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Martinmas ~ Hosting a Lantern Walk

Coming right up in November is Martinmas.

In the Waldorf Traditon Martinmas celebrates kindness among friends and family. Martinmas asks us to share our inner light with eachother as we fall forward into the shorter and darker days of autumn and soon to be winter.

The Lantern Walk is a literal symbol of our inner light, the walk is done each of us with our own lantern and usually we sing a quite song. At our playschool this week we are busy making Lanterns for such a walk. We decided on the type of  lantern made from tissue paper and glue with a bit of finger knitting for a handle.

Here is a quick list of what you will need to create your own lanterns for a walk with friends and family or just to light in your window as the days grow darker.



1. Tissue paper ~ Orange and Red are traditional, but this year at playschool we used a light blue

Tear them into pieces about 4 by 3 inches

2. Ferns of Fall leaves, pressed overnight

3. White Glue (Elmer’s or something similar)

4. A few brushes that you don’t mind getting yucky!

5. Ballons

6. Finger knitting about 20 inces long

7. Hole Punch

8. Long stick

9. Tea Light

waiting to be lanterns…


You start by blowing up the balloon and then carefully build your layers of tissue by placing the tissue on the balloon and painting over it with the glue all around the bottom and up towards the knot of the balloon being careful to leave about 2 to 3 inches at the top with no tissue.

Once you have put on at least 4 layers of tissue you can choose what leaves or ferns you want to go on your lantern. Place them and then put 1 more layer of tissue over the whole work.

Hang to dry over night.

hanging balloons to dry

In the morning once your project is dry, pop your balloon!

You can use a whole punch to punch 2 holes at each side of the lantern and lace your length finger knitting through to create a handle.

We love to find neat long sticks with the children to go through the handle, this makes it a little more safe for little hands and in the German tradition of Lantern making.

When you are ready to go just light your lantern’s tea light and off you go!

painting ferns on with glue


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celebrating michaelmas, a golden hue…

And polish my crown to a golden hue.
Ask the gnomes the iron to mine,
Iron from the stars, from the earth, so fine,
To bring to the blacksmith, who with his might
Will make me a sword, so strong, so bright

our crowns all sewn up and ready to surprise the children!
from our story


here is a simple, easy and delightful project for michaelmas!
we dyed our wool with easter egg dye, using the golden yellow and orange to make this light gold.

hanging to dry silks and crowns

the children worked on wooden hoops with embroidery needle and thread.

thread the needle to and fro

they were very busy with their hands and looked forward to these quiet times of ” thread the needle to and fro here we go”…

as a surprise i waited to tell them just WHAT the project was for and the night before Michaelmas i sewed their handwork into crowns.
each child delighted in being crowned and knighted and it reminded us of the change in season that is upon us.

autumn is here…

feast of st. michael

we had a little ceremony of knighting each child before we ate our feast of dragon bread, figs, cheese and apples with honey!

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Planting with children

{getting everyone involved)


This is a variation of one of my favorite projects seen here.

It is important to remember that:

children LOVE to work with their hands!

they ADORE getting dirty!

and they love being part of a greater project that they can literally WATCH grow.

{all hands on deck}


The easiest thing to forget when planting with children is that they will want to get their hands right in there so allow enough room for everyone to work. We used an egg crate for each child and modeled it while planting our own egg crate. In all on this day we planted 4 different types of seeds to be sown as soon as ready.

With egg crate planting you can plant the egg crate in the ground and thin where needed or you can transplant them out of the egg crate when they are ready (with gentle hands of course).


Needed for planting with children:

*A good clear workspace (outside is preferable, but this DOES make a good rainy day project as well)

*One egg crate for each child

* a medium bag of potting soil

*seeds, we love these and these, but any will do!

*gloves for you and the children (if you don’t like getting too dirty) at our house and school for this particular project we like getting our hands in the dirt and making that connection…but not all children will like the feel of dirt (adults included)!

* a watering can or spray bottle

{make sure you get the right amount of seeds in each spot}


You simply fill the egg crates about 3/4 full with potting soil, push a small hole in the middle of each and plant your seed. cover loosely with more soil and water gingerly. set on a sunny windowsill and watch. Your children will be amazed at what they have helped make and when the time is ready (read seed packet for germination times) they can help you transplant into your own home garden.


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Last minute egg dyeing

{Kool~Aid dyed fresh eggs}


This year we did an array of natural dyes at our playschool. We started with raspberries, beets, and a red cabbage/blueberry mix. We were fond of the colors, but they were very faint. (In part due to using white store-bought eggs, which somehow seemed to repel the dye).
So the next day (and day before our big Spring Egg Hunt) we decided to dye up some more eggs.

{dyes are easy to mix, simple & beautiful}


This time we used our own hen’s lovely eggs (ranging form light pale brown to green).

{our own fresh eggs, compliments to the hens: watermelon, buttercup and speckling!}

I had some left over packages of Kool-Aid from a wool dyeing project over the summer. I busted them out, added some hot water, the children stirred and the adventure began! The neat thing about Kool-Aid is that not only do you not have to use any vinegar, your house actually comes alive with these warm all to familiar scents of Kool-Aid.

{lovely hues of orange}

Think summers by the lake! I know it sounds a bit odd, but the smells just cheered me! And the eggs came out so lovely and bright.

Another neat thing about Kool-Aid dyes are that the next day they look almost nothing like they did when you first dyed them and tucked them into their egg crates. Something magical happens as they dry!

To get started:
We used wide mouth mason jars, they are sturdy and the colors just look so magical all layed out in them!
We added 1 packet of Kool-Aid per 6 oz of hot water.
Add eggs slowly to mixture and let sit about 10 min.
Retrieve eggs carefully and snug into egg carton, let dry on the counter about 10 min before putting away in the fridge.
And…wait for the magic!

{surprising patterns emerge}

Hope you and yours have a lovely Easter!