Our house is magic. You see, one day a few weeks ago, a gnome door popped up in our windowsill. A tiny note soon followed. It was from a gnome named Pip and explained that he had decided to live in Iowa (Pip is a big fan of Midwestern friendliness, apparently). We had to use a special magnifying contraption to read the letter, and let me tell you, the toddler contingent of the Hitchcock family was pretty excited (okay, the mom was pretty thrilled, too. The baby and father were less impressed). We’ve been leaving little treats for Pip since, and I love the spirit of magic this $7 resin door has introduced into my home.
I really enjoy the imagination involved in having a Waldorf family. My toy presentation may be Montessori-ish, but our attitude toward play is pure Waldorf. We talk about gnomes and fairies, dragons and trolls. Think of the magic that most kids feel at Christmas; the Waldorf child gets that all year. Won’t you join us?
If you have older children, I’d start with a letter. Name your gnome (or fairy), and write a letter of introduction. Mention your kids and a few of their interests, and explain why the gnome wants to live in your house. We named ours Pip, after the gnome in the children’s book. You might prefer not to base yours on a book, and invent a whole new character. Ben is new to gnomes, though, so I thought it would be better to give him some context. There are advantages to both routes; choose the option that is more developmentally appropriate for your family. Print your letter out in a handwriting font and as small as you can get it. The letter will help get your children into the spirit of the game.
Because Ben is only two, I chose to introduce the door first. I didn’t say anything about it, but placed it in the windowsill close to the table where he has his snack and does crafts. It took him a while to notice it, but once he did, he was very intrigued. I explained that a gnome had moved into our house, and then I read the letter. Of course, he’s a busy toddler, and he ignored my letter and lunged for the magnifying glass, but later that night he asked me to read it to him.
(Yes, i know my “tomte” grammar is all wrong; I was swept up in the moment!)
From there, we just started talking about him a lot. We place apple slices and cookies by the door. Pip sends letters and leaves crumbs. Sometimes we stand very quietly and try to hear if he’s snoring, and some mornings Ben wakes to find his animals sitting around the table with tea cups, sure signs that they were hanging out with Pip the night before. Now I’m thinking that Pip is just the beginning. There are so many neat little doors out there. Perhaps a mischievous fairy will move into the playroom, or a scholarly elf will take up residence on a bookshelf. Maybe it’s silly, but I think it’s one of those things that my kids will remember fondly once they grow up. Since I’m in no rush for this whole growing up thing, I’m going to make our house as magical as I can while they still believe.
How are you creating wonder in your home? Please share your ideas in the comments, or tag us on Instagram!