Here’s a branch of snowy May, a branch the fairies gave me. Would you like to dance today, with a branch the fairies gave me? Dance away, dance away, holding high the branch of May. Dance away, dance away, holding high the branch of May
– Traditional May Day Song
May Day is a festival held in the northern hemisphere and celebrated in many Waldorf Schools.
At our school it is a joyful festival that incorporates song and traditional spring dances from the British Isles. It celebrates the lengthening of the days and a new growing season. Although it feels like spring has only just begun, May 1st marks the first day of summer. It is the halfway mark between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Earliest records of this ancient tradition can be found as a Celtic celebration called Beltane. It was also celebrated by the Romans as a festival of flowers recognizing the goddess Flora.
At our school, the children enjoy the tradition of dancing around the Maypole—a symbolic representation of the tree of life. It is decorated with flowers and coloured ribbons and to the little ones, it is truly a thing of beauty. Most years, the children from each grade take turns doing a dance around the Maypole. The patterns become more complex as the children mature.
What I love best is that it is a time to weave our dreams. Take the time to really envision what you would like to see manifest in the future. I always imagine what I would like to wish for my family, my friends, and for the world as I dance around the Maypole or when I braid a May crown or bracelet. It is the act of weaving your good intentions. If you click on the Crafts link above, you will find instructions on how to make a May crown using materials you can find at home.
I am posting a therapeutic story this week which was created for a child who felt a very strong desire to pick flowers, which could have been devastating to the little flower garden. The story is called The Girl Who Loved Flowers. The rainbow stick craft is inspired by this story and is reminiscent of a tiny Maypole.This little Maypole would look wonderful on your nature tables. You could use a little lump of play dough as a stand.
Although I am not a fan of young children watching screens, I do have a puppet show to share with you all. I did not perform it. My dear friend and Waldorf kindergarten teacher, Janene Ping from Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, gave me permission to share this sweet story. For those parents who have never seen a Waldorf puppet show, this is what you have been missing. I am certainly missing my weekly offerings of puppet shows in our classroom. Please be mindful that this is on youtube and as soon as this short video ends please shut your computer down so the images of the story can stay with your child.
Be well and enjoy your time together.
Periwinkle Blue and the Violet
The Magical Puppet Tree at Hawthorne Valley presents “Perwinkle Blue and the Violet”.
Puppets by Janene Ping, puppeteering by Janene Ping and Linda Frosch.
Perwinkle Blue and the Violet is rewritten from a Liputto story by Jakob Streit.
Hear the song Here’s a Branch of Snowy May Listen Now
April 10th, 2020
May this Easter bring us new beginnings, and an opportunity to deepen and strengthen our bonds with family and friends. I wish you all good health, prosperity, longevity and peace this Easter and always.
Love Miss Moni
April 1, 2020
I had the most amazing walk yesterday evening. The creatures in the woods have really woken up. There was a cacophony of animal sounds, both bird and beasts. Earlier in the day I noticed little red flowers had opened on the ground cover in parts of the woods and the pussy willows had appeared. This reminded me that the forsythia will be getting ready to bloom. I recommend everyone take some clippers outside and snip off a few branches of both pussy willow, and the forsythia before it blooms.
A few parents have mentioned that they are hoping that I might share with them some ideas to bring Waldorf Kindergarten activities into the home. Well I encourage you, if you have the room, to make a seasonal nature table.
Seasonal Nature Table Project
A seasonal nature table is a wonderful way to connect your child with nature and the rhythms of the year. It encourages reverence for the earth and teaches children to see beauty in things found in nature.
In Chickadee Hollow the nature table is more interactive than in the upper grades. It is still held with reverence though; the main items need to remain on the table only the smaller animals, birds or fairies and gnomes can leave temporarily but they need to be replaced thoughtfully.
A nature table can evolve slowly over time, reflecting how the environment changes as time passes. This time of year I try to find a summer green coloured cloth to be the base. Then I layer that with a spring green then I look around at nature and see what colours I am seeing. Hmmm, a lot of brown and only a hint of green. As the season changes colours get stripped away revealing the next colour. Yesterday the snow came back and then it melted away. Treasures you find on your walk can get added, a stone, a sea shell, an acorn or a branch. I like to place the forsythia on the nature table so the children can watch the forsythia bloom and grow leaves. To the young children it is magic to witness this. Driftwood makes great caves for little animals, a piece of bark makes a great boat.
