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One of the books that I purchased at the relatively local Waldorf Shoppe is called Christmas in the Family. This book is absolutely filled with fabulous holiday craft projects and traditions to add to one’s Christmas repertoire. I was particularly interested in the handmade, paper nativity set, and I delved right into creating my own. So far, I simply have to craft a Joseph and find a means to attach the veil-like headgear to Mary’s head. Below is a photo of the project in progress. More to come…

Three Kings

Three Kings

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This past weekend, we went overboard in our big run-up to Thanksgiving. First, we made a charming leaf mobile. We found this craft in a homeschooling enrichment guide published by Little Acorn Learning. Here, we are getting started by painting the base material that will later be cut into leaf shapes.

Painting the Leaves

Painting the Leaves


After a vigorous painting session, the pre-leaves are left out to dry on a trash bag. Couldn’t risk painting the table as well!
Drying the Leaves

Drying the Leaves


Here’s the leaves all cut out and hung up mobile style from two branches mounted on an overhead light.
Finished Leaves

Finished Leaves


After the fact, we realized that we had too many leaves for the mobile. We could have made it significantly more impressive, but I was losing steam by this point. Consequently, I decided to take a few of the more darker, redder leaves and make hang them from a “thankfulness tree.” The “thankfulness tree” is an upcoming Thanksgiving Project. I intended for my son to hang little cards on the three that listed things for which he is thankful. That will still take place. However, the tree will be a little more jazzy in appearance than originally planned.
Thankfulness Tree

Thankfulness Tree

We have started our November lessons with a focus on remembrance. Using a guide that we purchased from the Little Acorn Learning Web site, we have blended All Souls Day with Veterans Day and a general sense of remembering those we are thankful to have had in our life. This is a bit abstract for my young son to grasp. However, old photos, a story called Nana Upstairs/Nana Downstairs and a movie called Granpa seem to be doing the job.

Here are some large glass votives that we have made for the “remembrance” section of our nature table. I hadn’t anticipated a remembrance theme to the month, so I didn’t have the time to gather pictures of deceased family members. I hope to continue on with this theme next year, and I will be adding such pictures to a section of the nature table.

I have been miffed for a few weeks now, because I lost the instructions for a hibernating bear craft. I was reminded of the fact when my son was required to wear pajamas to an event to mark the fact that animals are just starting to hibernate. Though we have been off the topic for a while now, I decided it would still be fun and apropos to create a hibernating bear for our nature table. The bear would eventually hibernate until spring time. While I could not find the original craft, I found an even better craft as seen below.

I also came across these related 3D pictures made from paper plates, googly eyes and craft paper.

I absolutely LOVE the Waldorf chaulkboard drawings. Ideally, I wanted to create a chaulkboard wall. Alas, that has not yet happened. To compensate, I have decided to buy poster-sized, black cardboard from a local Dollar Store. I am now using chaulk to draw seasonal drawings on the cardboard and mount them on the wall. The squirrel drawing seen below is a direct inspiration from a Little Acorn Learning lesson plan.

Squirrel Chaulkboard

Squirrel Chaulkboard

Around here, we can feel that fall feeling in the air. Just last week, it was nearly 100 degrees, but now, it’s barely reaching the mid 60s. There’s a crisp breeze, and the leaves are just starting to change colors and fall. There’s also that “fall smell” that I love so much. That can only mean one thing. It’s time to change over the nature table. This is our first year with the nature table, and it’s grown into quite a sight to behold. The table itself is this little two person dinette table that we have pushed against a mirror wall. We were actually going to use it, but that never happened. It’s in too tight a space to be functional. It’s ideal for displaying things, though. To that end, we first put out a few little critters mixed in with some cheap candles and a diffuser from the dollar store, but the little table grew and grew into quite a production!

Two of the things that really make the table and pull it all together are this enormous piece of fabric from earthboundpixie and a wooden calendar from mamaroots. The fabric was truly a surprise. I ordered a playmat, and this enormous piece of fabric was wrapped around it. And, I do mean enormous! It’s gold, toile, and about 7’X7′. We used that to cover the mirror wall right up and it gives our nature table error a warm, inviting, and enchanted look. The wooden calendar is based around an old Czech folk tale called the Twelve Brothers. Each brother represents a month of the year. Whenever a new month roles around, the figure representing that month–a little “brother”–is pulled out and put in a place of honor on a little rock. It’s absolutely adorable. The calendar also comes with a little wooden bowl that can contain nature or other objects that can represent the month.

Here’s our summer nature table:

Summer Nature Table

Summer Nature Table

Here’s a close up of our wooden calendar:

The Twelve Brothers

The Twelve Brothers

Here’s our table all aglow during Midsummer:

Midsummer's Eve

Midsummer's Eve

Lastly, if you’re new to nature tables, they need not be so elaborate. In their simplest form, they should have four objects. There should be at least one object from each “kingdom” which Rudolf Steiner, the father of Waldor education describes as the animal, mineral, vegetable, and human. A lot of people may use found or handmade objects that are seasonal. Apparently, some people add one kingdom per week of the month. Some people might add the objects with songs or other fanfare. I’m thinking of deconstructing the summer table all in one go and adding all the new fall objects with some fall songs. Some of the other objects on this table were all made by prettydreamer, NatureTableTreasures, MamaMadeThem, and mamakopp.