Spring! Easter! Passover! ‘Tis the season of profound transformation. Along with the return of migrating birds and the blooming of flowers, we experience our own kind of resurrection and liberation.
During this time of year, nature is transitioning from a time of stillness and darkness to an explosion of new and vibrant life. It is not uncommon that our interior lives reflect what is happening around us in nature.
There is nothing subtle about this time of year. It explodes. It shouts. It demands. And it hurries. The energy is quite the opposite of the grounding, deepening, and quieting holidays in the cooling months. No – during the season of Passover and Easter, we wake up and we are LOUD about it.
Does this sound familiar? The big energy of the arriving spring can often match the big energy of our little ones! Easter is a time for adults to recognize and acknowledge this seasonal shift. It’s also a perfect time to celebrate these qualities in our little ones – and to cultivate awareness and balance.
So in this season of shouting to the hilltops, let us in Sparkle Land offer some nourishment and peace. In addition to the stories, try out some of the recipes and crafts — and then maybe take a few moments (hopefully long moments) to sit still and renew. We’ve gathered our best stories — along with crafts, recipes, and our favorite Waldorf-inspired toys — to help you along!
Read more about them below, and download our free Guide to Easter Celebrations (with all the tutorials, recipes, and printables for little ones) right here.
Easter Traditions and Creating Your Own Springtime Celebration
Celebrating holidays and festivals in such a fast-paced world can be challenging for parents and families interested in consciously and mindfully approaching traditional celebrations. The Easter tradition is certainly rooted in specific spiritual beliefs and observances, which may or may not fit into your family’s worldview. Additionally, the themes of death and resurrection often associated with Easter and spring may be difficult to weave together for younger children.
To quote Steiner:
"Festivals are meant to link the human soul with all that lives and weaves in the great universe. We feel our souls expanding in a new way during these days at the beginning of spring…It is at this time of year, the time of Passover and Easter, that human souls can find that there lives…in the innermost core of their being, a fount of eternal, divine existence. Easter is as A.P. Shepherd writes, ‘…the Festival of the spiritual future of humanity, the Festival of Hope and the Festival of Warning.’"
These themes may sound a bit heavy at first! The good news? It’s certainly possible to celebrate and honor beautiful springtime traditions in ways that are developmentally appropriate for children and that also resonate with your own family values. And springtime celebrations aren’t unique to Easter and Christianity. Passover is a major Jewish holiday that shares similar themes of freedom and renewal. There’s also Ostara, an ancient celebration named after the Celtic Goddess of Spring that takes place on the vernal equinox. In India, Holi, or the Festival of Colors, is celebrated with dancing, brightness, and festivities. Nowruz, also known as the Persian New Year, is another springtime celebration that is observed all around the world and represents the victory of spring over darkness. In order to establish intention in your own family’s springtime celebrations, it can help to go back to the themes and lessons that these various spring traditions around the world share in common!
Incorporating the Waldorf Approach
The Waldorf approach can help bridge the gap between traditional celebrations and themes and help kids stay connected and engaged while also remaining developmentally appropriate for their growing minds. Read on for our best stories — along with crafts, recipes, and our favorite Waldorf-inspired toys to help you along!
Waldorf-Inspired Easter Crafts
In the Waldorf approach, crafts and activities aren’t just fun, aesthetically-pleasing, and entertaining (although they are often ALSO all of those things). Simple crafts using natural materials help encourage children’s connection to nature and to foster creativity. When kids are encouraged to develop these handwork skills, their social, physical, and emotional development are all supported and strengthened as well! We’ve gathered some of our favorite Easter and springtime Waldorf-inspired crafts to get you started.
Hand-woven Bird Nest Baskets
This project — a “bird nest” basket — is a lovely way to weave a basket out of natural materials you’ve gathered, whether around the world or just around your neighborhood. It's a family craft project, a useful object, and a souvenir all in one! Use this craft for your Easter Baskets or as an addition to your springtime nature table. It’s also a great opportunity to provide a quiet, focused handwork moment (or several moments!) for young children.
Natural Egg Dye
Spring is a time of rebirth for all of the natural world — from cute little rabbits to birds and tree buds. Eggs have long been a way of celebrating this time of year, in part because they are so abundant. If you raise chickens, you know that eggs are very colorful on their own, in their varying shades of brown, beige, green, and blue. But sometimes it's fun to dye them yellow or pink or bright blue.
Natural dyes are fun and easy to make with just a few ingredients you can find right in your kitchen. Try turmeric for yellow, or beets for pink, spinach for green, or blueberries for blue. We’ve created a special tutorial to show you how!
Egg Carton Seed Starters
Whether you are celebrating Easter, Ostara, or Passover, spending some time in the soil and gardening is a wonderful way to observe this season. One of the easiest ways to get started gardening is by planting seeds. It's fun and easy to do with children of all ages. You don't need any fancy materials; you can simply use an egg carton, some seedling soil, and your choice of seeds. Follow our tutorial on the Sparkle Blog to walk you through it!
This craft uses something you might throw away — an old pair of socks — and makes it into a new toy for a child. This is a perfect lesson in making and creating something new from something that’s run its course. It's a quick project to make for your child and it would also be a great first sewing project for older kids, teaching the principle of repurposing things that can still be used.
Springtime Nature Journal
In the Martin & Sylvia: Saturdays! story, “Spring Seeing”, Martin and Sylvia head outside in search of signs of spring. As they walk, they notice and wonder about the things they find — where did the feather come from? Is it a sign of spring? How about the mosses?
