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September 4th, 2014 | Cooking | Permalink | Comments (0)

 

Making "Stone Soup" in Milano, Italia

Making “Stone Soup” in Milano, Italia

The email below that landed in my inbox today, totally made my day! Nothing makes me happier than hearing from viewers who have found some inspiration in my videos to try something new with their children. It is the most gratifying part of my work.

Thank you so much, Nancy for sharing!

Dear Sarah, 

Here are my children, Alfredo (age 5) and Marialena (age 3), singing their chopping song as we made Stone Soup this morning in our home in Milan, Italy. Our family watched your blog video about Stone Soup last week, and they have been excited to try it ever since. I made Stone Soup in nursery school over thirty years ago, and remembered it fondly as we watched you and your helpers do the same. This morning, the children and I chose vegetables at our neighborhood grocery shop, and bought “pane integrale” (whole-grain bread) to accompany it fresh from our corner baker. The soup smells delicious, and we can’t wait to let Daddy taste it at supper tonight!
Thank you for taking the time to make and post the Stone Soup video. We really enjoy watching your posts, and love seeing each new one (and trying several of your good ideas).
 
Warm regards,
Nancy V.

 

If you missed my video on “How to Make Stone Soup with Children” the first time around, you’ll find it a couple of posts below. If you try it, let me know how it turns out and share YOUR pictures!

Happy cooking!

Sarah Baldwin

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August 17th, 2014 | Art, Sunday With Sarah | Permalink | Comments (3)

 

Working With Modeling Beeswax: A Tutorial

Beeswax modeling is practiced in Waldorf education from preschool up through the grades, and has become an increasingly popular artistic activity at home among Waldorf families and homeschoolers, and has even gained widespread appeal in classrooms and homes beyond the Waldorf community.

After receiving multiple phone calls at Bella Luna Toys from customers complaining that the beeswax is “too hard” and was unusable, I realized that a video tutorial was in order!

The trick with using modeling beeswax is that it needs to be warmed up first to soften it.

In the video, I demonstrate several ways to do this:

  • In one’s hands
  • By putting it in a bowl full of warm water
  • By tucking it under your arm

Once the beeswax is warm, it becomes pliable and mold-able. The warmth and pleasant aroma of the beeswax is nourishing to a young child’s senses.

But the best thing about modeling beeswax is that it never dries out (like clay or play dough), and can be used over and over again.

So click on the link above to watch the video! If you’re new to beeswax modeling, I hope you’ll discover the joy of working with this unique medium. And if you’re a seasoned user of beeswax, I hope you’ll gain some new inspiration and insights into how and why it is used in Waldorf education.

Stockmar Modeling Beeswax

Stockmar Modeling Beeswax

You can the products demonstrated in the video at Bella Luna Toys:

May you and your children enjoy this precious gift from the bees!

Sarah

 

 

Have a question? Something to add? Your comments and questions are always welcome!

Please feel free to share photos of your family’s beeswax creations with me on Facebook or Instagram, and I may post them here!

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August 10th, 2014 | Nature, Outdoor Play, Sunday With Sarah | Permalink | Comments (1)

 

How to Build Fairy Houses

After a long summer break, I’m back with another “Sunday With Sarah” for you. I’ve missed you!

This week, I invited my friend Liza Gardner Walsh, author of The Fairy House Handbook  to join me to talk about the history of fairy houses in Maine, and I invited a couple of young friends along to demonstrate.

Building fairy houses is a wonderful outdoor activity that will deepen your child’s connection to nature and engage his or her imagination.

As Liza points out in the video, there are a couple of important rules to remember when building your fairy house:

  • Do not destroy or kill plants, trees or other living things to create your fairy house. Use only bark from fallen trees, or pick flowers (but not the roots).
  • Use only objects from nature that will naturally decompose and go back into the earth. Use no manmade items.

You can find the following books by Liza Gardner Walsh at Bella Luna Toys:

May many fairies inhabit your child’s creations!

Sarah

 

 

Where have your children built fairy houses? In the woods, on the beach, or in a park? Your comments and questions are always welcome!