Creating a nature table with your child allows for quality time spent with your child. Later when the nature table is complete and you are stuck in the house because it is raining, your child can gently play with the enchanting scene you have created. You can say to your child that this is our special nature table and the things on it stay on it but you can gently play with it.
A nature table can be a source of inspiration for many craft activities.
Time can be spent making little people or creatures to add to the nature table.
I saw at least 20 robins today. For me, seeing robins is a sure sign that spring has come.
On this spring day I find myself thinking how I can best support my classroom families and their dear children. I found myself thinking about all the amazing teachers I had and some of the wise words they shared with me. I am sure parents must marvel sometimes when you come into the kindergarten and see all of these wee children playing so harmoniously. I love my job and these are a few of the tools I use to make our days wonderful. The words that are highlighted will lead you to different articles you may find of assistance, click on them if you wish to delve into this topic a bit deeper. They are written by writers much more skilled than me.
Developing a rhythm of the day and week helps the children feel more secure and content. Children like to know what will happen next. Take time to think about what this might look like for your family. For a three and four year old it is so important to make sure that they don’t get too hungry, too tired or stay up too late for if they do, their bodies will cry out in a very loud way.
Find time in your day to fully be with your child. Take a walk in nature, play a game or sit and draw, eat a meal together. Make it part of your rhythm of the day. If you can spend 20 quality minutes with your child, your child will give you twice or three times that or more to do your work if you are working from home. Other things that assist a parent to be able to work from home is creating things your child can be responsible for. Having things child height, and accessible will allow them to be more self reliant. Easy access to water or fruit is one way to allow yourself time to work. Let them know they can help themselves. Purposeful work helps to mark our day. Children who are 3 or 4 can set the table if plates and bowls are within their reach, they can bring in the kindling, Kaitlin Brown told me she has Lada take care of the baby (Lada is the baby) When she comes to ask for anything Kaitln just says I thought you were taking care of the baby. They take pride in being helpful and these chores mark the rhythm of the day.
Singing is also like magic to get little ones to transition into a different activity. The come follow me alongsong we sing to bring the children to the forest also works when we want them to go to the bathroom or if I need them to follow me to the office or upstairs. They all stop what they are doing and follow. Listen Here
The Clean upsongworks as well but of course with the adult also cleaning up alongside the child. Please do not expect your young child to do cleaning up all by themselves. It can feel very overwhelming to them but it is important that they help. Listen Here
If your child is having a hard time transitioning from play to clean up the two minute time keeper seems to work like a charm. Example a child is playing but we need to move from this activity to something else. Ask the child would you like to play this game for 2 more minutes and then we clean up? Usually they will agree. Two minutes is not long to wait for an adult but seems sufficient time for a child to transition from the activity. This works especially well if you have a wrist watch.
Fill your house with wonderful smells. The kindergarten teachers know that fresh baked muffins and bread help to create a sense of warmth in the home and classroom. Muffins are so quick to make. I will share my Heart Bread Recipe. It is also a very quick and easy recipe that the children love to eat, love to mix and love to roll out with a rolling pin. They also love that it is heart shaped. Added bonus there is not much to clean up.
If you need time to prepare meals either involve your child or create a little play kitchen so they can be cooking in their kitchen alongside you. Most of the kindergarten children love chopping vegetables with supervision. I usually cut cucumbers and carrots long and into quarters so they have a lot to hold on to and a lot to cut.
A wise teacher once told me that when a young child hears us speak they take it in, it goes down to their feet, back up to their head, back down to their feet and back up to their head. Then they will truly know what they just heard. So do be patient with your child. They do not yet have the capacity to answer questions as quickly as an adult.
Keep your questions simple, choices minimal for those children who like to choose ie. “would you like to wear the red sock or the blue sock?” You would be amazed at how many young children actually feel more content having those decisions made for them. They feel their needs are being taken care of.
