10 Ideas to Celebrate Michaelmas

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Michaelmas is the time of the year that I discuss with my children the figurative dragons they need to slay. A time to talk about bravery and courage. A time to make dragon bread!

In addition to your August HHP envelope, Erin from The Usual Mayhem created this wonderful list of resources to make this your best Michaelmas yet!

Michaelmas is coming up on September 29th. If you’d like to learn more about why Waldorf schools celebrate Michaelmas, you can read about it……and then look at these 10 great ideas to celebrate! There should something here for every age group….. I’ve tried to gather a variety of ideas.

In no particular order, here we go:

  1. Uncommon Grace shows how they celebrate Michaelmas. Some fun ideas in here, although the photos seem to have vanished from the blog. The Dragon Soup is an inspired touch!
  2. You Know How We’re an Art Family shared their own celebration. I especially love the jousting on logs, but the whole thing looks like something we’d love!
  3. Frontier Dreams shared not one but three years’ worth of celebrations, including songs and some gorgeous felting handwork.
  4. Chocolate Eyes made some fantastic swords!
  5. The Usual Mayhem shared a tutorial for how to build a foam board castle and a toilet roll dragon with your preschooler.
  6. Bobbins and Brambles shared a great guided dragon watercolor tutorial that every kid will want to try!
  7. Little Acorn Learning shared some dragon fingerplay – so sweet!
  8. Cypress Space has the best dragon bread tutorial I have ever seen. We can’t wait to try it out this year!
  9. Rhythm of the Home has a felt dragon tutorial with very clear templates, photos, and instructions. This one would make a great kid handcrafting project for the week, or a gift that you can make up quickly for your child for some small worlds play. Or HHP has a Felt Dragon Kit that includes all the supplies you need.
  10. Feelin’ Crafty shared a great dragon wings costume tutorial. Make them now and your child can re-use them for a Halloween costume (if you celebrate that, too) or imaginative play (if you don’t).

Obviously the internet is jam-packed with other ideas for celebrating Michaelmas, but this will start you off. Have fun and add a new holiday tradition that your kids will remember when they’re all grown and gone! Enjoy.

 

I hope you share your pictures with us on Facebook or Instagram using #happyhedgehogpost.

It’s Autumn, let’s Celebrate!

The air is changing and getting that delicious crispness that only comes in Autumn. The trees are laden with apples begging to be picked. Plump pumpkins are dotting the fields. The red and gold leaves sprinkled everywhere…..

I love autumn. It is my favorite season and I try to cram as many Autumn activities in as my family will tolerate!

HHP Brand Rep Jenn,  also adores Autumn and is going to share with us her family’s Autumn Bucket List.

I have to admit it, I am happy to see summer go. I enjoy all of the seasons for many reasons, but anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in love with autumn. There is something so beautiful to me about the cool, crisp air and the leaves changing color. I love the return of our favorite family traditions, and I look forward to making fun new memories with my children and extended family.

One of my favorite verses about autumn is an excerpt from a poem by an American poet named George Cooper. It’s called “Come Little Leaves”.

“Come, little leaves,”
Said the wind one day,
“Come over the meadows
With me, and play;
Put on your dresses
Of red and gold;
Summer is gone,
And the days grow cold.”

From a Waldorf perspective autumn brings us a different view of our life. It is the breathing out of the seasons. We, as adults, get to meditate on Mother Earth as she shows us her beauty even in the loss of the leaves. We get to snuggle a little closer during a chilly morning with our children. Our children get to experience the colors of autumn all around them, and we get to teach them about the earth’s life cycle as it prepares to be dormant once again for winter.

My children and I decided that there is just so many fun things to do during autumn that we need to make a bucket list so we can keep track of it all! Here are a few things that will be on our bucket list this year:

1. Go on a ‘Signs of Autumn’ nature walk
Go on a walk right now, before the Autumnal Equinox and see if you and your child can find some signs of autumn together. Do you see leaves changing colors in your area? Are the acorns starting to fall from the trees? How does the air smell? Is it starting to get chilly? These are some great questions to ask your little one as you are walking together.

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2. Jump in a big pile of leaves
Everyone knows this is a must for fall. Rake up a big pile of leaves up in the yard and have at it! Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the joy on your children’s faces.