If your children are experienced fairy house builders, or are inspired by this video, please share photos of their creations with me on Facebook or Instagram.

 

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May 4th, 2014 | bella luna toys, Cooking, Homemaking, Nutrition | Permalink | Comments (6)

 

Cooking with Children: How to Make “Stone Soup”

Children as young as 2- or 3-years old are capable of helping with cooking. Involving children with meal preparation teaches them real-life skills and helps them feel capable and confident.

This week on Sunday with Sarah I demonstrate how I made Stone Soup (vegetable soup) with the children in my kindergarten class.

Though I never use a recipe, here are the general instructions:

  1. Chop an apple and an onion. Peel and crush 2-4 cloves of garlic. Sauté the apples, onions and garlic in olive oil and about a tablespoon of butter.
  2. Add 2-3 bouillon cubes, or 2-3 T. of bouillon paste (I like Better Than Bouillon) to the sauteed mixture.
  3. Add 2-3 quarts of water and put a clean, washed stone in the pot, and let simmer.
  4. Have children help you chop whatever vegetables you have on hand. Veggies can include potatoes, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, broccoli, celery, zucchini, kale, spinach, or virtually any other type of fresh vegetable.
  5. Have children help add chopped vegetables to pot.
  6. Add a cup of barley or rice that has been rinsed and soaked overnight, or pasta in fun shapes.
  7. Let simmer for an hour.
  8. Enjoy! (Makes a full pot that will feed a family, with enough for leftovers.)

Items demonstrated in this video:

Find them all under our Cooking category at Bella Luna Toys.

Click here to read the Stone Soup story.

Bon appétit!

Sarah

 

If you decide to make Stone Soup with your children, let me know how it turns out! In what other ways to you involve your child/ren in the kitchen? What cooking tasks have they helped you with? Share your thoughts, comments and questions here!

 

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April 27th, 2014 | Crafts, Handmade Toys, Waldorf Toys, Wooden Toys | Permalink | Comments (1)

 

This spring, we have had a lot of fun new products coming through our doors here at Bella Luna Toys, but I’m not sure that any has caused as much excitement around here as our new book Making Peg Dolls.

How to Make Wooden Peg People Dolls

Its author, Margaret Bloom, had contacted me recently about carrying it. Since I’ve been interested in adding more doll-making crafts so that parents can make their own Waldorf toys, I didn’t hesitate to say yes, but I was unprepared for just how excited I would be once I got the book in my hands and was able to look between its covers.

My assistant Amy and I probably lost an hour of work time as we ooh-ed and ah-ed over Margaret’s adorable creations, and our hands started itching to get busy making families of these sweet little dolls!

I was surprised at how substantial the book is, with over 60 darling wooden peg doll designs for every season, and with nearly 200 pages pages of full-color photographs. There are instructions for creating dolls with fairy tales themes, as well as for holidays and festivals.

Making Peg Dolls - Bluebirds for Spring

The wonderful thing about peg dolls is how easy they are to make, even for someone with very little crafting experience. Best of all, this is a great craft activity that adults and children can do together.

You’ll only need some inexpensive wooden peg doll bases (which we now offer at Bella Luna Toys). Most of the materials used to decorate them, can probably be found around your house. The peg doll forms are made of unfinished wood and can be painted (I recommend Stockmar Opaque Watercolor Paints), or clothed with pieces of wool felt or fabric scraps.

Painting Peg Dolls - Kids

The book offers easy, step-by-step directions with hand-drawn illustrations. You might want to start by following Margaret’s patterns, but you’ll soon be inspired to start designing your own original peg people.

Watch the video above to see a delightful animated video featuring some of Margaret’s creations. I guarantee you’ll be inspired!

Won’t you join Amy and me in creating families of Wooden Peg Dolls? We’d love to see photos of your creations! You can EMAIL them to me, and I will post them on the blog.

Happy doll making!

Sarah Baldwin signature

 

 

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parenting presents mothers fathers I’m Sarah Baldwin, a Waldorf early childhood teacher, mama to two Waldorf grads, author, and owner of Bella Luna Toys. Here I share my thoughts on childhood, play, parenting and what’s going on at Bella Luna Toys. More

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