You Know You’re Really Into Waldorf When…

…A light hearted look at how far we can go–not that I, or anyone I know has, ahem.


  1. You cut out screen time for your small children, then recorded music and stories, then picture books, then talking too much to them at all.
  2. If you must say something, you sing it on a pentatonic scale, or get the message across with a nursery rhyme.
  3. You replace all the plastic toys in your house with natural toys, then replace the natural toys with homemade toys, then replace the homemade toys with sticks and stones.
  4. Your children wear three layers of wool in any month containing the letter “R.”
  5. Not even your closest friends and family know what color your baby’s hair is because they have never seen him without his hat on.
  6. You get into celebrating seasonal festivals like the lantern walk because they seem earth based and groovy, but before long start alarming your husband with the annual family Christmas Pageant, not to mention the pictures of angels and the Madonna hanging in your children’s room.
  7. You use regular easter egg dye to dye play silks and yarn; your easter eggs will be colored with onion skins, spirulina, and beets, thank you very much.
  8. Your child thinks cd’s are “rainbow mirrors” left by fairies.
  9. You do not flinch when telling fairy tales to your five year old that involve wicked stepmothers requesting the heart and liver be cut from her step child’s corpse. In fact, you consider such stories “soul milk.”
  10. When a good rebellion is in order you sing the ABC song to your two year old, read picture books featuring animals dressed as humans, and serve fish on chicken day. Even Waldorf mamas need to get wild!
  11. You go from thinking that Waldorf is extreme and rigid, then intriguing and mysterious, then common sense. Not that you know how to sum it up quickly for the curious mother at the park, though. If you had to, you might say something like this:

“Waldorf” is not something that happens at a special school, or when very expensive toys are present, or when certain rules are followed. It lives in the hearts of caregivers who strive to be worthy of imitation, who respect childhood by not imposing adult thinking onto its dream like qualities, who protect their children’s senses from over-scheduling, media, and consumerism, who honor play and imagination and movement as the foundation for genius, and who feed their children’s developing bodies, minds, and spirits by offering them the right stuff at the right time—soul milk, yo. And that’s just the beginning, because if there is one thing I can say for sure about Waldorf, it’s that it is imbued with layer upon layer of meaning. Yes, it can be annoying, threatening, and a little, well, ridiculous. But if there has ever been a larger, sweeter onion to peel the layers back on, I have yet to find it.


Got any other good ones about what Waldorf is, or how to know when you’ve gone too far?

18 Replies to “You Know You’re Really Into Waldorf When…”

  1. Lol, I love it – and was certainly guilty of a few of those things to some degree! I used to tell my little girl that certain landmark buildings in our city were fairy castles – and she felt so stupid when her same-aged cousin had visited them and talked about their realities. I also remember standing in a Waldorf shop one day, it was crowded with people, and someone asked what the time was. Not one person in that shop was wearing a watch.

  2. You find yourself wracked with grief and remorse when your child spends their own money on plastic tat. And then they spend hours and hours and hours in creative play with said tat. Betrayal!

    1. I hate that! But am usually so proud to see how much less judgmental the kids are about stuff like that…equal opportunity players, for sure.

  3. Haha delightful! But… fish on chicken day!? Somebody call youth protection!! Do you have an amazon store, or a booklist elsewhere? I’d be interested to see what Waldorf books you recommend.

    1. My favorite book to start with is “You are Your Child’s First Teacher” by Rahima Baldwin Dancy. It pretty much explains all these quirky little things and is an in-depth introduction to the Waldorf philosophy in the early years. It was a pivotal book for me. And to really get the spirit of Waldorf, without the dogma, there is nothing so good as “Mitten Strings for God” by Katrina Kenison. Every mother needs that book! If you have little kids, you might also be interested in “Heaven on Earth” and “Beyond the Rainbow Bridge.”

  4. Love it!
    How about: when you step outside on a cold, blustery morning instead of complaining about the wind chill, you say brightly, “Feels like Jack Frost and Brother Wind have come to play with us today!” Or, even better, begin humming, “Look out, look out Jack Frost is about…”

  5. So glad to have stumbled upon this post! I just had a good laugh. I have so been there/am there. My two are getting a bit older (11 and 12) but we are still talking about Mrs Thaw making her appearance recently.

  6. I love the humor and also the love for Waldorf-style that shines through in this post. Your summary of Waldorf in the last paragraph is great–I always struggle with how to summarize Waldorf to someone who asks in passing…

  7. You know you’ve gone too far when you start collecting the fluffballs (100% wool of cause) from the carpet thinking you can use them as “angel spheres” when you next needle felt an ornament.

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