Sunday, June 27, 2010

new waldorf kindergarten resources

:: there are a few books that i use and reference quite frequently. first and foremost is the book, you are your child's first teacher by rahima dancy. i find myself going back and re-reading chapters time and time again. 

i am finding simplicity parenting by kim john payne to be very useful. i am still reading it and have already utilized the book in simplifying my daughter's bedroom. i have started working on small sections around the house and we are doing our second round of simplifying the kids' bedroom and going through the bookshelf, which we did not get a chance to go through yet. kim john payne spoke on the waldorf connection. i jotted down some notes that i am hoping to post soon.

a real treasure is, a child's seasonal treasury by betty jones, which is out-of-print (the first part of the book could be found on google books. it would be wonderful to copy as much as you could) i am still introducing new ideas from this book and i have used it for years now. the book includes verses, poems, movements, fingerplays, games, activities, handwork, baking and cooking for each season. it also is a great introduction to mornings, mealtimes, cleaning up, evening verses, with roughly 2 verses for each. the treasury also contains the birthday anticipation verse as well as a number and alphabet verse that could be used for a first grade resource.

another great book that i can not say enough about is earthways, by carol petrash. the book includes seasonal activities and crafts and seasonal nature table ideas. it also offers valuable earth-friendly tips and ways to create a natural indoor and outdoor play space. there is also a tremendous resource section in the back of the book, included seasonal book recommendations. it is also on google books and you could definitely use the index to plan your projects. 

for songs, there are nursery rhymes, folk songs and a series of songbooks that i really love is from naturally you could sing that i would recommend. the song books from naturally you could sing include a cd, which really helps if you do not know how to read music. we own sing a song of the seasons and i have used it for years, with movement and fingerplays in circle time or on our car rides. their website includes a list of contents for each of the songbooks, including this is the way we wash-a-day, sing a song with baby, lavender's blue dilly dilly, and the wonder of lullabies. i discovered some new lullabies that i really enjoy singing, as well.

for verses, i really like seven times the sun by shea darian, is a wonderful resources, which provides verses and songs for morning, mealtime, play, work, quiet, healing, bedtime, family time, personal renewal and peacemaking. there are a section of family rituals, a passageway for parents and book recommendations for each chapter. there are a few songs that i use all the time and really never would have thought to use at these times because i never really experienced someone singing at these times, in particularly for healing and quiet times.

quiet moments  by shea darian
quiet as the wings of a butterfly
quiet as the gentle falling snow
quiet as the light of a firefly
quiet as a seed starts to grow

quiet as the clouds that are drifting by
quiet as the rocks by the sea
quiet as the mist cross a country road
quiet as the wind in the trees

loving arms  by shea darian 
loving arms that hold you
loving hands that care
loving eyes that see your pain
guide you back to health again
loving arms that hold you
loving arms that care

another series which is great for verses is the wynstones series, which i see cited all the time. we have gateways. along with verses and songs for morning, evening and birthdays, gateways also has a section of fairy tales that are shorter in length. at this time, i can not remember anything so i do use index cards (or cards from our watercolor paintings) or sometimes i only have short amounts of time, which makes this there fairy tale section a great resource for puppet shows.

for stories, of course, a grimm's fairy tales is an essential going into the first grade. we also have a tasha tudor's fairy tales, which has some abbreviated tales that might work well. an enormous resource for FREE stories could be found at 10397 stories to be exact. WOW. you can search the site by authors, books, stories and curriculum. here is the waldorf kindergarten book list.

i have a relatively young journey into waldorf and i have discovered the parenting passageway to be so resourceful. carrie is well versed in waldorf, homeschooling and shares valuable parenting information and book reviews. i am really enjoying the new energy that her postings are bringing me, i have so many postings bookmarked. you could spend hours over there. carrie has a bunch regarding resources, that you might find helpful: , and the book, Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures by Nancy Blanning and Laurie Clark

if you are like me, this is something new to me. there can be a lot that i feel i need to research and i could spend hours searching the web to find more information. it can be overwhelming trying to choose the right thing. but, i have learned that it just is about doing and being with my children, baking with them, cleaning with them, singing with them, being in nature with them, creating joyful moments with them and making connections. slowing down, taking time and nurturing relationships by giving, receiving and responding with love, warmth and truth. rhythm is also key, i am working at re-establish it here because i have experienced the harmony that rhythm brings.

marsh johnson, of, can put you at easy with her words. she writes the following...