In Difficult Times: How Do I Find and Create Goodness for My Children? –by Susan Weber In difficult times such as these it is not easy to feel the goodness in life. In an external crisis, our urge is often to listen and see the news and to share our feelings with other adults. As a consequence, it is easy for the children around us to be exposed to things that they cannot understand, to become fearful about situations they will never see and cannot change even if we think that the media or adult conversations are not attended to by the children. Read More
Your children may be wondering why they are not at school with their friends. If you are wondering how to speak about our current situation. Please filter the information, keep it vague and positive they do not need to know anything that might be upsetting. It is alright for them to be blissfully unaware.
Here is a wonderful link to a short talk which is so worth the time. Close your eyes and listen. It has great suggestions for the health and well being of the parent as well as the child.
If you are finding your children are saddened that they must stay home you might like to use a therapeutic story. You may have already read this story and shared it with your children but I am posting it again. In the Kindergarten, stories are repeated many times over the course of a week or two. The story gets the chance to really live in the child. Some children memorize it. We teachers learn them by heart sometimes they are performed as puppet shows by us or the children
We look forward to connecting with each family by phone in the coming days to check in and learn from you how we can best support your family at this time.
Plans as of now would include:
– parental education on how to create a Waldorf inspired home atmosphere.
– the value of rhythm in the young child’s life. Creating a daily, weekly and seasonal rhythm.
Establishing a new rhythm is difficult. So start by anchoring this new rhythm with four cornerstones – waking time, coming together to eat, nature walk, and bedtime. Choose simple anchors that you want to do that is easy for everyone to do. It can even be as simple as reading one small picture book, drinking a cup of tea together, or lighting a candle and saying a simple verse at meal times.
– the importance of a daily nature walk. We strongly encourage each family to be practicing a daily nature walk in your local area. This is a time when we can all connect with the greater world, it gives us inspiration and cultivates a love for nature and an eye for true beauty. Sunshine, exercise and fresh air are some of the worlds greatest healers and need to be part of our lives every day.
– We will be sharing articles and videos from Kim John Payne’s simplicity parenting.
-ideas for keeping community spirit in this time of social distancing. We want to stay connected to you and for the class and school to still feel like a thriving community. We had hoped that small groups (less then 5 people) could come to the school and help care and tend for our school during these times. The gardens will need tending, spring clean up indoors and outdoors, as well as just walking the land or playing in the forest area. With a state of emergency being announced yesterday we don’t think meeting in small groups is something we can do any longer. Small children really do not understand the concept of social distancing when they are playing. We are open to ideas and thoughts?
– We would like us all to support each other and actively create connections to each other. How can we connect and support each other? How can we support each other physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually during these times? We all have something to offer our greater community. One beautiful example of this that comes to mind is Bayport Home Farm who have committed to growing food for this community and are now offering delivery options for their vegetables as well as offerings from Taproot and Elmridge farms which in turn will help support the school as a small fundraiser.
A family who has sent their child to Forest Friday and are friends of the school are seed savers and a good source for garden seeds Chris and Garrett’s website: www.yonderhillfarm.ca (Incredible Seeds is currently over-extended with orders.)
– Also in our plans is to send care packages to each child with recipes, handwork activities, colouring, painting, stories and songs so that we can build a bridge between the children’s experience at school and their experience of “School Away From School.”
-It is important to refrain from speaking about the situation in front of the children. They don’t need to know, or at least they don’t need many details and they certainly don’t need to hear about it constantly. Children can live through many trying situations and be blissfully unaware of what is happening. Please only convey to them in very basic terms answers to questions so they remained joyful, happy, and unworried. This helps us as parents, too. For perhaps we can’t control the world outside but we can control the world inside. In fact, that is what a Home is – a place where we should be able to feel safe. This is something within your control.
With warmth and love,
May Festival Crafts
A Rainbow Stick (just like Netty made)
20 inch stick, find a stick that is not big and heavy, it is better if it is a bit flexible like Willow, Dogwood, or Apple suckers. No longer than the length of your child’s arm.
22 inches pieces of different colours of wool or ribbons the number is up to you
Tie wool to the top of the stick and then go dance with the wind.
Depending on what materials you have available at home.
The photos are using fabric but Birthday streamers or Sheeps wool roving can be used.
The fabric version will last a long time but it does require a parent’s help.
