Friday, November 29, 2013

Menorah Craft

Lyra and I had fun with this Hanukkah craft. It was really simple, but came out looking so pretty on our table and mantle, especially as we lit the candles. You will need: 8 small baby food jars, clean and dry; 1 larger baby food jar, clean and dry; tissue paper in assorted colors; mod podge; paint brushes; scissors (optional). Cut or tear the tissue paper into small pieces. Set aside in separate piles. Brush one jar with mod podge and stick tissue paper all over it. Coat the outside with another layer of mod podge. Set upside down to dry. Repeat with all other jars. Once dry, place a tea light inside each jar. Viola! (We used a small pillar candle in the center jar, so we could use it to light the others. We put a little clay in the bottom so it would stick.)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Favorite Waldorf Supplies Websites

For the basics - Sarah's Silks play silks, wooden kitchens and accoutrement, wooden bowls and cutlery, and rocker boards (last two sites only):

For a discount on Waldorf toys and homeschool supplies, art and craft supplies, Weleda, supplies to make your own silk canopies and play silks, glockenspiels, choroi flutes, etc... (and to support a fabulous homeschooling Waldorf mama and her four children)

For gnome homes, gnomes, and handmade dolls by the lovely Christine:

For the best "Heavy Baby" doll kits:

And more doll-making kits:

For Waldorf wooden frames, beautiful advent calendars, wooden mushrooms, and other hard-to-find toys:

For eurythmy supplies, art supplies, and beautiful musical instruments:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Martinmas Celebration for 2-5 Year-Olds

Martinmas is a popular festival in our home. I and L both really connect with the story of St. Martin, and both adore reverently carrying their little lights with purpose on a dark night. I was sitting at the computer Monday night, thinking about this, and decided to throw a spontaneous Martinmas celebration and lantern walk. Evites were sent out immediately, and the whole night came together with relatively little preparation.

Monday night we sent the evite, which read:

"We would love your company Wednesday night for an evening in celebration of the little lights in our lives that keep our paths aglow, even in times of darkness.

*Please bring a washed, chopped vegetable to add to our soup pot for dinner, and warm clothing for you and your little ones.

5pm - arrive and add vegetable to soup pot
5pm-5:30pm - lantern making craft
5:30pm - Stone Soup story and St. Martin puppet show
5:40pm - Lantern Walk in the dark!
6 or 6:15ish - Soup and bread dinner, and apple cider

If you would like the words to our lantern song:

"I walk with my little lantern
My lantern goes with me.
Above the stars are shining,
Below, on Earth, shine we.

The Moon, she glows
The cat meows
Hey, hey, hey!
La Poomba La Pumba La Hey!"

Hope to see you there!"

Then the planning began. Tuesday I got everything I needed for the lanterns and food.

For the lanterns, you will need:

enough baby food jars for each child, plus a few extras
pipe cleaners to twist around the mouth of jars, and up into handles
mod podge or other glue
tissue paper in red, orange and yellow
electric tea lights or beeswax tea lights

Wednesday afternoon we set the dining table with a bowl of apples, cucumbers and other snacks

And made some gluten-free muffins with persimmons from our friend's ranch. (The secret here was to get a gluten free muffin mix and add hochiya persimmon pulp and pumpkin pie spices.)

An hour and a half or so before guests were to arrive, I roasted a butternut squash and an acorn nut squash. While they were roasting I filled the crock pot with cider and cinnamon sticks, and set a couple of jars beside it with cinnamon sticks in them for garnish. Then I got out our biggest pot and sautéed garlic and onions in some butter. Then, in went vegetable broth, lots of chopped veggies, and the squash. As guests arrived, each brought a washed, chopped vegetable and added it to our soup:

The children decorated their lanterns at a little table outside, ate muffins, apples and cucumbers, and ran around the yard and house. After everyone - all twelve of them - had made a lantern, I went around and let the children know that we would have a story and puppet show in five minutes. Everyone was enthusiastic and gathered in the living room, which was now dark as I had turned off all the lights. I sat at the story table and lit some candles, told my version of Stone Soup, and then sang a St. Martin puppet show.

Next, it was time for the lantern walk. Each child collected his or her lanterns, and I passed out the lights. They lined up at the back gate and we sang the lantern song while we walked (ok, and sometimes ran) out along the nature path out back in a big loop. The children did so well!

It was so beautiful to see these tiny ones with their little lights, all walking in a long procession in the darkness. Of course the pictures I took from my phone do not do it justice:

The children returned to our home for a bonfire, apple cider with cinnamon sticks, the Stone Soup they had made, and bread.

They loved playing with my husband:

And I think the last guests left at around 7. Short and sweet, and absolutely lovely. Here is Isla's rendition of the event:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Salt Caves in SB

The girls tried out the Salt Caves on State Street during the children's hour. We think it's a fun, albeit short, rainy day activity. Check their website for available times at