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Amazing Solstice Rituals – the Waldorf Solstice Spiral

Looking for amazing winter solstice rituals for your family or homeschool? Here’s how to host a Waldorf Solstice Spiral with your homeschool or family to celebrate the return of light.Waldorf-Winter-Solstice-Spiral-featured_

*This post is republished from 2015. We no longer homeschool, but the amazing solstice rituals like this Waldorf Solstice Sprial remain one of my favorite homeschool activities ever.

Celebrate Winter with a Waldorf Solstice Spiral

The Waldorf Solstice Spiral is an annual tradition in our homeschool. It’s a wonderful way to teach kids about the longest day of the year and it’s a fun activity everyone enjoys as we welcome the return of light back into our dreary, short winter days. Here’s how we celebrate the winter solstice Waldorf style.

I first learned about Waldorf Homeschooling activities from my good friend Melanie from Many Hands House. She used to host amazing Waldorf Homeschool Days and the Solstice Spiral was one of my favorite activities. I was excited to take over the Solstice Spiral this year and host it myself for the first time. Since we moved out of the barn and into the Passive House, we have the perfect place to host this fun annual event – the barn where we used to live.

Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 - ring in the light from SimplifyLiveLove.comHere’s how to host your own Waldorf Solstice Spiral

If you’re interested in solemn winter solstice rituals, you’ll enjoy this one. The trickiest part about it is finding a safe place to house the spiral. Lit candles are involved, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t burn the house down if you host it inside. You could host it outside, if the weather cooperates. Or, you could set it up in a garage or barn like we did, if you don’t want to bring it indoors.

Once you decide on the location, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Pine boughs – I bought roughly 100 ft from Menards. The skinnier ones were half the price of the longer boughs so that’s what I bought. We ended up doubling them to make them look nice.
  • Yellow felt stars – one per child
  • Apples – one per child, hollowed out to hold a candle
  • Candles – one per child to put in each apple, plus a larger candle to light the apple lights from.
  • Animal figures, rocks, pine cones – to represent the animal, mineral, natural worlds placed around the spiral

How to Host the Most Amazing Solstice Rituals

Set the spiral ring up before hand. Place felt stars (one per child) along the path so children have a place to put their lit apple. Also place the figurines, rocks, and other items in the spiral. Darken the room by covering windows and turn out the lights. Explain to the children that they will light their candles and place them on a star in silence. Discuss the solstice and and the significance of starting (and ending) the spiral in darkness.

waiting in line for the solstice spiral

The room should be as dark as possible and the children line up first outside the room, littlest to biggest. The littlest children need to go first because there will be fewer lit candles for them to have to avoid.

Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 lighting a candle from SimplifyLiveLove.comThen, one by one, the children weave through the spiral with their apples and candles, light their candle, and then turn around and weave back through. At some point on their exit from the spiral, each child will find a star to place his or her candle on. Talking is not allowed, but soft music can play. Melanie always had someone playing a flute, but we did our spiral in silence.
Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 setting the lit candle down from SimplifyLiveLove.comObviously, younger children may need some help, and all children should be careful not to burn themselves. In all the years that we’ve been doing a solstice spiral, we’ve never had any issues.

Winter Solstice Spiral 2015 - silenting waiting for everyone to finish from SimplifyLiveLove.com

After each child lights his or her candle, they wait for everyone to finish. Then the children leave the room, still in silence. I’m always amazed at the reverence the children exhibit during the solstice spiral. They take it quite seriously and seem to enjoy it a lot.

The winter solstice spiral is one of my favorite homeschooling activities. I love that it represents the return of light – after the solstice the days start to get longer and the promise of spring is real. I look forward to the beauty of solemness of the winter solstice spiral all year.

If you’d like to see other Waldorf homeschooling posts, read these:

Dying play silks with kool-aid

Spring Wheat Baskets

How to host a Waldorf Solstice Spiral to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

 

10 Healthier Christmas Cookie Recipes {Refined Sugar Free}

‘Tis the season for cookies, but that doesn’t mean you need to load up sugar! Check out this delicious list of healthier Christmas cookie recipes that contain no refined sugar.