Perhaps you’d like to go searching for spring as well. Make up a little nature journal to take along and document your findings!
Waldorf Inspired Spring Stories
We have heard so many stories and we have never heard one we don’t like. Today is one of those “I can’t believe how good these are” moments and I just need to share. David, your skill as a storyteller is beyond compare. You and Sparkle are rich with wonder and goodness and love. You embody Being the Change you wish to see. You are one of our families most cherished resources.
How are stories significant in the Waldorf approach? Rather than a rote reading of a text, the act of storytelling is encouraged and practiced by Waldorf teachers. What is the difference? When a story is told rather than just being recited or read, a connection is formed. The storyteller has embodied, absorbed, and integrated the message or moral of the story, and can convey that through the time spent storytelling. This dynamic storytelling is one feature of Sparkle Stories that our listeners often reach out to us about. We’ve gathered some of our favorite Easter stories that exemplify this quality (along with the seed of learning or “moral” your child can take away from their time spent listening).
Here are some of our favorite Easter Story Playlists:
- Our Best Easter Stories
- Stories of Freedom and Renewal
- Whole World Easter Playlist
- Stories for Spring Equinox and Easter
Our Favorite Waldorf Easter Toys
If you are already familiar with Waldorf education and anthroposophy, you’ve likely seen plenty of beautiful, simple, and very aesthetically-pleasing toys for kids. This is about much more than aesthetics! In the Waldorf approach, toys for children are simple in design and made from natural materials to encourage open-ended play and to connect children to nature. These toys are not only beautiful, they also support learning through play.
This is perfectly aligned with Sparkle Stories’ slow media approach. We’ve gathered some of our favorite Waldorf-inspired Easter toys that make perfect additions to Easter Baskets. They are also great to help kids engage other senses as they listen to our Sparkly Easter playlists!
Stackmar Beeswax Block Crayons
Waldorf Home & School Supplies makes these wonderful beeswax crayons. These are perfect for your little ones to use for hands-on learning and creative moments. We love the Stackmar Beeswax Block Crayons, which are all natural and non-toxic, for Easter and springtime crafts and projects.
Bella Luna Wooden Toy Eggs
These wooden eggs are natural, eco-friendly, and encourage open-ended creative play. Add them to this year’s Easter basket and incorporate them into your play kitchen or nature table! Since these are all-natural wooden toys, you can also enjoy the unique variations that make each egg stand apart.
Crocus Prince Felted Waldorf Doll
This darling felted doll from A Toy Garden is made entirely of natural and recycled materials, down to the cellophane packaging. Felting is an ancient art that’s been used around the world for centuries. Simple felted toys not only provide little ones with a break from tech with natural textures, but also harken and connect us to older traditions.
Easter Recipes for Kids
Daffodils are almost magically suited to early spring. No matter what winter throws at them, they're determined to shine as a harbinger of spring. If you're feeling ready for some of the sunshine a bouquet of daffodils can bring, bake up a batch of these “daffodil” lemon tarts. Even if it's still cold where you live, the bright, tangy lemon curd will have you immersed in springtime wonder in no time.
Lavender Infused Honey
Spring is also the time when new bee colonies emerge. And the honey that results from all that activity is another hallmark of springtime. From sweet, floral orange-blossom honey, to deep, maple-y buckwheat honey, bees are every bit as skilled as winemakers at capturing the essence of a time and place in liquid form. While it’s not quite the same as it is when the bees make it, you can also infuse honey with different flavors at home. Lavender, a traditional herb used in Ostara celebrations, is a good starting place for this recipe, but this method will work with a variety of ingredients. Think herbs like thyme, camomile, anise, cloves, rosemary, or mint.
Chickens lay eggs in response to light. In the winter, when there is less daylight, chickens lay few, if any, eggs. But just as soon as the earth’s axis starts to tilt back towards the sun, egg production picks back up quickly.
Imagine being a farmer who hasn’t had a fresh egg in months. You walk out to your chicken coop — maybe with snow still on the ground, even — to find that your favorite hen has laid you a beautiful, brown egg to eat on toast for your supper. Think about how happy you’d be to see that first bright golden yolk.
It makes it easy to understand why many spring holidays include eggs as part of the celebration, yes? And why Deviled Egg dishes like this one have always been so popular for gatherings!
Forest Caterpillar Snacks
In the spring, the forests come alive with all sorts of wonderful creatures — and many are bugs! It's fascinating to see how many variations there can be within the insect class. This recipe takes its inspiration from all of the weird and wonderful caterpillars who live in the forest.
Easter Breakfast Round-up
One of the most memorable and nostalgic elements of Easter — other than the egg hunts –— would have to be breakfast. There are so many tender memories with family, friends, and festivities.
With the warming weather and the arrival of spring, Easter morning is the perfect opportunity to connect as a family, create new traditions, and instill some life-long memories for your littles.
Here are some of our favorite Sparkle Easter breakfast recipes.
We hope you enjoy trying some of these Waldorf-inspired Easter celebration ideas! We’d love to see your own moments of family celebration, so please email us at email@example.com!
About the Authors
Jessica is a content creator, writer, strategist, and vintage pyrex collector. She has a passion for facilitating authentic connection, whether that's through her work at Sparkle Stories or her songwriting.
David Sewell McCann
David Sewell McCann fell in love with spinning stories in first grade – the day a storyteller came to his class and captured his mind and imagination. He has been engaged in storytelling all of his adult life through painting, film-making, teaching and performing. Out of his experience as a Waldorf elementary class teacher and parent, he has developed a four step method of intuitive storytelling, which he now shares through workshops and through this website.