120 cm (1 1/2 yrds.) each of three strips of different coloured recycled fabric 6 cm. (2 1/2 inches) wide
1 heavy book or stone
15 cm piece String or a small piece of fabric
I have used recycled cloth from old sheets or clothing (just clip and tear.) Wrinkled is ok. You can tie strips of cloth together to make it longer. Try to keep each colour the same though. Example: one strand yellow, one blue, and one pink. Your child needs to see the separate colours to be able to figure out the braiding technique. This can also be done using three different colours of sheep’s wool roving or ribbons or birthday steamers. Remember as you are braiding, weave it with good intentions and wishes for your family, friends and the earth.
Lay the strips of fabric one on top of the other.
Measure about 30 cm (1 ft.) at the top of the 3 strips of fabric and loosely tie with a string or strip of fabric the three colours together.
Then lay the heavy book or stone on the top 30 cm. of the Fabric strips; this is to weigh it down so you and your child can braid the rest of the streamers that are not under the book or stone.
Then separate the colours so your child can see the three different coloured strands.
Have your child sit directly in front of you almost on your lap while you speak the words below.
This may seem very simplistic but for a small child repetition is everything. This is how they learn.
“Now we take the colour streamer from the left and place it in the middle of the other two streamers.”
Show your child what you mean.
“Next we take the colour streamer from the right and place it in the middle of the other two streamers.”
“We need to go from one side to the other.” Say these words as you do the first braids.
Every once and a while you can ask your child “Which one do we do next?”
Have your child try braiding with your help. The fabric strands are long and will get a bit tangled without your help.
Keep braiding until you feel it is close to the circumference of your child’s head. Wrap around your child’s head to measure.
Next cut two thinner strips about and inch wide from one of the 2 1/2 inch fabric strips
Tie off using the two thin strips. Do this for both ends of the braid.
Measure on your child’s head and tie together using the 2 thin strips from either side of the braid. Don’t tie it too tight at first make sure it fits your child’s head.
It can be fun to add flowers to the crown.
This can be done with small bits of coloured fabric. Choose a dish from the kitchen that is about 2 1/2 inches diameter. Lay it on a piece of paper and tell your child you’re making a pattern.
Draw around the dish and cut out the pattern. Pin to a small piece of fabric. Almost any kind of fabric will work. Silk is very nice but part of an old shirt will do.
If you have tape you can put a bit of tape on the ends of the pins (this is so your child does not poke themselves) and your child can cut out the circle. Fiscar brand child scissors are especially good for cutting fabric. Remind them to try not to cut the paper. It does not matter if the circle is perfectly round. Please take the time to show them how to hold the fabric and the scissors properly.
I tie a simple knot at the top of the needle so the single strand of embroidery thread does not pull out of the needle and I tie a knot at the end of the 15 inch long thread. This way your child can help. Use a running stitch (in out, in out) go around the outer edge of the circle. When you have gone completely around, have your child pull the needle out of the fabric.
Let your child pull it tight like a drawstring on a little bag. Remind them that the needle is sharp. Then with your needle go through the centre of the cloth and out the other side and make a stitch to hold it in place.
Then go back through the centre to the other side where the gathering is visible and tie a knot. If your thread is long enough you can use it to sew the flower onto the cloth or wool crown. I like to use yellow or orange embroidery thread so it looks like the centre of a flower but thread the colour of the cloth also works and looks beautiful. Ordinary thread will do. I also just cut out leaf shapes and sewed them on to the crown using the needle and thread you just used to make the flower. Take the needle still attached to the flower, go through the leaf shapes and then sew onto the crown using just a few stitches and a knot.
The size of the circle will determine how big your flower is. I have made really tiny ones for crowns for my puppets.
A May Pole
If you are feeling very adventurous you could make your own Maypole.
At Waldorf Schools around the world the children learn the spring dances which are done around the Maypole. As the children get older the dances and the weaving become more and more intricate. In the kindergarten we all go around the pole in the same direction.
