Ella has loved her Waldorf hand kite since I first made it for her two years ago, and for a simple, homemade toy, it’s surprising how well it has held up and how much play it still gets! (I’ve only had to replace one ribbon!) For a special Spring treat, I thought we’d change out her fall-coloured ribbons to make a Spring Waldorf Hand Kite.
DIY Spring Waldorf Hand Kite
A Waldorf hand kite is a simple wooden ring with ribbons attached that children can dance or run around with and watch the ribbons floating around them and dancing in the wind. (They are also called wind rings, hand wands or ribbon rings.)
The Waldorf tradition prioritizes wooden, natural toys that are open-ended for creativity, allowing children to use their imaginations to repurpose their toys in a variety of ways. While we’ve opted for Montessori education for our daycare, I love the materials and stories that go along with Waldorf and still incorporate many Waldorf ideas into our lives.
(Some of our favorite Waldorf story books include the seasonal collection put out by Wynstones Press and anything by Elsa Beskow. Many Waldorf parenting books prioritize connection and attachment-style parenting and have been wonderful resources for me as well.)
A Waldorf hand kite is incredibly easy to assemble and makes a great homemade gift.
This Spring version would be great for an Easter basket or to celebrate the first day of Spring!
Ella grabs her hand kite almost anytime we go for a walk, especially if we go somewhere that she can run and dance around a bit. The ribbons from the Spring Waldorf Hand Kite float magically and loop and cascade as she dances about with them – even in the hallway, it was really hard to get a good picture of a (chocolate-fueled) Ella showing off her creation! She just can’t help but dance and jump around with it!
Because the wooden rings are so sturdy, you can do what we did and just swap out the ribbons whenever your child wants a bit of change (or the ribbons get ratty from wear and tear).
You can change out the ribbons for your Waldorf Hand Kite in so many different ways — different coloured ribbons, pom poms on the end, character ribbons, jingle bells securely sewn to the edges, etc.
We’ve since made ribbon streamers using painted sticks, a winter ribbon wand, and a Christmas version of our hand kite. There are so many ways to adapt this simple concept using materials you have on hand or to celebrate any occasion.
Even though Ella had taken good care of her Waldorf hand kite, it still needed a bit of a scrub.
We first took off the ribbons, and then scrubbed the wooden ring (purchased from Etsy) with a bit of dish soap, water, and a vegetable scrub brush. (I’ll post the Practical Life Lesson for polishing wood soon!)
After letting the ring dry, I then had Ella polish it back to it’s previous glory with a bit of coconut oil. I usually mix my wood polish 1 part beeswax to 2 parts coconut oil, but this was a bit of a spur of the moment project. (The beeswax adds a bit of sealant and water protection, but I’m not too concerned as we’ll probably change the ribbons out again in the summer.)
We then picked out four Spring-coloured ribbons and securely tied them to the ring — another great practical life skill!
Materials Needed for DIY Spring Waldorf Hand Kite:
- Wooden ring (this is the one I bought from Etsy)
- Your choice of wood polish (homemade: 2 parts coconut oil to 1 part beeswax)
How to Make a Waldorf Hand Kite:
Simply polish your wooden ring with coconut oil or a homemade wood polish.
Allow the ring to dry for a couple of hours, attach your chosen ribbons to it. Tie them securely so they don’t come off and create a safety hazard (or create frustration if they were to blow off from the wind).
Have your child hold the wand out at their shoulder level – the ribbons should be no longer than this, and can even be cut as short as arm-length.
Grab our free printable for this simple Waldorf Hand Kite craft:
- Wooden ring
- Coconut oil or natural wood polish
- Simply polish your wooden ring with coconut oil or a homemade wood polish.
- Allow the ring to dry for a couple of hours, attach your chosen ribbons to it. Tie them securely so they don't come off and create a safety hazard (or create frustration if they were to blow off from the wind).
- Have your child hold the wand out at their shoulder level - the ribbons should be no longer than this, and can even be cut as short as arm-length.
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I hope you enjoyed this DIY Spring Waldorf Hand Kite tutorial — it’s a great Spring craft to do with kids and you can work in those Montessori Practical Life skills at the same time!