiner was ahead of his time in recognising the benefits of making with the hands and observed that embodied learning promoted cognitive development in other areas too. This is never more true than in the delicate process of learning where young children are involved.

Making Waldorf Crafts is available to pre-order now. Browse our full range of craft titles on our website.

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Home learning through lockdown

As 2021 begins we find ourselves back in lockdown, and looking for inspiring activities and home learning aids.

Hawthorn Press has practical books that can help with home education such as educational text books, crafts, seasonal projects, storytelling and literacy.

Pandemic Homeschooling

The Case for Homeschooling: free range home education handbook by Anna Dusseau is full of useful tips and advice on how to help your children learn at home. From a chapter on pandemic homeschooling, discussing how to juggle home learning with work and with tips to get you started, to 101 Activity Ideas, a Q&A section and suggested further reading and resources.

Early learning and movement?

Sally Goddard Blythe offers stories, songs with 2 CD’s, rhymes and exercises for early years brain development, attention, co-ordination and balance in Movement, your child’s first language.

Learning to write and read?

Parents of children aged 6-8 years will find Writing to Reading the Steiner Waldorf Way a creative, fun way of introducing literacy, from drawing the letters, to movement, telling stories to then writing and reading. Creative Form Drawing For the Four Temperaments with Children aged 6-10 years offers colourful pre-writing exercises.

Every family is a storytelling family and every child a storyteller?

Interested in telling nature stories? Then The Natural Storyteller has stories for telling orally. Using the story maps, you can easily tell the stories without reading and become a family storyteller. You can build up a repertoire of stories to tell your family, and impress your teachers on returning to school. You can find world stories in 147 Traditional Storiesfor children aged 7-12 to retell, and storytelling tips.

Seasonal Nature and Craft

Booksuch as The Children’s Forest offer stories and songs, wild food, recipes, crafts and celebrations for all the year round. Families can enjoy these, with seasonal things to look out for on your daily walks.

Crafting is a great way to spend time with your family, or to lose yourself in to counter feelings of anxiety or loneliness. Making with your hands is a great way of giving children the creative life skills for navigating this age of disruption. We have a wide variety of books including Making Soft DollsMaking the Children’s Year, Making Simple Needle Felts and Making Peg Dolls.

Our own Katy Bevan co-hosts a visible mending workshop, Meet Make Mend that you can now join online. The group will next meet on 13th January from 7 p.m. – sign up here.

There are also countless online tutorials springing up where you can join like-minded folk and make things together. For example, Hikaru Noguchi, author of Darning: Repair, Make, Mend is currently offering visible mending tutorials on IGTV and Steffi Stern, author of several crafting books published by Hawthorn Press, has a selection of online workshops available to watch via Youtube.

You can keep up-to-date on Hawthorn Press books, events and activity suggestions by following us on social media and by signing up to our monthly newsletter.

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Making An Edible Mandala

Today is Halloween, the origins of which date back to the Celtic tradition of Samhain. It is a potent time of year – celebrating both death, with a celebration of our ancestors, and life. Many cultures honour their dead at Samhain, a tradition that gave way to Halloween, or All Hallows Eve.

The other side of death is birth. Dead leaves fall from the trees, but they nourish the earth, supporting new life. Recognising that Samhain is a time not just of death, but of rebirth, Celtic peoples celebrated Samhain as the Celtic New Year.

Following this guide from The Children’s Forest by Dawn Casey, Anna Richardson and Helen D’Ascoli, why not create an edible mandala this Halloween, using the autumn’s harvest.

This activity is taken from The Children’s Forest: Stories & songs, wild food, crafts and celebrations by Dawn Casey, Anna Richardson and Helen D’Ascoli. Find out more about the book on the Hawthorn Press website.

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Celebrating Lughnasa

As the temperature in England soars this week we are celebrating Lughnasa, the late summer festival halfway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox.

Lughnasa was first named after the Irish hero Lugh, who many think of as a sun god. In later times, Lughnasa was named Lammas – ‘loaf-mass’ – a time to bless the newly baked bread and give thanks for the harvest of grain.

Celebrate with us by taking this Lughnasa Imaginary Journey, from The Children’s Forest: Stories and songs, wild food, crafts and celebrations all year round.

For more Lughnasa-inspired stories and activities, and other seasonal stories and crafts see The Children’s Forest: Stories and songs, wild food, crafts and celebrations all year round by Dawn Casey, Anna Richardson and Helen d’Ascoli.