At our school the Maypole has long ribbons attached. I have with friends on their land created ribbons for a Maypole using coloured cotton cloth recycled from old clothes and bedding. We tied pieces together to make it nice and long. The longer it is the longer you can dance. Here it does not need to be the same colour. For the pole we found a long straight dead tree in the forest, tied the ribbons to one end, dug a hole, stuck it in and surrounded it with rocks. We have also done it in a clearing with a live tree. The live tree does need to get unwrapped though, but don’t do it immediately, let the image of the wrapped tree stay with the child. At our school we had a friend of the school cut a very long straight birch tree, he stripped the bark leaving the very top 3 or 4 ft with its bark and branches and leaves which had already sprouted.. Pretty ribbons were hung from the branches. A wreath of flowers were hung under the living part of the tree and ribbons were attached to the wreath. The photo above is the mini Maypole I created to be used in my classroom every year.
In the kindergarten we sing this little song as we dance around the Maypole.
Sung to the tune of Here we go around the Mulberry Bush
Here we go round the Maypole high, the Maypole high, The Maypole high Here we go round the Maypole high, Let coloured ribbons fly.
Let Lads and Lasses go skipping by, skipping by, skipping by Let Lads and Lasses go skipping by, Let coloured ribbons fly.
Here we go round the Maypole high, the Maypole high, The Maypole high. Here we go round the Maypole high, Let coloured ribbons fly.
Keep alternating between the two verses until the May Pole is wrapped. Then stop and think a nice thought or wish for your friends, family, the people of the world and the earth.
Easter/Spring Crafts and Easter Game Inspired by the story “Grandfather Tomten and the Easter Surprise” by Nancy Foster
Older children might like to turn this story into an illustrated book.The younger children might like to imitate. Help them by making the book for them.Two of their water colour paintings for front and back cover and plain sheets of photocopy paper inside staple edges shut or use hole punch and lace with wool or ribbon.
The little Gnome from the first craft could be used as Grandfather Tomten. Open the PDF Here
Bumble Bee– 2 Versions
Materials: Paper, crayons or paint, scissors, needle and thread Easiest method is if you have white bristol board (poster board or the bottom of an old birthday card might work) If you only have cardboard then instead of crayons your child can paint the cardboard yellow and the stripes brown or black.
The body: Cut the bee body shape out and poke holes where the dots are with a sewing needle Then paint or colour both sides. Show your child that a bee’s body has stripes.
The wings: draw 2egg shapes touching end to end (it will look a bit like the number eight) Cut it out.Poke holes with a sewing needle where the two dots are. Now make a slit perhaps 1/2 an inch using the scissors in the middle of he bees back. Indicated by the thin line between the two stripes. Then slide the wings (the middle of the two ovals that touch) in to the slit.
With needle and thread, remember to ask your child to if they would like to cut the thread. Thread needle through the poked holes. Thread should be 30 centimetres/12 inches long. Take the needle off and ask if they would help you tie the knots.
Tie a knot above bees body,and then at the end of the thread so your child hassomething to hold on to.
If you have carded white or yellow sheep’s wool making a bumblebee is quite easy. To make the body of the bee: Take about 3 inches X 2 inches of carded wool, pull gently at one end to make it a bit thin and wispy
Now from the other end start to roll the wool (the non whispy end) very tightly. I like to pull in the edges and keep rolling until you are close to the end.The children might be able to show you what I mean.
The last wispy part is important to help hold it together. Use this whispy wool some of it should be as thin as a piece ofthread and wind it around the body of the bee.
Dip in hot water.Take it out of the water and add a squirt of dish soap and roll it in between hands for a few minutes.Then put under cold water roll some more. Put under hot water, roll some more put in cold water again. Gently squeeze out soap and excess water let it sit over night to dry. If you are dying Easter eggs and only white carded wool you can dye the bee body at the same time.
If you have dark brown wool, roving, knitting wool or a really thin strip of fabric it can be wrapped around, tied or sewn to the body making 2 or more stripes.
A little tuft of white sheep’s wool can make the wings.Attach with a some thread when your child is not watching add a loop so your child can have some way to hold the bee puppet.
The bees below began with brown wool as the base and yellow for the stripes.
The Robin: (or any type bird your child wishes to colour)cut out template of bird. Notice the slit that needs to be cut for the wings. Use the template as a pattern. Place on stiffer paper like Bristol board ( the bottom of an old birthday card might work). Trace the template and then cut out of Bristol board.Let your child colour with crayons.Then take a sheet of photocopy paper and let your child colour the paper. After the paper is completely covered with colour fold accordion or fan style. The fold should be only a tiny bit smaller then the slit you cut in the back of the bird. Pull the accordion folded paper through the slit.
