A little more Waldorf

So I’ve been away for a while.  I’m now 17 weeks pregnant.  I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from Hypermesis Graviderum when pregnant.  This has been my worst pregnancy so far.  I spent 2 weeks in hospital and had to get a PICC line for TPN which made me worse and was eventually used for my IV meds.  I spent October and November bedridden and lost 18lbs.  Thankfully I’m now through the worst of it and am slowly recovering.  Baby has stayed strong through it all (if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks two years ago and so this is always a worry).

However my pregnancy has not only been difficult for me but for my husband and children as well.  My husband has been amazing taking on all the responsibilities and taking care of me.  The children suffered a lot and many behavior problems came up due to lack of consistency, attention and boundaries and way, way, way too much TV.  As I was recovering I began to plan how our life would look when I was well and what we’d do about homeschooling.  I felt that the nourishing routines, simple, natural toys, and quiet rhythm  and activities of Waldorf was really what our family needed as we healed from this difficult time.  Having a mother sick and in hospital is very traumatic for a child.  Their world is turned upside down, their mother doesn’t have time for them and needs to be alone, she’s hooked up to wires and nurses come, they don’t understand what’s wrong and it’s scary to see her sick.  So I’ve rearranged the playroom (again), we’re not doing any formal school for December and are focusing on creating a rhythm, stories, songs and traditions of Hanukkah.  I purged toys and they will be getting more natural, Waldorf inspired gifts for the holidays.  I still have a lot to put back in order in my home but my strength is limited so I’m careful not to push myself or I relapse.  In the new year I’ll do a video of our new play/school room.

One thing I changed was to put the dollhouse in the basement (I’ll probably sell it) as it was so big and was rarely played with.  I put the lovely Plan Toys furniture in a basket and the kids love creating their own house with blocks.  It’s so much more imaginative and saves on space.  And now the furniture gets more play.

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Imagination

I love the imagination of children.  We think we have to buy them all these toys.  I mean, they have to have a toy cow and horse and pig and chicken and donkey and goat and dog and duck and rooster or how can they play farm?  And then they don’t play with them and they make their own toys which are so primitive yet they love them.

This is Pumpkin 1’s “Camel”.

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Actually it’s a mommy and baby camel with the gas pump cord being a “leash” (she was “walking” her Camel with the leash before).  She was very proud of her camel.  More proud than of any toy we have because this is something she made herself.

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Give your children the gift of imagination and pride for their creations by not overwhelming them with toys.  Just a few simple, open ended toys, especially some building toys and you’ll be surprised at how entertained they are.  Less is more.  If your children are bored the best thing you can do is instead of more toys, take away toys.  Boredom is the seed of imagination and imagination is the roots of creating.