Healthier Christmas Cookies {Naturally Sweetened without Sugar}

Healthier Christmas Cookies Recipes

Healthier Christmas Cookies - Flavored with Natural Ingredients

Paleo Hot Coca Cookies with Vanilla Bean Frosting – Fit Foodie Finds. These are simply beautiful cookies!

Grain Free Holiday Cookies – Don’t Mess with Mama. These cookie have organic candy canes in them, which are made with sugar, so keep that in mind if you need a true sugar-free cookie. 

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Truffles – Peas & Peonies. These are vegan, no bake, and gluten free. And somehow they still sound amazing. 😀 

naturally sweetened Christmas cookies

Raw Snowball Cookies – Made To Create. I love all the nuts in these cookie bites!

Healthy Gingerbread Cookies – I Food Real. It’s difficult to decorate cookies without using processed ingredients. I love her take on decorating these gingerbread people.

Glazed Gingersnaps – The Chew. This recipe calls for powdered sugar in the glaze, so if you want them to be sugar free, omit the glaze.

naturally sweetened Christmas cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough TrufflesAn Oregon Cottage. Just yum! Make these!

Naturally Sweetened Whole Wheat Butter Cookies – My Humble Kitchen. These are even decorated with maple sweetened cream cheese frosting!

Grain-Free Holiday Roll Out Cookies – Real Food Forager. SCD and GAPS friendly recipe.

What’s your favorite healthy Christmas cookie recipe? Share a link to your own naturally sweetened recipe if you have one!

 

Grow Beautiful Poinsettias with these 5 Must Know Tips

These five tips for growing poinsettias indoors will help you keep your lovely Christmas flowers looking beautiful all season long.

5 Must Know Tips for Growing Poinsettias Indoors

Tips for Growing Poinsettias Indoors

Buy a healthy plant

You can probably tell if the plant is healthy just by looking at it. Choose a plant that has vibrant green leaves with no brown spots. You’ll want to get a plant with open flowers as poinsettias bloom very slowly. You’ll also want to make sure the flowers are bright and pretty looking.

Keep Your Poinsettias Beautiful with these 5 Must Know Tips

Do not let it get cold during transport from store to house

Poinsettias are very susceptible to cold. If you buy a plant during cold weather, make sure you cover it with a bag before you take it outside to keep it from getting shocked. Also, it’s important that you don’t leave it in an unheated car. If you have a lot of errands to run, make sure you pick up the poinsettia last and take it straight home. It’s better for the plant to take the bag off as soon as possible.

How to water a poinsettia

Over-watering is often the number one killer of poinsettias so make sure you let the soil dry to the touch between watering. Don’t forget to check to the bottom of the dish they’re in to make sure they’re not sitting in water for days on end. Poinsettias also like humidity, so if your house is dry, you might want to give them frequent mists of water.

5 Must Know Tips for Growing Poinsettias Indoors

Poinsettias need bright light

Poinsettias need a lot of light, so the best place to keep them is near a south facing window. If you notice your poinsettia turning light green, you’ll want to find it a spot that gets more light. It should also be kept relatively warm, with ideal temperatures in the 60-70 degree range.

Protect poinsettias from drafts in your home

Poinsettias are very susceptible to cold drafts so make sure that no part of it touches a cold window. You’ll also want to keep it away from a furnace vent or a fireplace as well.

And that’s it! Follow these steps and you should have beautiful poinsettias until Valentine’s Day and maybe even beyond.

Grow Beautiful Poinsettias with these 5 Must Know Tips

Do you buy poinsettias each year? What’s your favorite color? I’m loving the Picasso colored one I bought at my local nursery. 

 

Family Game Night Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide {And Giveaways!!}

If you’re looking for ideas for fun family game night stocking stuffers, you’ve come to to right place. All of these game ideas are affordable and fun. Plus, they’re easy to learn!

