Letter from Cynthia, Summer 2015

                It is with much fondness and loving memories that I read the offerings in this summer newsletter.  Thanks to all who contributed and to all who will read and enjoy learning more about how to bring joy and delight to our children through rhythmical songs and games.

                As a kindergarten teacher, once I overcame the fear of learning the content of a seasonal circle, I experienced so much fun going on journeys with the children in my class.  A favorite of mine was a romp with the fairies and involved an engaging obstacle course.  I also learned how to “hold the moment” with children to create space for magic, pausing and looking around at just the right time, alternating robust movement with quiet secret-garden movements.  Later, as I took up parent-child programs, I adapted the same circle for parent-child playgroup (see below).  As we are now in the high season of summer, it is a great time to introduce and/or deepen the children’s relationship to the nature spirits who are so essential in helping humanity and our spiritual companions with the care and development of the Earth.

                Now, as I have been offered the privilege of working more closely with families and their young children, I have realized how important NOT TOO MUCH and JUST ENOUGH is in the lives of these little ones.  Lately I hear myself teaching our students to find the three or four or six favorite gesture games or verses/songs that they love to do with their children and the children in their care and to do those over and over again throughout the years of their children’s lives.  This is how family lore (whether it be birth family or caregiver family) is developed.  If you think back to your own childhood, and if it included little verses or songs for mealtime, bedtime, waking up, and such, along with the special ones that come with specific seasonal celebrations, you may understand why having the chance to experience them over years is why they still “live in your bones,” so to speak.  It is similar with the play yard games we learned growing up.  

                What we want for our children is resiliency, along with joy and delight.   When we bring a large repertoire of songs and games that change regularly, how do they sink in?  In my own adult life, I have found that in times when I have a troubled soul, it is the verses of my childhood – their cadence, their rhyme, their musicality – that can help to bring me back to balanced breathing.  With this in mind, I offer to you to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

                As I write this, I am only a few days removed from being with my delicious grandchildren – little Eloise is actually still here at my home, currently napping with her Papa.  Seeing that Lynn included “Drop-Drop-Dropelli” in the article she shared, makes me smile – a big, happy smile, a smile filled with the memory of the very recent daily exchange with my youngest, Owen, who is 16 months old and who absolutely loves “Drop-Drop-Dropelli.  It has been my go-to diapering game with all of my grandchildren.  Thank God for Wilma Ellersiek, who knew something magical and chose to share it with all of us.  Not once have I experienced a young child – from infancy to seven – who did not enjoy her games!  One of our students even found that her husband really didn’t mind her practicing them on him!

                In closing, I warmly encourage everyone to spend as much effort, interest and time in learning one-on-one games to do with your children as you spend learning the popular circle games.  I have seen children light up when they receive such personal offerings.  And they are not put in the position then, as can be the case with circle time, of feeling quite so overwhelmed.   Additionally, however, as Rahima pointed out, it is a gift for the older child to have learned how to participate in and enjoy group games before leaving early childhood.  Both the personal and the group experience have value.

                One further key to the kingdom of doing personal or group gesture games with children– enjoy yourself!  Children love being with adults who love what they are doing.

                Blessings on your lazy summer days.  Oh! Be sure to gaze at the western night sky where you will see Jupiter and Venus chumming around – practically holding hands!  They are astonishingly beautiful!  Gotta love the cosmic world and all that is bestowed upon us!

Love to all, 


Summer Fairy Circle

Song in Pentatonic:

I met a little wee man once                                [raised pinky on one hand sitting on other hand]

Down where the lilies blow                                [fingers on other hand  wavelike motion]

I asked him why he was so small                       [soft stroke down raised pinky]                       

And why he did not grow                                   [soft stroke up ring finger]

He looked at me and with one eye                     [cupped hand around eye peeking through]

He looked me through and through                  [looking from side to side]

I’m just as big for me, he said,                          [finger stroking up raised pinky]

As you are big for you!                                      [finger stroking down raised ring finger]



And then as quick as the blink of an eye         [blink]

He disappeared by the by                                 [hands palm up in surprise]                              

How will we find him?                                      [  “         “       “   “      “      ]

Let’s go see                                                     [standing to start the journey]

Come to fairy land with me.                            [holding hands in a circle]


Song:  (This is an obstacle course movement journey):


Now which is the way to fairy land, to fairy land, to fairy land?    [skipping]

Now which is the way to fairy land?

We’ll dance to the light of the moon.   [twirl around with arms up]


Up the hill and down the lane, down the lane, down the lane  [swoop little ones up and down;

   with older ones raise bodies up, then go down low]

Up the hill and down the lane, we’ll get there very soon.   [same]            

Across the commons and through the gate, through the gate, through the gate  [tiptoe]

Across the commons and through the gate, we’ll get there very soon. 

Under the fence and around the bend, around the bend, around the bend [crawl under something]

Under the fence and around the bend, we’ll get there very soon   [stand up]

Over the bridge and into the woods, into the woods, into the woods  [balance beam]

Over the bridge and into the woods, we’ll get there very soon.

Now here we are in fairy land, fairy land, fairy land     [dance again in circle]

Now here we are in fairy land, we’ll dance to the light of the moon!  [twirling]

And now let’s do our very best

To give the fairies a little rest. [rock little ones in arms or lie down with older ones]

Alternate Ending:

But all the fairies are hiding anon

So let’s build a fire and sing of Saint John!

Song: “St. John is Coming Out” by Elizabeth Lebret:

St. John, St. John, St. John is coming out.

St. John, St. John, St. John is coming out.

The bees are buzzing (bzzz).  The birds are singing (tweeting sound).

The winds are blowing (arm movement).  The sun is shining.

St. John, St. John, St. John is coming out.

St. John, St. John, St. John is coming out.

The flowers are growing (hand coming up through other hand),  Higher and higher

While we build our St. John fire.

St. John, St. John, St. John is coming out.

St. John, St. John, St. John is coming out.