Using needle and Thread, go through Bristol board at the neck of the bird and just before the tail tie it off at each end. This creates a handle your child can hold on to.
The Butterfly : Put something down so paint and glue does not get on the table.
Draw Butterfly on piece of bristol board,water colour paper or cardboard like from a cereal box and colour with crayons or paint. If using a cereal box glue white paper on front and back then decorate.
Place a small amount of white glue into a little jar and give your child a small brush. I remind the children to rest their brush on the edge of the jar then roll their brush so that the glue does not drip every where. Show your child on your own piece of cardboard how to brush glue on to the butterfly image then stick the white paper to it.
Have a jar of water ready as well so that a brush no longer use is sitting in water until it is washed with soap.
When the butterfly is covered let it sit to dry.When dry fold in half and like the bird with needle and thread go through close to the head and then close to the tail making a handle for your child to hold easily so the butterfly puppet can fly.
Tissue paper (perhaps left over from Christmas wrapping paper)to make simple flowers
8 – 4 inch squares of tissue paper, one on top the other.
Fold like an accordion/ fan.
Fold this in half and then at the fold use a string, staple, or twist tie to tie it off.
Then carefully pull up each tissue paper sheet starting from the top moving from one side to the other.
Create three pom poms using the template. Trim them so you have a Tiny one for the tail, middle size for the head, slightly larger for the body. Using lots of wool makes for a fuller pom-pom.
Sew the head onto the biggest woolly ball. Cut the bottom flat so that the hare will stand up. Sew the tail on as low down as possible. together, cut out ears from felt or fabric andsew them on the head. Sew 2 black beads where the eyes should be.
These are all the characters in the story and now you have lots to go on your nature table, puppet stage. For something different why not do a puppet show with your child after you have read the story a few days in a row. You could narrate and they can perform it.
Egg Hunt game: This is a great game during the weeks following Easter children love topretend to be the Easter rabbit.
Cut many Egg shapes from old water colour paintings or any other thicker type paper. Children do like colouring eggs so this can be an activity in itself.Draw egg shapes, then your child can colour them. Cut them out. Your child will no doubt wish to join you in the cutting.Take the time to show them where their fingers should go.Don’t be upset if they cut the egg shapes up into tiny pieces they need to practice their hand dexterity.What you manage to cut out, place in a basket.Your child will love hiding the eggs for their siblings and parents.
Gnome and his home You might want to make a little Gnome and his home, the main character in the story I posted last week. Open the PDF Here
In the heart of the seed buried deep so deep, With you fingers pretend to dig a little hole to plant a seed
A dear little plant lay fast asleep, Rest your head on your hands like you are sleeping
Awake said the Sun and creep into the light, Use both hands and move as though they are climbing a ladder
Awake said the voice of the rain drops bright. From above your head wiggle fingers and lower hands
The little plant heard and arose to see, Hands in prayer position resting on floor rises upward
What a wonderful outside world might be. The fingers now spread to form the petals of a flower
In the Heart of the Seed Sing 3 times
The first time the child listen to it The second time they really hear it
The third time they know it and are ready to sing with you.
Use the hand gestures as you sing.
Or if you find that song too hard you might try this one
With basket in hand filled with coloured cloth or scarfs offer a scarf to your child. Take a scarf yourself and show your child how make a little nest. “Make a little Nest” You can also spend time before hand making cut out eggs that the child can put in the nest. Now sit on your nest. Then begin the song.
Spring is coming, Spring is coming,
Birdies build their nests. Gently flap arms
Weave together, straw and feather, With pointer fingers, move the left finger over right then right over left again
Doing each your best, and again
Doing each your best.
Spring is coming, Spring is coming,
flowers are coming too, Hands in prayer position coming up from the ground then spread fingers
Daisies, lilies, daffodilies, as if petals are opening.
Now are coming through.