Playing, helping, resting, imagining, thinking, painting, modeling,
experimenting with blocks, logs, string, trees, mud, wind, cooking,
eating, sharing, giggling heaps of preschoolers in a rainbow house,
planting and gardening, sewing, fingerknitting, listening, singing,
playing with bubbles and learning to cut with scissors and use glue,
and sitting on a warm human lap…….hearing the stories, hearing
the words, creating the images inside those adorable curly and stick
straight haired heads………..this is the intellectual development
of the human child in the best sense of the word: addressing all the
aspects, the head, the heart, and the hands.

At home, you can accomplish this so much more easily, in a sense,
because YOU are the creator of your world. Your home, your schedule,
your possessions, your choices, your stories, your food, your tone of
voice, your joy and creativity, you are the queens and kings of your
child’s universe, the King Peter and Queen Susan and Aslan all rolled
into one! In a sense, you are the suns of your galaxes, and your
children dance around you in their own ellipses…as such, you can
select and create elements that will shine on all of us….now and in
the future times.

are there any resources that you love or find helpful? please share

Saturday, June 26, 2010

summer solstice wet felted doily

:: we made our doily using the wet felting process. here are some instructions on making it, from the other day. as the piece became firm, we were able to add some details to it. we added details to each side individually, using a small amount of fairy sprinkles:) and gently rolled in the beginning. adding detail to each side gives you two different looks and our doily could even be hung on a wall or used on our nature table. smaller ones would be great for coasters. wet felting is pretty fun and i really like the end result.i am still getting the hang of it and used to the process. 

have you tried wet felting? if so, what have you made? i'd like to try something new

Thursday, June 24, 2010

moments from our summer solstice

:: magical floating flowers from all year round and a silk streamer i made for my little one. i also made up a little sun decoration the same way i did for rhythm of the home. our paper flowers flattened as soon as we placed them into the water, as i ventured off the directions. (i thought the beeswax would allow them to keep their cupped shape, but they did not) they were lovely for breakfast.

:: a fairy basket filled with treasures i found around the house.

:: the little guy discovering some rainbows from our sun catcher just before he went down for his nap. my daughter was so happy celebrating and asked about a treasure hunt. how could i say no. so, i quickly came up with a handful of clues, which took her on an adventure about the house and the yard. during the treasure hunt we enjoyed some orange tea, searched our gardens for newly blooming flowers and read a seasonal book out on our swing. the last clue brought her to a basket of golden hued roving for a wet felting project ~ a sun doily.

:: we started by laying out short pieces of wool roving to create a circular shape on bubble wrap. the pieces were fluffed apart and put down in thin layers, alternating the direction of the wool. to create depth used a bunch of different colors in the same colorway. we used yellow, golden yellow, pale yellow, tangerine, and pumpkin. we then we added some fairy sprinkles of soapy, warm water before we tightly rolled up the wrap.

 ::it was gently rolled on the ground then unrolled to add more fairy sprinkles. then we wrapped up the bubble wrap in the opposite direction and repeated the process a bunch of times. i completed the last few rolls with piping hot, soapy water which really felted up the edge.

 :: zesting and juicing some oranges for our tea and muffins

my little one also loved this verse from a little verse from a child's seasonal treasury.
sunshine fairies by betty jones
we are the sunshine fairies
and with our sparks of light
we shimmer and glimmer in the air
hugging flower with colors bright

hope you having a beautiful solstice. we have a few more pictures of our sun doilie that i'll show you later. please stop by wonderment (my new community space) to share stories and pictures about your summer solstice celebration.

