Monday, October 22, 2012

farmstay

Home and resting after a very exciting and animal-filled weekend away.
We came home with four dozen eggs! 

Anyone have any recipe suggestions other than quiche?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

butterfly and flower sun catchers


We started our Spring craftwork last week with butterfly and flower shaped sun catchers. Inspired by all the transparencies on Pinterest I designed our own and painstakingly carved two identical stencils out of white cardboard with an extremely dull razor blade... which reminds me to put 'exacto knife' on my craft purchase list.

I then ripped coloured pieces of tissue paper up into rectangular shapes and put little pieces of tape all along the children's craft table. When they woke up from their nap they were thrilled to find a rainbow of colours waiting for them. They simply placed the tissue paper onto the back of one of the stencils and taped it on (with a bit of Mama's help).  Then I trimmed the edges and taped the second stencil onto the back to match.

They look stunning on the windows- especially as the sun begins to set.

As with most crafts this took about an hour of Mama preparation (I had to cut out two sets of stencils for each child) and came down to about 25 minutes worth of kid fun.
Weeks worth of enjoyment though!

Monday, October 8, 2012

toys we love and some we could live without


I know a lot of people would be shocked with how few toys we have our home... or perhaps those that are very loyally Waldorf inspired think my children are quite indulged. I like to think we are creating a pretty good balance... although looking around our 'playroom' the other day I saw that there are still toys that are often neglected, and I noticed a pattern.

The so called 'toys' that get daily play in our home are not toys at all.

They are a variety of baskets, muslin scarves, tree blocks, rocks, feathers, blankets, a set of chairs and a children's desk. 

These are our open-ended toys- they can become anything- they have no definite purpose.


Crayons, paper and scissors take a close second to the open-ended toys. A few days ago North began to set up a bakery by drawing bread, donuts, cookies and cupcakes and then cutting them out and putting them on display.

Our knit and felt animals also get a fair amount of play, mostly re-enacting stories atop of buildings and castles that have been built, but not nearly as much play as the open-ended toys do.

The other toys that have not yet been purged from our playroom are a wooden digger, a few trains and cars, a crane and a helicopter. They are probably only played with a few times a week and for very brief periods of time. I assume this is because my children don't see a lot of construction work, moving trains or speeding vehicles that inspire exciting play. They don't watch TV so Thomas the Train or Bob the Builder aren't exactly icons they are interested in imitating.  But on a simpler level- these toys do not allow creative freedom, flowing movement and transformative play. They are what they are and that is it.

In the children's room sits a play kitchen and doll's corner with wooden food, utensils, cradles and blankets. This space is visited about once a day by one or the other child. This space requires parental make-overs from time to time to keep it interesting- some playdough for food and baking, a new outfit for a doll, a little bucket to give the doll a bath or a bit of water for pouring tea. On its own even this beautiful playset can become dull for the children. It inspires make believe but it has transformative limits.

Over the past few months I have cut down on the number of toys we had in the house dramatically and I can honestly say my children are playing contented for longer periods of time and more creatively than I have ever observed.

Just the other day a few wicker baskets morphed from

- animal carcasses (for playing butcher- God, I know- can you believe their first years were as vegetarians!?)
to

- boats for racing
to

- trucks for loading
to

- boxes for carrying fruits and vegetables to deliver from house to house
to

- shelves for playing shop
to

- sleighs for playing Christmas

What 'toys' do you and yours love and which could you really live without?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

cauliflower crust pizza


When I saw this recipe on pinterest I just knew I had to try it. Not because we're particularly set on living grain-free (we love Spelt around here), but because through late Winter and early Spring our weekly-delivered seasonal produce box always comes with at least a 1/2 a head of cauliflower... and we're not big on creamy soups in this family.

Gluten/Grain free.

Thin crusty crust, not crumbly.

Simple, Delicious, Wholesome.

Yum!

Find the entire recipe here. It's not much more labour intensive than making your own dough from scratch. The pizza has a bit more of an earthly taste but North and Indigo didn't even know the difference!

Monday, October 1, 2012

waldorf inspired rhythm for a 4 and 2 year old

It's been about 6 months since I last posted about our rhythm and of course, it has already changed and been tweaked a bit. North rarely naps now. Instead, he has a 'rest' either in my bed or on the couch for a minimum of 45 minutes before he is allowed to draw or read books quietly. I have also simplified a lot of the activities we are trying to do in order to make the rhythm stronger and the activities more meaningful. Our seasonal craft can consist of making salt dough ornaments or cookies, cutting and/or pasting, drawing, making bird feeders or wreaths or many other creative pursuits that are inspired by the season and nature around us. Again, Sparkle Stories are an essential part of our rhythm. After school North is usually too tired to play anymore and can be overwhelmed with fatigue. Sparkle Stories allow him to have the rest he needs before having an early dinner and bedtime. (He loves 'At Home with Martin and Sylvia' and 'Junkyard Tales' if you're interested).

I also have a rhythm written up for Saturday and Sunday but it wouldn't fit on the page! On Saturday we have our 'family day' and 'gardening' and on Sunday we have 'Church' (yes, we're trying to go a couple times a month.. perhaps more on that later) and 'Rest'.

I also have a watercolour card for each day of the week up on the fridge with an image that represents each day in order. For example, there is a picture of bread and cookies on the baking day card and a picture of us at swimming lessons on the swimming day card. This way North can see what the current day is and what is happening the next. 

I also have a similar rhythm to below written up for me including times for reading, studying, planning, dinner prepping, emailing, blogging etc.

Are you interested in having a peek at either of those as well?

BUSHWALK/PAINTING
SWIMMING/CRAFT
BAKING
SCHOOL/ERRANDS
SCHOOL/PLAYGROUP


Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday

630
warm breakfast
715
clean-up, get dressed
745
morning song and indoor play
845
hang laundry
9
bushwalk or park
swimming
baking
North Pre-school
North Pre-school
Indi Playgroup 

1030
errands, shops
home play 
11

1215
home
home
home
home
1230
lunch
115
rest: drawing, reading -- Indi sleep
3
wet on wet painting
seasonal craft
backyard play
pick North up
pick North up

430
eliza- backyard 
backyard play
sparkle story
sparkle story

515
dinner
545
bath and brush teeth, cut nails, brush hair, pjs
615
storybook- 2 each
645
 bed and blessing


Make sure you check out the following backposts if you're interested


Of course every family is totally unique and your rhythm should reflect this, but I know looking at how other people create their daily rhythm has always been inspirational to me. Is rhythm important to you? How do you shape your days?