Spring is coming, Spring is coming,
All around is fair,
Shimmer, glimmer on the river, With hands move like water gliding back and forth
Joy is every where. Spread arms and Hands up to the sky
Now on sitting with buttocks on top of knees, arch back over knees and tuck head in Say “tuck your head in”
Where are the Froggies when the north winds blow, crouched down, arch over knees, tuck head in
We can not see them in the ice and snow, Deep deep down in the mud they lie,
Baby froggies sleeping with tight closed eyes
When the spring time sun comes up sit up and spread arms wide
Froggies wake up and hop about. Froggies hop about the room and then come back
Ohh how happy they will be
A new spring world for them to see.
Tuck your head in
Where are the Turtles when the north winds blow, crouched down, arch over knees, tuck head in
We can not see them in the ice and snow, Deep deep down in the mud they lie,
Baby turtles sleeping with tight closed eyes,
When the spring time sum comes out, sit up and spread arms wide
Baby turtles wake and crawl about, Baby turtles crawl about and then come back
Ohh.. how happy they will be
a new spring world for them to see.
Tuck your head in
Where are the bears when the north winds blow crouched down, arch over knees, tuck head in
We can not see them in the ice and snow, Snug and warm in their caves they lie, Baby bears sleeping with tight closed eyes,
When the spring time sun comes out, sit up and spread arms wide
Baby bears wake and play about, Baby bears gently paw the air
Ohhh.. how happy they will be,
A new spring world for them to see.
Sitting up now
Where are the caterpillars when the north winds blow, Sitting on bottom, knees bent legs crossed,
We can not see them in the ice and snow, arms crossed in front of chest
Snug and warm in their cocoons they lie, Caterpillars turning into Butterflies,
When the spring time sun comes out, sit up and spread arms wide
Butterflies wake and fly about, Arms spread open wide like wings
Ohhh.. happy they will be, Butterflies fly around the room then come back
A new spring world for them to see.
Mother of the Fairy Tales
Come and share your stories with me,
I am listening with my ears
and I am sitting quietly
Now it is time for whatever story you would like to bring
Story of the Week
The Girl Who Loved Flowers
written by Susan Perrow
There was once a little girl called Netty who lived with her mother and many, many brothers and sisters. Little Netty loved flowers. She loved the patterns of flowers, the shapes of flowers, the smell of flowers… but most of all she loved the beautiful colours of flowers…red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, blue…so many wonderful colours.
Little Netty would spend all her spare time wandering the garden and looking for flowers to pick and play with. She would collect them all and spread them on the grass. Then she would sit amongst them, pulling off the petals and playing with them and throwing them up in the air.
One day while little Netty was sitting in the grass, playing with some yellow nasturtium petals, she heard a whispering on the breeze. It sounded as if it was coming from a green daisy bush. She saw a tiny bud opening and closing. It seemed to be talking to her!
“Please don’t pick my sisters and brothers all the time, little girl. Once we have been taken from our green bushes we fade and die. But if you leave us growing, then we can keep on dancing in the garden. There is nothing a flower likes to do more than dance.”
Little Netty didn’t know what to say! She also loved to dance so she perfectly understood what the flower bud was saying.
Then she had an idea. She went to her mother and asked her for a piece of wool for every colour of her favourite flowers. Then she tied all the brightly coloured pieces to a long stick and went outside. With her rainbow stick held high she started to dance across the grass and around the garden.
Soon the breeze joined in, gently blowing the flowers backwards and forwards, and all together they danced with little Netty in the garden.
The tiny new daisy bud was very happy to see this, and she smiled such a big smile that all her white daisy petals popped out and spread open. Then she too joined with little Netty in the dance.
Grandfather Tomten and the Easter Surprise by Nancy Foster
Author’s note: This is a little story I created for my grandchildren, one and three years old at the time, and it has become our traditional story before their Easter egg hunt each year.This can be done as a lap story or a table play.I used a simple knitted hand puppet for Grandfather Tomten, but it could easily be a standing doll with arms, instead.
All winter long, Grandfather Tomten had been asleep in his home beside a large rock in the meadow.He slept so soundly he did not notice when the warm sun melted the last snow of winter.He slept so soundly he did not notice when the flowers in the meadow wakened and smiled up at the sun.
A bumblebee came buzzing by.He stopped to gather some pollen from the flowers, and whispered to Grandfather Tomten, “Wake up Grandfather Tomten, spring is here, and the flowers are blooming.
But Grandfather Tomten did not hear him, and slept on.
