May 26, 2019
My self is threatening to fly forth, Lured strongly by the world’s enticing light.
Come forth, prophetic feeling, Take up with strength your rightful task:
Replace in me the power of thought which in the senses’ glory would gladly lose itself. – Rudolf Steiner
Today, we have a wonderful guest post from Eileen Foley of Little Acorn Learning!
At the top of this blog post is the verse that Rudolf Steiner shared for this week, the seventh week after Easter. How fitting and timely especially in our home here at Little Acorn, where we have just watched the most amazing experience of our caterpillars turning into chrysalises and then soon after beautiful Monarch butterflies.
One of our sweet butterflies had a hard time letting go today. It was interesting as I watched it struggle to learn how to use its new body. It clung to my fingers and almost seemed nervous to let go. Unlike the others, when I brought this one outside it didn’t take off in flight. It hesitated and held on. It made me wonder if it was not yet ready or not able to fly at all.
After I tried moving it to various locations, I noticed it taking its time steadying itself on its legs and practicing moving its wings. It could no longer use its body the way it used to when it was a caterpillar; old approaches, movements and familiar behaviors were not working for it in its new situation. It made me think of times in my life that I felt this way. Unready or afraid to let go and move forward in a new way. I placed the butterfly on a flower as I worked nearby in the garden.
Finally, after much time and when I was no longer watching as intently, it took flight. It went so very high… truly up to the treetops and I felt such a strong sense of happiness watching this very simple symbol of hope, courage and faith being presented to me. It was a powerful reminder once again that true change and transformation can only occur when we begin to feel uncomfortable where we are.
The universe is always speaking to us if we just simply watch and listen.
As springtime invites you to move forward in your own ways, pay attention to the fluttering inside of your own spirit. Recognize the fear you may feel of the unknown and the grasping inside of you to the familiar that no longer is serving you. Take time this week to meditate on the above verse.
What is it inside of you that you feel that needs your strength and faith to move forward?
With the little ones in our life, we can bring forth the magic and rebirth of spring in much more simple but equally mindful ways. Depending on where you are located, this may be a time when you are planting seeds or gardening at your home or school. It is so wonderful to let the children be a part of these practical life activities that you must do to care for your space. It can be challenging getting your work done while caring for small children, but it is so very important to include them. In my childcare, I had a little section for each child to dig, plant and tend to while I worked on the bigger garden. You can weave little songs, fingerplays and outdoor garden activities into your spring days together outdoors.
Ten Fat Peas Fingerplay
Ten fat peas in a pea pod pressed,
(make fists with both hands)
One grew, two grew,
(hold up one finger, then two fingers)
And so did all the rest.
They grew and grew and did not stop,
(raise hands over head)
Until one day the pod went pop!
(clap hands overhead)
Painting with Wildflowers
This activity is always such an unexpected treat for children (and caregivers) of all ages.
To begin, have the children go on a flower hunt. Most flowers will work well for this activity (especially dandelions!). Have white paper ready and a hard surface to work on for them outside. I like to round the corners of my paper for most projects which comes from my days teaching in a Waldorf Kindergarten classroom. It gives it such a flowing feeling while painting or drawing. When the children return with their flowers, model using the flower tops to “paint” pictures on the paper.
Watch the children’s faces light up when the color of the flower transfers to the paper just like real paint or a crayon! This would be a lovely way to make cards or wrapping paper for those they love.
If you are looking for some other simple and inexpensive spring activities to do with the children, visit the Little Acorn Learning blog for 30 Spring Ideas for Caregivers of Children.
Summer online course for early childhood teachers and caregivers!
Bringing “Home” into Your Early Childhood Program with Rahima Baldwin Dancy.
Join Rahima’s five-week online course for childcare providers and early childhood teachers.
Starting June 12, 2019 for five Wednesdays
BONUS: Register now and receive a link to the video of Rahima’s workshop “Family Matters: Homemaking 101 for Busy Parents” to share with your families.
LIVE CONFERENCE CALL and CONTINUING EDUCATION HOURS: The course includes a live video conference call with Rahima in the last week and a certificate for 15 hours of continuing education upon completion.
Among the topics we’ll cover:
The importance of elements of home throughout the lifespan
Physical Aspects: What makes a program “home like” and ways to incorporate more elements into your work with children, both indoors and outside.
Rhythmical Aspects: The things you actually do with the children and ways to make these activities more home-like, including snacks and lunches, nap or rest time and activities of bodily care. Ways to “tweak” your rhythms by looking at underlying principles.
Emotional/Relational Aspects: The emotional “tone” of your program and the qualities of relationships—with yourself, the children, colleagues, visitors and parents.
Spiritual Aspects: The highest level of intention, focusing on values that underlie your program and that inform the children’s experience as life together unfolds. We’ll include media and gun play, dolls and dump trucks, honoring diversity, using teaching stories and developing reverence, gratitude and joy.
Learn more by clicking here.
Wishing you a beautiful spring of new growth and sunny days,
Little Acorn Learning has captured the hearts and hands of caregivers and children all over the world. Based on seasonal themes and festivals, the Little Acorn Learning curriculums and online courses inspire a love of nature and the home arts while supporting the caregiver’s soul. Eileen Foley, Little Acorn Learning Mama and Early Childhood Educator uses her writing and hands-on experience as a mother and kindergarten teacher to help parents, teachers and caregivers find true meaning in their very important work with children.