Spring cleaning

November 13, 2009

I think our spring cleaning and mending day that we traditionally follow

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with needs to be a whole week this year. Clutter has crept up on us in a big way, but it is feeling good to pare it back and polish and mend.

littlemanredhat 

My eldest has kept us entertained with a story of little man red cap, little man blue cap and little man gold cap who love eating crumbly currant buns, but have trouble keeping their house clean.  One sweeps too fast and strong everywhere but just ends up spreading the crumbs, one sweeps half heartedly pushing around the broom so upset that there is a mess but not making any better inroads into cleaning it up, and one that flits a little here and there trying to sweep up little bits they see, but tracking it back and spilling crumbs as they get distracted by the next patch to clean.  Finally their friend little man green cap comes to tea, but their house is still a mess, so they can’t offer him anywhere to sit that isn’t all crummy.  He helps them clean by showing them to sweep with care each part of their house until they are all finished.  Red cap lifts the furniture out of the way, blue cap points out all the crumbs that might get otherwise missed, golden cap runs back and forth emptying the dust pan for the birds outside, and green cap gets the job done with their help so he can happily sit down to tea. 

Crumbs, crumbs everywhere

Under the table and under the chair

Sweep them all up, sweep them all up

Crumbs in a pile make us smile.

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We have so far fixed a hole in the kitchen ceiling, sewn back into good repair hand-me-down summer clothes, swept up alot  😉 and polished wooden surfaces and toys with lavender scented beeswax, but we still have a long way to go…  

May our light within continue to shine forth and work for good!

Story Dolls

October 27, 2009

In many of our stories a few simple props or even just hand gestures can captivate and capture the imagination as the tale is spun, and often helps to hold the youngest members interest in storytime  in our mixed ages playgroup.  I have seen some beautiful table plays or stories told in other steiner settings with marionette puppets, but for our simple stories (and a single storyteller) I have found props which can stand themselves are easier to use with less fuss and free up a spare hand or two as you go along. 

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One of my favourite alternatives for people characters are wood and wire type dolls which I sew clothes onto (from wool felt mostly).  They are slightly posable and stand well on most surfaces.  These are two I have made recently,  Joanne and Peter.  Of course they can easily be called other names and be other characters, and they often are in the traditional tales I tell.  But I have found the stories I write myself tend to take on the characters of some of the storydolls I have sewn.  I can easily see how commercialised toys could limit the play or storylines a child spins for themselves, being so heavily invested in a set character, and find it interesting I have the same tendancies with my own handmade supposedly open ended dolls!  I need to make a conscious effort to shake myself up a little and let Peter be the little boy or the wise old farmer, or the proud father, and Joanne to be the big sister, the crafty aunty, or the strong harvester … 🙂 Not always an easy thing to do!

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Once upon a time there was a little mermaid who lived with her brothers and sisters on the edge of the sea.  Today all her brothers and sisters had gone off to follow the schools of fish in the sea and learn about the great wide ocean.  But little mermaid was too little to swim with the schools of fish and was left at home, bored and lonely. “ I wish there was someone to play with me, someone to keep me company”. She sighed.

 

 Just then a Dolphin swam past.  “Oh Dolphin, dolphin will you play with me, will you keep me company?” “ I’m sorry little mermaid” said the dolphin “I’m off to search for shoals of fish, and to keep an eye on your brothers and sisters.” and with a graceful flip of his tail he was off out to the wide ocean.  Little mermaid sighed again “ I wish there was someone to play with me, someone to keep me company”. 

 

As she sat at the waters edge a great turtle heaved itself out of the water beside her.  “Oh mother turtle have you come to play with me?” asked little mermaid excitedly.  “No, I’m sorry little mermaid I have lots of work to do. I’m off to dig a deep hole in the hot sand to lay my eggs, then swim off back to the deep cool ocean.”  “I see” said little mermaid and she  swam off a little way down the beach looking for someone else who had the time to play with her. 

 

Along the beach she saw a jellyfish floating with the tides.  “Jellyfish will you play with me, will you keep me company”said little mermaid.   “blob blob, blob blob” was all the jellyfish would say  “Blobblob blobv blob”.  Little mermaid began to cry a little “ I wish there was someone to play with me, someone to keep me company”

  

All of a sudden she heard a giggle, and then voices.  “Who is there?” called little mermaid.   “We are !” replied the voices and out of the edge of the waves came many sea sprites and water babies.  “We will play with you!”   They said.  Little mermaid was overjoyed and spent all morning playing with her new friends.     They showed her how to tickle anemones, make seaweed necklaces and float on the tide, and that afternoon when her brothers and sisters returned she had lots to tell them about her new friends and what she had been up to while they had been at school. 

 

Little mermaid by the sea

bored and lonely as can be

Don’t be sad now little dear

Lots of new friends are just here!

 

Little mermaid by the sea

Won’t you come and play with me

Splash the waves and build sand high

Watch the seagulls winging by.

 

Little mermaid by the sea

Now as happy as can be

The sun sets at the end of day

Thankyou for our day of play.

 

 

Spring is coming…

August 27, 2008

I met a little daffodil, out blooming in the cold

I’ll share with you a secret that this little flower told

‘Winter still is here, but it won’t be long to stay

I came ahead to tell you that Spring is on the way.’

        Daffodil

 

Once there was a little yellow Daffodil, and she lived down in a little dark house under the ground all winter long.  One day she was sitting there and she heard tippity tappity pitter patter tippity tappity pitter patter.  “Who is there?” she called.  “It’s the rain, come out and play”said the voice.  “No thankyou” said the little Daffodil “it is much too cold still.” and she settled back to rest in her cosy house.

 

 A little while later she heard hum hum hum  hum hum hum, “Who is there now?” called little daffodil.  “It is me, the sun,” called a warm friendly voice  “come out and play”.  “No thankyou” said the little Daffodil “it is much too cold still.”  And she stayed snug and warm in her house in the ground. 

 

Some more time passed and little daffodil heard more noises outside her home tippity tappity pitter patter tippity tappity pitter patter “Who is there?” called the Daffodil.  “It’s us, the rain and sun” came the reply “Please come out and join us in the garden.”  “Well I don’t know….” Said Daffodil “it might still be too cold”.

 

Daffodil stretched out first one green arm, and then the other feeling the air above the ground.  The sun and rain pulled her hands and up popped daffodil to sit in the warming sunshine in the garden bed.  She could see magpies sitting on the fence and lots of green glossy leaves returning after their winter sleep and even snails sliding out from their hiding spots.  She was pleased to be out early in the fresh garden to play with the rain and the sun. 

 

–   adapted from a traditional english folk story.