BELLA LUNA TOYS

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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November 10th, 2013 | bella luna toys, Natural Toys, String Games, Sunday With Sarah, Waldorf Education | Permalink | Comments (1)

 

In this week’s video, I discuss the benefits of string games such as Cat’s Cradle for children’s learning, and why a simple finger string is my favorite stocking stuffer or party favor for children 5 and up.

Did you play Cat’s Cradle or other string games as a child? Does your child play? What are your favorite string games?

 

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August 25th, 2013 | bella luna toys, Giveaway, Play | Permalink

 

Waldorf Rocker Board - Curvy Board - Balance Board

GIVEAWAY!

If you watched last week’s video on my top five favorite Waldorf toys, or read my blog post “In Praise of Rocker Boards,” then you know why I love this open-ended toy and recommend it so highly.

Not only do rocker boards invite imaginative and active play, but they also help develop a child’s sense of balance (which aids brain development) and strengthen core muscles.

Our rocker boards are made in the U.S.A. by a young Waldorf family in California who were inspired to create the “Curvy Board” after seeing rocker boards in use in their children’s kindergarten classroom.

Rocker Boards can be used indoors or out.

Each Curvy Board is handcrafted in the U.S.A. from nine layers of poplar plywood. The corners have been rounded for safety, the wood sanded smooth, and each has been finished with child-safe varnish for durability.

Click here to watch Mama Natural’s video review of our rocker boards and watch one in action!

For our end-of-summer giveaway, Bella Luna Toys is pleased to offer the following gift to ONE winner:

* * * One Curvy Board Waldorf Rocker Board * * *

This prize ($139.95 value) includes free shipping within the 48 contiguous United States. The giveaway is open to open to all readers, but a winner outside the continental U.S. will be responsible for the cost of shipping.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post letting me know what you like best about this toy. Comments will close at 11:59 p.m. PDT on August 31.

And the winner is:

I am delighted to announce the winner of a Curvy Board – Waldorf rocker board, chosen through a Random Number Generator.

Congratulations to Kim Corrigan-Oliver who commented:

“Thanks for the chance, my little man would love this!”

Many thanks to all of you who entered and for your words of enthusiasm for one of my favorite toys!

 

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February 24th, 2013 | bella luna toys, Music, Waldorf Education | Permalink | Comments (3)

 

Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, recommended thepentatonic harp or lyre (also known as a kinderharp or kinder lyre) as an ideal instrument for use with young children.

Its dreamy, quiet, and heavenly quality is calming and soothing for babies, toddlers and young children, and it’s simple enough for children and adults with little or no musical background to play.

Tuned in the five-note pentatonic scale (D, E, G, A, B, d, e), anything played on the instrument will sound beautiful and harmonious. There are no wrong notes!

I get phone calls and emails every week asking about the differences between the various pentatonic harps and lyres that we sell at Bella Luna Toys, so in this week’s video I demonstrate the differences between them, talk about the benefits of these instruments for in early childhood, and let you actually hear them.

Instruments Demonstrated:

I hope I’ve answered your questions, but if not, leave your comments and questions here and I’ll do my best to answer them!

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February 10th, 2013 | bella luna toys, Easter, Sunday With Sarah, Wooden Toys | Permalink | Comments (157)

As many of you know, I was in Germany last week attending the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg.

Not only was I ecstatic to discover many wonderful new wooden toys and Waldorf dolls to introduce this year at Bella Luna Toys, but I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with the presidents of several of the lines of European toys we carry, including Grimm’s Spiel & Holz, PlanToys, Käthe Kruse, HABA, and Ostheimer.

I had a long and wonderful visit with Wolfgang Schühle, the president of Ostheimer in Germany, and met Stephan Zech, the company’s current designer. I was able to share with them my love of Ostheimer figures and tell them about the joy they have brought my family over the last 20 years.

Wolfgang was able to share with me some of the history of the company, founded by Margarete Ostheimer in Stuttgart, Germany nearly 60 years ago. Fortunately, I was able to record some of my talk with Mr. Schühle and am happy to share it with you here!

GIVEAWAY: Win a Five-Piece Collection of Ostheimer Wooden Animals for Spring!

I want to share my Ostheimer love with you, so Bella Luna Toys is giving away a set of these beloved wooden figures, perfect for a child’s Easter basket!

Set Includes:

  • 1 Sheep
  • 1 Sitting Rabbit
  • 1 Picking Brown Hen
  • 1 Brown Chick
  • 1 Yellow Chick

Click on the link below for details and to enter for a chance to win:

Ostheimer Wooden Toys Giveaway

We’ll announce the winner next Sunday. Thanks for tuning in, and good luck!

Thanks to all of you for your many wonderful comments. Congratulations to Toby Rolf who won the Ostheimer Set Giveaway!

Toby wrote: “We are pretty new to the Waldorf world so I would really LOVE to have these for our daughter! She would especially like the beautiful bunny! Thank you for the opportunity!!”

I hope that this set brings many years of enjoyment and fond childhood memories for your daughter, Toby. Enjoy!

~Sarah

 

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