Monday, June 21, 2010

happy solstice

:: happy summer solstice.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

ideas for planning your summer solstice

please join me over at wonderment to discuss and share ideas in planning your summer solstice celebration. 

wonderment is a space that i created for capturing childhood moments of magic and joy. i hope that we could share and exchange ideas, stories, inspirations and moments of wonderment that bring us to look at the world in a different way ~ through the eyes of our children.

connect. share. inspire moments of magic and joy. visit wonderment

Friday, June 18, 2010

starting on a new journey

with some help with the little guy there is a new feeling in the air and i am riding a new wave of hope. my life has revolved around my son's feeding schedule, it has been rigorous with feedings every hour and a half and it feels like i am still caring for a newborn baby. we are very fortunate to have some help that started coming into our home and offering suggestions to fit my son's needs, while finding balance with our family's needs.

help is coming just as i am unraveling. i have tried so hard to keep up with it all, but it has taken a toll on my family and on my health. my words would be better, if i said, that i let this take it's toll on me. you see, i am still learning how to truly care for myself and nurture myself. i really learned to take care of myself when i became a mother. and through learning about rhythm and waldorf, i learned to nurture myself and my family. through our baking days, gardening days, painting days, soup making day, and nature walks i begun to heal that part of myself that needed to be healed.

but on the days that i have had too much on my plate and did not sleep enough, are the days that i resort back to not taking care of myself. it has been off and on like this for the last 15 month, which has caught up with me and i can not deny it any more. there has been an intervention and i am so grateful to start on a new path. my work will be to establish a good, healthy rhythm for myself and my family. so this is my new journey.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

a rose of hope

:: i made a sweet little rose barrette for my daughter from this pattern for her school graduation. i am so looking forward to the end of the school year and for our summer... a big, endless summer where we feel the wind underneath our wings. some new rhythms are beginning to be established, some additional help and support for my son has begun and we are riding a new wave of hope. i hope you'll notice more of the old me back again. well, still me, only with new energy for adventures and challenges and creating. and more growing as a mother, woman, wife and nurturer. (more of that later)

simplicity parenting workshop

kim john payne talked over at the mindful connection. he is the author of the book, simplicity parenting.

every child has a telos, a very special, divine intention when they come into this world. and when we give children an uncluttered life, the telos can be revealed. if fast-paced, stressed life, the telos struggles to gain expression.

simplicity parenting is about creating a vessel for the child's intention, for the telos of the child. allowing them to be what they are supposed to be or what they desire to become. the fast paced life get between us and our hopes and dreams for our family.

changes for a shift
1. simplifying toys, books, clothes
less books, if you want a child to delve deeply into books instead of skim through them.
2. rhythm and predictability in children's lives
children thrive on rhythm. rhythm is a prime vehicle for moving children beyond the primitive brain, fight or flight lobes. children have empathy, creativity, children interested in others, they see cause and effect. makes discipline easier
3. scheduling
to have a balance between busy time, creative time and relaxed time. "gift of boredom" be more boring than the boredom. hold back on the over-scheduling of kids. we have a life-time of socializing. socializing done through the family, caring for brothers and sisters, being with mother and father and being little workers in the home, doing meaningful things in the home. (posed question to a parent) did you ever have a play-date??? and you turned out alright
4. screening out the adult world and being very careful around media
being careful abut what you say in front of children. before you say something in front of your children, ask yourself, is it kind? is it necessary? is it true? young children need to love the world before they question it.

websites mentioned:

Monday, June 7, 2010

gathering rose petals

:: our annual trip to the elizabeth rose garden. there is so much to explore and discover in addition to the roses. there happens to be an amazing tree that is wonderful for climbing in the perennial garden and we are always so excited to discover a nest of baby robins. and weddings!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

making a crown of rose petals

:: we continued enjoying the beauty of our roses by making a crown of rose petals. this crown is very easy to create, all you need is some wire, rose petals and maybe some ribbon. we removed the petals from the flower and strung them through wire. after we filled up the wire, we twisted the wire together and covered the closure with ribbon. 

this would be great for a summer solstice celebration, in addition to these ideas, including fairy baskets filled with moss, shells, rocks and gemstones for fairy gardens, fairy wands and sun candles.

anniversary love

:: my husband and i celebrated our anniversary of 8 years. this year has been the most challenging by far, deep intense feelings that don't always bring out the best in us, but none the less bring us closer together in the end. we had served chocolate covered strawberries at our wedding and it's always nice to enjoy them this time of year.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

treasure basket, part 2 - heuristic play for toddlers

please note, the following text and images are taken directly from the website, little acorns to mighty oaks ... In Heuristic play part II we will look at how toddlers interact with and explore objects during heuristic play, and ways in which we can enrich these play opportunities for them, engaging their curiosity to enhance their cognitive development.

Little acorns to mighty oaks heurisctic play photo 1 As babies grow they develop further curiosity about the world around them, and as the question of 'What is it?', is fulfilled with the exploration of the treasure basket, they are no longer content to simply hold, feel and mouth objects, they want to know what they can do with them! For toddlers, the question posed when participating in heuristic play is 'What can I do with this object?'. Toddlers have a natural curiosity to explore, and experiment with the different ways that objects interact with each other, a toddler will investigate with all the physical possibilities of an object, by rolling, filling, stacking, dumping, fitting things inside each other, balancing and manipulating an object in every possible way. Toddlers who are able to freely explore in this way can make satisfying discoveries about how the world works, by exploring area's such as gravity, spacial awareness, density, and simple physics, which builds their cognitive development, hand/eye co-ordination and fine and gross motor skills.

As with the treasure baskets, it is important that children are able to engage in heuristic play without instruction or interference. The role of the adult in this type of play is to support and observe children during their play. The types of materials that an adult will provide to children during heuristic play, differ slightly to what was offered to babies during the treasure basket phase. During this phase when a toddlers primary question is 'What can I do with it?' it is important to provide a range of objects that can be used together. It is a nice idea to make up a range of 'activity kits' with a purpose in mind, but then to let the children explore them and use them as they would like to, remembering that there is no right or wrong way to engage in this type of play. Try and think of all of the different ways that objects can interact with each other, and provide objects that allow your child to experiment with these different ideas:

Little acorns to mighty oaks heurisctic play photo 1 Stacking
Boxes, tins with lids, cotton reels, cones, coasters, pieces of wood etc.

A box with a small slit in the top, tubes, pegs, shells, stones etc.

Dolly pegs to peg around a box or a stainless steel bowl etc.

Curtain rings, paper towel holder, cup tree, bangles/bracelets, lengths of chain/beads, ribbon, scarves etc.

Balls or different sizes and textures, tubes, a ramp made from a cardboard box, cones, pompoms, wooden door knob, cone shaped shells etc.

Pattern making
shells, stones, pine cones, leaves etc.

Containers and lids, pairs of objects etc.

Baskets with handles, large jars, bags, containers with small and large openings etc.

Baskets that fit inside one another etc.

Making noise
Metal objects, small objects to put in jars and be shaken, a wooden stick for banging etc.

By being able to use their imagination and explore without interference or direction, through sequencing, manipulation, anticipation and rearranging of objects children can discover concepts such as same and different, spheres roll in all directions, tubes roll back and forth and cones roll in circles. Shiny reflects, metal resonates, flat objects can be piled up, heavy and light, little and big, things of the same shape/size can have a different weight, floating and sinking and many many more basic scientific and mathematical concepts. Through this experimentation and exploration children develop their imagination, problem solving skills, concentration, fine and gross motor skills and overall cognitive development.

As with the Treasure Basket, other important factors in a successful Heuristic Play session include the when/where/how long and how often. Make sure that the time of day that you choose to implement an heuristic play session, is free from disruption from visitors, when your child is well rested and has eaten. It is important that the environment that this type of play takes place in is free from distraction and interruption, so it is a good idea to put all of your child's toys and books aside, and switch off the t.v, make sure it is a time that you can sit down calmly and observe your child during play and be available to them. A child will happily engage in this type of play for an hour, but try to limit the sessions to this length of time to keep your child interested in the contents of the heuristic play kit for future play sessions. It is a nice idea to have a couple of place kits which you rotate around to keep your child fascinated and engaged (if you can't afford the space to keep two play kits, try swapping with a friend week about). Offer this kind of play session 3-4 times a week, and ensure that you check over the play materials every time you use them to ensure that they are safe (a good time to do this is when you are putting everything away). 

i hope you found something interesting here to bring to your home.

treasure baskets, part 1

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

making birthday ring decorations


:: the new summer edition of rhythm of the home is out. i am very excited to show everyone how i made our butterfly birthday ring decoration over here. i have so many crafty mama visiting my blog. if you decide to make a decoration for your birthday ring, i'd love to get see a pic or link.


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