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

 

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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April 13th, 2014 | Family, Parenting | Permalink | Comments (9)

 

Earth Hour was observed two weeks ago on March 29, when millions of people agreed to turn off their lights for one hour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time.

This week on “Sunday with Sarah” I share my own experience participating in Earth Hour and have a proposal for you.

Click on the link above to view the video and let me know what you think!

Below are some of the photos submitted for our Earth Hour Photo Contest. Many thanks to all who participated and shared!

by Aimee Canterbury

Winning Photo by Aimee Canterbury

 

by Sarah Baldwin

Washing Dishes by Candlelight by Sarah Baldwin

 

Family Reading by Candlelight by Phyllis Meredith

Family Reading by Candlelight by Phyllis Meredith

 

Painting by Candle Light by Allison Pennell

Painting by Candle Light by Allison Pennell

 

Bedtime Reading - Earth Hour by Shel Frolich Tscherne

Bedtime Reading – Earth Hour by Shel Frolich Tscherne

 

Earth Hour - Family Togetherness by dreadpirateautumn via Instagram

Earth Hour – Family Togetherness by dreadpirateautumn via Instagram

What do you think of my idea? Ready to commit? Willing to give it a try? Think it’s nice idea, but impractical? Please let me know your thoughts (and share your own photos, if you’re so inspired!).

 

 

 

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April 6th, 2014 | Easter, Natural Toys, Sunday With Sarah | Permalink | Comments (7)

 

10 Ideas for a Natural, Organic Child’s Easter Basket

Happy Spring, Friends!

Since Easter is only a few weeks away, this week I share some ideas on creating an all-natural Easter basket for children filled with eco-friendly, reusable treasures that will continue to be enjoyed year-round.

Click above to view this week’s video and discover many alternatives to a basket filled with sweets and candy.

All products mentioned in this video can be found at Bella Luna Toys under the category Seasonal Toys.

Here are the specific products mentioned in the video:

  1. Swing Bolga Basket
  2. Grow-Your-Own Easter Grass Kit
  3. Play Silks
  4. eco-eggs® Natural Egg Dying Kit
  5. Kid’s Ukrainian Easter Eggs Kit
  6. Felted Spring Eggs Kit
  7. Felted Chicks Kit
  8. Ostheimer Wooden Toy Figures
  9. Beeswax Candles
  10. Rabbit and Bird in Tree Wooden Puzzle

Have other ideas for special Easter basket additions? Please share them here!

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March 23rd, 2014 | Family, Sunday With Sarah, TV and Media, Waldorf Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

 

This week I answer a question from a viewer.

Angela S. wrote:

What do you do when your spouse isn’t on the same page when it comes to turning off the TV?

My husband is huge into video games and sci-fi movies and TV shows. He loves technology and has made a point that it’s important for children to know how to use technology because it is so prevalent in today’s society and will be for years to come. He has told me that he’s heard from a teacher that those kids [who haven't been exposed to technology] are always behind.

Also, what would be the best thing to do when someone offers to watch our son for us? They are doing us a favor and we feel a bit rude telling them that they can’t have the tv on the whole time. Our son has also come to really love a certain TV show and will beg to watch it and get really upset [if he can't]. He’s almost 20 months old.

I feel like it’s still possible to kick the habit, but how do I get others on the same page? And how do I keep him interested in other things? He also has no patience for being read to.

Click on the video link above to hear my response to Angela.

What is your feeling about young children and screen time? Have you pulled the plug? Thinking about it? Or do you feel that screen time in moderation is not a bad thing? Would love to hear your thoughts and questions!

 

 

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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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