A butterfly came fluttering by.She visited the flowers to sip their sweet nectar, and whispered to grandfather Tomten, “Wake up Grandfather Tomten, spring is here, the flowers are blooming, and the bees are buzzing.
But Grandfather Tomten did not hear her, and slept on.
A robin came flying by.He sang, “Cheer-up, cheer up, it’s time to build a nest!”and sang softly to Grandfather Tomten, spring is here, the flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, and the butterflies are fluttering.”
But Grandfather Tomten did not hear him and slept on.
At last a rabbit came hopping by.She stopped now and then to nibble the sweet clover in the meadow, and whispered to Grandfather Tomten,“Wake up Grandfather Tomten, spring is here, the flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, the butterflies are fluttering, the robins are singing.And I have hidden an Easter surprise for you.”
And Grandfather Tomten opened his eyes, stretched, and looked around – just in time to see the rabbit hopping away.
Grandfather Tomten said, “Spring is here, the flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, the butterflies are fluttering, the robins are singing and I think the Easter rabbit has hidden a surprise for me.Where could it be?”
And he began to look: under the stone… behind the bushes… under the yellow flowers… and there, just in a little hollow in the hillside, he found it: a beautiful coloured Easter egg!Grandfather Tomten tucked it into his basket, and home he went as pleased as could be.
I would like to share one of our favourite stories for Spring, one year we even made this into a Puppet Play.
The Root Children Wake Up
All winter long the trees are bare, the wind is cold and the fields are empty.
But very early in the spring the Sun begins to grow warmer, the air softer and the sky bluer. And boys and girls grow happier though they cannot tell just why. Down underground something is happening.
Something secret and wonderful.
The root children who have been sleeping soundly all winter are awakened by the Earth Mother. She comes with her candle and her little firefly helpers and tell them they must be up and at work for it will soon be Spring. They are very sleepy at first but soon begin to stretch and open their eyes and be glad that it is time to wake.
Wide awake at last, in their root house, the root children work busily on their new Spring dresses. Each chooses the colour they love best – violet, yellow, blue, white, orange or red – and with needle, thread and thimble, sew happily till their work is done.
Above them, in the little village by the sea, the children are learning carols to sing at Easter, and every day the sky and water are growing bluer.
The root children take their dresses to show the good Earth Mother, where she sits comfortably with her tea and her knitting. Her busy ant helpers are about her. She is pleased when she sees how well each little root child has made their Spring dress.
It is time to be ready, for above them the ice on the little brook has meltedand the water is slipping merrily over its pebbles. In the barns the sheep and lambs feel the Spring air and wish to be in the green fields again.
While the little root girls are sewing Spring dresses, the root boys are busy with their share in making ready for Spring. They wake up the sleeping insects – the beetles, grasshoppers, lady bugs, crickets, bumble bees, fireflies, and June bugs. They sponge them and brush them and paint their shells with bright Spring colours, while the fields over their heads are growing greener and the leaf buds on the trees were swelling in the warm Spring air.
Then when all is ready, Spring comes!
First the meadow grasses fare out over the country side, green and lovely, waving in the wind.
Then the busy insects, eager to do their work in fields and woods and gardens, sing and humming and leaping.
Next the good grains push their heads above the ground.
Last and most beautiful of all, come the flowers in a sweet ad gay procession – snowdrop and star-grass, forget-me-not and aster, violet and dandelion. They all come.
Out they troop joyfully out of their earth home into the lovely world, where birds fly in the blue sky above green meadows.
The flower children scatter far and wide. Some choose the deep woods and bloom shyly under the trees. Gay butterflies hover above them, scarlet mushrooms brighten the moss, and the slow snail creeps out of his house to play, glad that Spring has come again.
Others hurry to the pond side and play there all day long, Spiders spin lovely webs that shine in the sun. The reeds wave and rustle in the passing wind, and dragon-flies dart hither and thither.
And so they play all summer long, until a day comes when the air is chill and the leaves, turned red and gold and brown, are fluttering down to earth. The flower children come running over hills and valleys, from meadows, woods and brookside, back to the Earth Mother, who welcomes them to their warm earth home to rest and sleep the cold winter through, until Spring comes again next year!
From a Picture book by Sibylle v. Olfers with text by Helen Dean Fish
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