3. Make some crafts with fallen leaves
While you’re raking you may discover a beautiful leaf you are not ready to throw into the pile. Bring a bag outside with you and have your children collect as many beautiful leaves as they can. Really see which ones speak to their heart and ask them how the colors make them feel. This year we’ve already created a leaf mobile with leaves we collected on a walk, an old wooden embroidery hoop, some embroidery floss and a needle. My five-year old loved helping me ‘sew’ the leaves for this project.

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4. Visit your local farms and Orchards
Take your children to your local orchard for some apple picking. Pumpkin picking is lots of fun as well! Visit here to find a pick-your-own farm or orchard near you. If you use a waldorf homeschool curriculum and you have a child in year three, you will probably be doing a unit on farming this year. Many farms are willing to do tours for groups, so if your family is interested you can call up your farm in advance and schedule a tour. Children love to see how the farmers grow, care for, and harvest their plants.

5. Bake or cook up some fall treats!
Once you’ve picked some local autumn produce, you can get to work baking up some cakes, pies, jams, jellies, or butters! Here is one of my favorite recipes for a Gluten Free Apple Crisp from Dana over at Minimalist Baker. It is especially good when served warm with some vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!

6. Make Nature Mandalas
This is something I try to do at least once every season. First we collect fallen objects from the ground. Some suggestions to look for are small rocks or pebbles, large and small leaves, blades of grass, wildflowers, pine needles, and maybe some tree bark pieces. Start arranging them in a symmetrical pattern with your childs help. This not only gently introduces your child to the concepts of symmetry and geometry, but also you get to see the different things Mother Earth gives you each season to make your mandalas with. I encourage you to take photos and compare them to other seasons as you create.

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7. Knit a scarf
Autumn brings crisp and windy days, so knit up a scarf for yourself or your children. If you have older children you can teach them to knit their own scarf very simply. Look for a pattern with mostly knit stitches, or purl stitches as well if your child is a seasoned knitter. Knitting is such a lovely hobby, and one of my most beloved especially in the fall. Curling up on the couch with a cup of warm cider and my knitting needles makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

That’s just the beginning of my list! My kids are thinking up all sorts of fun things to add to our bucket list ever day. I hope I’ve inspired you to get out there in nature with your kids and enjoy all of the fun activities autumn has to offer! What will be on your autumn bucket list this year? What kinds of fall family traditions do you look forward to each year. Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks, Jenn for that fun post! We would love to see pics on Instagram and Facebook of your Autumn adventures.

And don’t forget to look skyward tonight to see this year’s Harvest Moon. It’s a great night to have a moon picnic or to dance under the moonbeams. I look forward to seeing your Harvest Moon Dream Pillows and hearing if they give you sweet dreams!

Love,

Samantha

Summer Window Star Tutorial

While you are waiting for your August Envelopes to arrive, Erin at The Usual Mayhem has provided this lovely window star tutorial. We would love to see your stars. Share pics with us on Instagram using #happyhedgehogpost .

August and September are filled with wonderful opportunities for star-gazing! Here’s a Waldorf window star tutorial so you can enjoy the beauty of the night sky even when it’s cloudy.

You can make a small star, about 6 inches across, from only 1 sheet of kite paper, or you can use 3 sheets and make a medium sized one. I suppose you could go all out and use 8 sheets of kite paper for a huge star, but I prefer to hoard mine so we can make lots of them to fill our window!

You’ll need:

-kite paper ( you can get it here)

-stick glue (or white glue; the stick glue lets you get the star up on your window more quickly, though)

That’s it!

Step 1.

Cut your kite paper into equal strips – you’re going to need identical 8 rectangles. If you’re making the small star, fold your paper in half, then turn it sideways and fold it into 4. Open it and cut out your 8 rectangles.

If you’re making the medium star, fold your three sheets into thirds, then cut an inch off the bottom before you open them and cut them into your rectangles (otherwise they are too long and pointy, and almost impossible to fold).

folding kite paper into thirds

Fold it like this for the medium star, then cut an inch off the short bottom before you cut it into three rectangles.

Step 2. Fold your first rectangle in half lengthwise. Open it up and fold each corner down to the center line, as shown.

 

window star step 2a

The lengthwise fold

window star step 2b

Fold all 4 corners like this

window star step 2c

It will look like this.

Step 3. Now, at one end, fold it over again, bringing the side to the middle line. If you’ve never folded a star before, the trick is well creased lines – hold the paper at the line you want it folded to, then use the fingers of your other hand to smooth the paper backwards until it creases crisply. Do this to both sides at this end so it looks like this:

window star step 3

Do this to both sides at this end.

