On Monday and Tuesday I put out different coloring sheets of children acting in kind ways–raking leaves, doing the dishes, comforting someone who has been hurt, taking care of a pet, etc. Then at circle time each child talked about what was happening in their picture and how that portrayed a kind act.
On Wednesday and Thursday I put out lots of small heart shapes that I had cut out of white drawing paper. I also put dollops of pink, red and purple paint onto the small plastic lids that I often use as make-shift pallets. I let the children use their fingers to paint the hearts. They could take the hearts home that they painted and when they saw someone doing a kind act, the child could give that person a heart.
For circle time this month, I am introducing a story called “The Fisherman and the Quiltmaker” from the book Tell Me A Story: Stories From the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America ed. by Louise deForest. I plan to tell this story all month, first just storytelling, then with simple puppets and finally letting the children act out the story. It is a lovely story about the kindness a fisherman shows to three people that he meets while on his journey to the quiltmaker’s cottage at the top of a tall mountain.
We also started learning the last of our winter verses, a poem by A. A. Milne, called “Furry Bear.” I explained to the Littles that snew is a funny way of saying snow and friz is a funny way of saying froze, and so we all giggle when we say those words.
If I were a bear,
And a big bear too,
I shouldn’t much care
If it froze or snew:
I shouldn’t much mind
If it snowed or friz-
I’d be all fur-lined
With a coat like his!
Monday & Tuesday’s projects
- For our first project, I set out oil pastels and let the children draw anything that they liked onto watercolor paper. Then, I put out small palettes and squirted in a bit of yellow, red and gold liquid watercolor. The children painted over their drawings and the oil pastels resisted taking on the color and the drawing paper absorbed the color creating lovely wax-resist pictures. Then the children dictated a note to their grandparents and drew a little picture on the card. I gave the parents each a manilla envelope to place the wax-resist paintings and the cards into. They could then send these off to their grandparents.
- We made Danish Oat Cookies and took them around to some of the elderly people in my neighborhood who have been sick. It was wonderful to walk around and see the joy that these little people brought to others just by their very exuberant presence! Each child was also able to take home cookies to share with their families. Danish Oat Cookies is a wonderful, old-fashioned oat cookie from a cookbook that I have had for quite a long time, called Pie in the Sky by Susan G. Purdy. “The taste of sweet butter blends in crisp perfection with the nutty flavor of toasted oats.”
Danish Oat Cookies
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, using a sturdy spoon, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Then beat in the oats, wheat germ, flour and salt. The dough will be quite soft.
Drop the dough by the teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silat. Bake the cookies for 10-11 minutes or until the tops turn a golden color and the edges darken to a rich golden brown; the longer the baking time, the crunchier the cookie (but beware of burning). If baking seems uneven, rotate the pans back to front in the oven hallway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.
Wednesday & Thursday’s projects:
- We painted terra cotta pots with acrylic paints. I gave them dollops of light green, blue, pink and purple. I just let the children express themselves however they wished. Then we planted succulents in the pots for them to give to their moms.
- We made dog biscuits and walked our neighbor’s dog. I used a recipe from the Cesar’s Way website. It is a good recipe and everyone that I have made the recipes for has told me that their dog loved the treats. Most of the children wanted to try the dough and, surprisingly since they can be so picky at snack time, they liked it too!
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute regular flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
- 1 tsp. salt (or less)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Beef stock or 1 tsp. Beef or chicken Bouillon granules (can substitute beef or chicken broth/stock) ½ cup hot water
- Bacon or chicken broth, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits. (We used shredded cheese and wheat germ)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Dissolve bouillon in hot water
- Add remaining ingredients
- Knead dough until it forms a ball (I needed extra beef stock. I just added it until a dough formed about the consistency of pie crust dough
- Roll dough until ½ inch thick
- Cut into slices or bone shapes (you can purchase a bone shaped cookie cutter to make shapes with)
- Place dough pieces on lightly greased cookie sheet
- Cook for 30 minutes