Browsing Tag

kids activities

How to make a whirly gig

On the last day of school term the children received the gift of play in the form of a whirly gig! It was the perfect way to start the holidays. With the children heading home with colourful whirly gigs spinning in their wake.

At home we used some wet-on-wet watercolour paintings to make more, using the first as a template (and here is a template for you).

Together we cut around the outside of the whirly gig and down the middle to make the propeller. Then we cut the two smaller cuts into the body of the whirly gig. Next we folded one propeller part forward and one back. The sides of the body were folded in from where we made the smaller cuts too (like in the photo above).

Then the kids made some new wool twisties ~ with a bead in the middle ~ to tie through the end of their whirly gigs (see how here).

Then we were all running around the house and backyard making them spin!

Happy crafting, Kelly

How to make a wool twistie

Making wool twisties is the first handwork project for children at our Waldorf school. A wool twistie is a simple and pretty wool rope. It is a great open ended material which can be used as horse reins, fishing line, jewellery or whatever the little ones come up with!


How to make a wool twistie

Select three or four colours of wool to cut into long pieces (around two meters). Hold the strands together and tie one end to a nail like in the photo, to a door, or even in a knot to simply hold under your foot.

Pull the wool taut and start twisting in one direction until the twist is tight. Children and adults can easily let go as they are twisting ~ so hold on!

Once the twist is tight, fold the twisted wool in half to bring the two ends together ~ again don’t let go or you will need to start again. Smooth the kinks out of the wool twistie and tie the ends together. Trim off any excess. And voila ~ a wool twistie!

Why is handwork important?

Handwork is taught in Waldorf schools to develop fine motor skills {especially for pre-writing}, gain an appreciation for the handmade, as well as appreciation for beauty and creativity. Children {and adults} can learn much from handwork, including perseverance and self reliance. Using beautiful materials, some patience and creativity it is amazing what we can come up with!

I find handwork centering, an almost meditative activity. And I enjoy seeing the pride my son has in making things for himself, accomplishing these tasks and building his abilities.

Here is more information from the Waldorf Library about the important of handwork in Waldorf schools.

Happy crafting,