Family Game Night Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide

*This post contains referral links. Thank you so much for clicking through to support this site.*

And even better than me sharing ten awesome game ideas, I’m giving away four different games at the end of this post! Enter one giveaway or enter them all.  I hope these giveaways help make your Christmas a little bit easier. You’re welcome. 🙂

Family Game Night Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide

Family game nights are great ways to connect with your kids and have a little fun as a family. In our multi-age family it is sometimes hard for all of us to come together to have a great time. But we all love these games and when we pull them out, the laughs and family fun begins.

Here are a few of our favorite little games – games that will make perfect stocking stuffers for your family – and rest assured, the learning curve is very small on these games. It won’t take you long at all to learn the rules for any of these games.

ruckus

Ruckus

We’ve had this game for a while. It’s a really easy game that all of my kids can play. It’s a fast-paced card game with very little reading ability required. This game claims to be for 8+, but my 5 year old played it quite successfully as well.

happy-salmon

Happy Salmon

We just got this game over the weekend at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair and everyone loved it. Be forewarned, this game gets pretty loud {unless you play the silent version}, and you have to play it standing up because you need to be able to move around. It’s another game that’s really easy for kids of all ages – very little reading ability is needed to play this game. It claims to be for ages 6+, but I think younger kids can play it too as long as they can figure out the four different cards, pictured above.

tutti-frutti

Tutti Frutti

This is another fun game that we got at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair.  The goal of this crazy game is to match and collect reversible fruit pieces. This game is for ages 4+ and I think that’s pretty accurate. 🙂

show-me-the-kwan

Show me the Kwan

A fun and educational game that we also learned about at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. This game is a fast-paced, dice rolling, word game that can help with vocabulary, phonics, and spelling. This game is for ages 10+, but I think younger kids can play also if you scale the game down and there are several easy ways to scale it.

IQ xoxo

IQ XOXO

This is single person brain game that we saw in Chicago. I don’t actually have one, but we played with it there and it looks like a lot of fun and a great way to work some logic practice into your day. It’s also magnetic so it’s fantastic for road tripping! For ages 6+ which I think is pretty accurate.

scrabble-slam-card-game

Scrabble Slam Cards

I picked this game up at ALDI last year and we really like it and take it on road trips with us. It’s an easy card game version of Scrabble that builds vocabulary and spelling. this game does require a little more ability than some of the others I’ve listed here, as some spelling ability is very helpful. 🙂 This game is for ages 8+ and that’s probably about right. If younger kids are good spellers, they might be able to play too.

differencer-juinior

Junior Difference Board Game

This easy game is about spotting the difference on cards. It’s a speed game to see who can find the differences first. My younger two daughters really like this game a lot. It’s for ages 4+ and that’s about right!

mad-libs

Mad Libs

Who doesn’t like Mad Libs? They were some of my favorite activities when I was younger and are another fun way to work on vocabulary and spelling. For just a few dollars each, Mad Libs are great additions to kids’ stockings and a fun way to spend a few minutes together as a family.

professor-noggins-card-games

Professor Noggins Trivia Card Games – Outer Space

Trivia games are always a fun way to sneak in some education, and Professor Noggins sells many different versions of their trivia games from cards on Outer Space to the History of Art to US Presidents. You’re sure to find something interesting and educational to slip in your kids’ stockings from Professor Noggins. think-fun-fifteen-puzzle

ThinkFun Fifteen Puzzle

This is really a one-person game, but my eight year old loves it! You might remember them from your childhood – it’s just ordering the numbers correctly. They’re great little brain teasers and fit really nicely in a stocking.

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

How about some giveaways! Enter to win one or them all, your call! Giveaways end on Dec 4th are open to US residents 18 years of age and older. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re looking for more fun game giveaways, head over to my friends at SAHM Reviews. Find their giveaways on the right hand sidebar.

Family Game Night Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide