Monday, 30 March 2009

Cloth Rabbits

We just made lots of these cloth rabbits at our parent and child group this morning. It's a really easy knotted cloth rabbit pattern I found in a craft book. I think I'll put one in my boys and their cousins easter baskets, along with some other crafty/useful things, all to lessen the intake of chocolate on that fated day.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Parent & Child Group Spring Story

I thought this might be useful for some of you on the Steiner Yahoo group. This was the story we had last spring, and I just left in all the details as well, just to let you know what went into the running of it. I was a bit nervous and so was overly prepared, but it went well and was good to have everything written down. Over time I learned the story and songs by heart and then was able to add and change them as the season progressed.

Circle Time

Transition song:
Who will come into my small ring, my small ring, my small ring
Who will come into my small ring, and make it a little bit bigger

Set down a doll and recite verse with gestures:
Down is the Earth
Up is the sky –
Here are my friends
And here am I:
Two eyes to see,
Two ears to hear,
Two feet to walk and run.
Here are my hands-
Give yours to me,
Good afternoon/morning everyone.

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jonny who was sleeping in his cosy bed one day. He was watching the breeze come in through his window and suddenly he saw a little blue bird fly straight into his room!

Blue bird, blue bird go through my window (x2)
Oh Jonny what a day!
Catch your partner and tap him on the shoulder (x3)
Oh Jonny what a day!

... He got up and washed his face, combed his hair and brushed his teeth...

This is the way we wash our faceWash our face, wash our faceThis is the way we wash our faceAll on a spring day morning
This is the way we comb our hair...
This is the way we brush our teeth/put on our clothes/boots/coats...
... And he went out for a walk to the farm to get some milk for his mother. It was warm outside and there was a little breeze in the air. Flowers were starting to blossom and it was as if everything was saying Spring is Coming, Spring is Here!

Spring is coming (x2)
Birdies build your nest
Weave together straw and feather
Each on doing his best
Spring is coming (x2)
Flowers are coming too
Roses, lilies, daff-a-dillies all are coming through

... He walked up the hill and past the pasture where he saw some sheep in the field.

Ba ba black sheep, have you any wool
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full
One for the master, one for the dame
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane

... John walked on and into a forest thick with trees. Up high on a branch he saw two little birds chirping along together.

Two little dicky birds sitting in a tree
One called Peter and Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul
Come back Peter, come back Paul

... Walking on he came to a wide river with a little boat just his size that he could row across in. So he sat down and began to row.

Row row row your boat, gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream

... He tied the boat to a tree on the shore and ran up the steep hill to the farm. When he got there he went straight into the barn and there in the corner of the large doorway was a beautiful web and an itsy-bitsy spider.

The itsy bitsy spider climbed the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

... The farmer came and said hello he gave him a bottle of fresh cow’s milk, which was still warm. Jonny said thank you and then good-bye and he was about to go when he heard some strange sounds and went to see the donkey arguing with a little bird, a cuckoo.

The Cuckoo and the Donkey
Were quarrelling one day
As to who could sing the better (x2)
In the lovely month of May (x2)
The cuckoo said now hear me
And so began to call
“But I can sing the better, for I can sing much better”
And the donkey sang he-haw (x2)
They sang so sweet and lovely
It echoed wide and far
They sang so well together (x2)
Cu-ckoo cu-ckoo hee- haw (x2)

... Jonny walked down the hill and back to the boat which he rowed across the river. The cuckoo, who had followed him, flew overhead greeting the spring and saying, “Summer is coming!” to all the animals he past.

Summer is a-coming in, Loudly sing, cuckoo! Groweth seed and bloweth spring the wood anew. Sing, cuckoo!

... He went back through the forest and past the pasture where the sheep were still grazing. He picked some flowers for his mother and gave them to her when he got home, and they sat down for a nice warm lunch of bread rolls, jam and fresh fruit.

The End

Stand for good-bye song:
Children good-bye, children goodbye, we may no longer stay, our work is done today
Children good-bye, children goodbye, now it's time to say goo-bye to everyone, good bye!

Seasonal Steiner Craft Activities

This is a list of craft activities that worked for me in our Parent & Child Group. Most are activities for the parents to undertake while the children play, older children usually are keen to do them as well. Some of the crafts are for young children though. Some of the activities I found in All Year Round, or the Children's Year, and some I've just made up. I hope this is helpful, and let me know if you want to know more about doing a certain craft!

· Small cloth people, wool for head (wool, string, small coloured squares of cloth)
· Butterflies (string, pipe cleaner, coloured tissue paper)
· Drawing (paper, block crayons-usful to always have as an option)
· Dandelions (green & white fleece, string, yellow felt)
· Paper birds (paper, sticks, needle & thread)
· Pinecone birds (pinecones, string, stick, feathers, beezwax for beak)
· Paper boats (crayons, paper)
· Rag doll gnome(fleece, thread, two colours of cloth for body and cap)
· Wool birds on a stick (white & yellow fleece, thread, sticks)
· Small felt gnomes (fleece, thread, felt)
· Hanging pinecone gnomes (pine cones, string, felt, fleece)
· Bouquets of lavender (lavender, ribbon)
· Ribbon ankle bells (wide and thin ribbon, bells)
· Potpourri sashes (cloth, ribbon, spices)
· Felt ball (colours felt, needle/thread, fleece to stuff)
· Leaf drawings on canvas or paper
· Beanbags with ribbons (cloth, needle/thread, beans/rice, ribbons)
· Boot gnomes (clothes pegs, felt, needle/thread, fleece)
· Sewing books
· Pinecone people (glue, cloth scraps, conkers, pinecones)
· Leaf pictures or lanterns(stock paper, tissue paper, leaves, glue)
· Snowflakes (paper, scissors)
· Cleaning wool fleece
· Fleece Sheep (pipe cleaner, brown/white fleece)
· Aprons for the group (tea towel, needle/thread, ribbon)
Possible: (haven't done these yet, but would like to...)
· Cloth and crocheted rope
· Stick spinning
· Felted horse head, older children
· Felted rock
· Felted bracelets
· Bark boats
· Hanging puppets

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Steiner Inspiration

I've been leading a Steiner parent & child group for the past year already. It's been a challenge and a joy. We make bread, have a crafty activity for the parents and older children, sing some songs and eat our warm bread rolls for snack. It warms the heart and I usually walk away tired, but happy that my boys have been able to have this wholesome experience. It takes me back to my childhood and my Waldorf experience of gnomes and faires and make believe play. It also gets me going on lots of crafty projects, making puppets, dolls, wood working, and loads of easy projects with them too, regularly painting with the wet on wet method and drawing with block crayons. It's brought alot back into my life that really helps with parenting, rythm and ritual which is so important at this age and seems to bring everything together and minimize upsets. Just bringing songs into our daily routine does wonders, a candle at mealtimes, some music at bedtime.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

the beach in winter...

I do miss the beach this time of year, we had a great time in California this winter, lots of walks on the beach, sand in our shoes, and hair. I think Italian's have some affinity with beaches, even if it's cold, and Matteo loved beach walks most of all. We went to Miur Woods to see the redwoods too, or 'big big trees' as the boys were saying. Lots of city walks for me though, which was nice for a change. We've gone back to a nice rythm now, lots to do with the boys, but I do enjoy when it's just the three of us making bread or painting. We've been doing alot of gardening recently and they are just so calm out there digging or collecting things.