Step 4. This is the hardest fold, but it’s not impossible! Fold those same two corners again. You may have to use the tip of your finger to hold the new point in place as you fold, because it’s really small at the tip. It will look like this:

window star step 4a

it will be really pointy. Try not to let the two sides overlap.

window star step 4b

Step 5: Repeat steps 1 through 4 with the other 7 rectangles.

window star step 5

Step 6. Now you’re ready to glue your star together! Line up and glue the edge of the right piece with the center line on the next one, like this:

window star step 6a

See how the bottom points and the centers match up?

Continue until you have only one piece left to glue in. For this last one, you’ll need to glue the underside of the piece to its right, as well as the top of your left hand piece. This sounds really unclear, but hopefully the pictures below will make it easy to follow!

window star step 6b

You’re going to slide the right side under here after you glue it.

window star step 6c

Now glue the top the same way you did the other pieces and stick it down.

Attach your star to a window (you can use your glue stick because window cleaner will remove it when you’re ready). Stand back and enjoy! Happy star gazing!

finished Waldorf window star

P.S. If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy trying this solstice star tutorial or this window sun tutorial next.

Momma’s Quiet Time

I use what little quiet time I get to read those links I’ve been saving on Facebook all week. I love that you can save post now but boy my list gets pretty long!  And of course Facebook feels the need to point out how many I still haven’t opened. I don’t need that kind of pressure, Facebook!

So when I can, I pour myself a cup of tea and have a little momma time. Here’s what I’m reading (or watching😉 ) this week….so far anyway….

I love Anne Shirley and have always dreamed of walking in her foot steps! So for now, this will have to do! Virtual Field Trip to Prince Edward Island

Homeschooling is hard and time consuming so this blog post caught my eye, Homeschooling & Marriage.

Speaking of homeschooling, my school year is starting up again and I am reviewing my plans. I need to make sure I covered all the bases and  Carrie’s post, Waldorf Homeschool Planning: Hands, Heart and Head, might be just what I need.

A little inspiration. A video about the fear of failure  from Business Insider.

 

What are you reading this week?

Warmly,

Samantha

 

Fairy Garden Contest 2016

Have you made your Fairy Garden yet?

I had a blast making mine with my oldest before the baby arrived.We decided to make ours outdoor garden to go in our backyard fairy ring. So, I took him to the nursery to pick out some drought tolerant plants, potting soil and some large plant saucers.

Here’s mine:

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Here’s his:

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He’s going to put water in the dish to serve as a lake for the fairies. He’s building them a boat so they can sail around.

It’s amazing to me how we can start with the same supplies and come up with something totally different!  What do you think? Will we have some happy fairies?

I would love to see yours!!


To enter the Fairy Garden Contest:

Make a Fairy Garden using the supplies provided in your Summer Bundle plus anything you want to add.

Share your Fairy Garden by posting your photos on Instagram using #HHPfairygarden. For your entry to count, you need to follow me on Instagram @HappyHedgehogPost . Enter by August 1, 2016.

If you don’t have an IG account, you can share photos of your Fairy Garden on our FB page and I would love it if you would like and follow it.

I will be choosing 3 winners. The prizes are:

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1st Place Prize

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2nd Place Prize

3rd Place Prize is a $25 Gift Certificate to my shop.

 

I can’t wait to see your creations!

Warmly,
Samantha

 

 

August Sneak Peek

Can you believe that summer is almost over?!

It’s really flown by for my family. I feel like I blinked and now it’s time to start planning for the school year. But it has been a bit hectic what with having a newborn and all.

So with Michaelmas coming up, I had a wonderful time creating a castle set that I hope your children will enjoy playing with for hours on end.  It also makes great storytelling props for you and your children, too.

The August Envelope will include the supplies to create your own courageous Knight peg doll, a beautiful Princess peg doll and castle tower.

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In addition to the August Zine with poems, verses, recipe and more, you will also receive a lovely Dragon Egg from Simple Gifts Toys.

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Each craft will have a step by step video to teach you how to make it on our YouTube Channel. Orders start shipping on the 15th.

Get yours today before they sell out! 

This set goes well with the Dragon from last year’s envelope. If you missed out, kits will be for sale in my shop soon.

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Please share with all your friends!!

Warmly,

Samantha

March Musings and Circle Time

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Well, it snowed last week. And it was pretty cold today. Still, we’ve had a couple of warm days, and this morning I noticed that our daffodils are poking out of the dirt near the mud kitchen. We even broke … Continue reading