HOMEMAKING

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!

 

Add comment
  • Bookmark and Share
March 16th, 2014 | Family, Homemaking, Parenting, Waldorf Education | Permalink | Comments (15)

 

Sing Through the Day!

After last week’s video in which I talked about the power of verses for easing transitions with children, I had many requests this week to share more verses.

So this week, here are five verses that can be sung during transition times throughout the day. I have printed the words to each below, and you can watch the video to learn the tunes.

And here is a link to an excellent article on how singing to children helps develop language skills. So sing, sing, sing through your days! (Even if you think you can’t.)

I hope you’ll be inspired to incorporate some of these into your days with children.

Good Morning Song

Good morning, dear earth
Good morning, dear sun
Good morning, dear resting stones
And beasts on the run
Good morning, dear flowers
And birds in the trees
Good morning to you, good morning to me!

Clean Up Time

Tick-tock goes the clock
What does it have to say?
Time for us to pick up our toys
and put them all away

(Can be repeated until all the toys are picked up and the room is tidy.)

Folding Laundry

Corner to corner
Meet and greet
Fold our cloth so nice and neat!

(As above, can be repeated until laundry is done.)

Meal Time

Blessings on the blossoms
Blessings on the roots
Blessings on the leaves and stems
Blessings on the fruit

(I always sang this twice with gestures.)

Good-Bye Song

Dear friends, goodbye
Dear friends, goodbye
Now is the time of day
When we all go our way
Dear friends, goodbye
Dear friends, goodbye
Go well and safely
Go well and safely
Go well and safely
Our love be ever with you

Thanks to all of you who shared your favorite verses, blessings, and prayers for children, many of which I’d never heard before. All were delightful. Please keep posting and sharing!

 

Add comment
  • Bookmark and Share
November 24th, 2013 | Family, Giveaway, Homemaking | Permalink | Comments (87)

 

LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls

Have you ever put wool felt balls in your dryer?

No? Well then today I’d like to introduce you to my friend Cyndi Prince.

Cyndi and I have a lot in common—we live in the same community in midcoast Maine, and we are both mothers and business owners aiming to provide healthy, natural, and chemical-free products for children and families.

 

Cyndi Prince, LooHoo Founder

Cyndi is the founder of a great company called LooHoo that produces wool felt dryer balls here in Maine. She formed the business shortly after the birth of her son, having learned about the harmful effects of the chemicals in dryer sheets and fabric softeners.

Wool dryer balls are a natural alternative  that soften clothes safely and really speed up the drying time of large loads of laundry, including cloth diapers. Cyndi has produced her dryer balls in a beautiful variety of hues that brighten up the task of doing laundry and make it more fun!

The inspiration to create LooHoo grew out of  Cyndi’s creative passions (she is also a photographer), and her desire to create a consistently high quality wool dryer ball from local resources, durable enough to last for hundreds of loads.

While I love to hang my clothes on the line, it’s hard to do during the long Maine winters. That’s when I rely on my dryer more. I started out using three LooHoo balls a couple of years ago, and now have six in my dryer. I can attest that they really do speed up drying time, which in turn cuts down on our electric bill and reduces our carbon footprint.

Being the fan that I am of LooHoo, I was delighted when Cyndi generously offered to give away a Deluxe Starter 3-Pack to three readers of Moon Child

LooHoo Deluxe Starter Pack - colors

For today’s giveaway, LooHoo is pleased to offer the following gift to THREE winners:

A Deluxe Starter 3-Pack of LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls

The set comes in an attractive box, making it a perfect gift for a green mama. (LooHoo felt balls are also fun toys and great for juggling!)

Each prize (a $27.99 value) includes free shipping within the 48 contiguous United States. The giveaway is 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 think of this product. For additional entries, share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or on your own blog, and leave a separate comment for each action taken.

Comments will close at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Saturday, November 30. Three winners will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced on Sunday morning, December 1.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In addition, Cyndi would like to offer Moon Child readers 20% off their first purchase at loo-hoo.com through December 1, 2013. To receive the discount, enter the code BellaLuna20 into the discount code field at checkout. Thank you, Cyndi!

Leave your comment here to enter and let me know what you think!

Sarah Baldwin signature

 

 

Comments are now closed. Many thanks to all who entered.

Here are our three winners, chosen by Random Number Generator:

#1  ANANDAH, who wrote: “I would love to try these balls. I recently felted an 8 eight inch ball with a felting needle. The ball was the head of a millet baby I made for my son’s Waldorf school. The first millet baby I’ve ever made!”

#2  MELISSA, who wrote: “I’ve been wanting dryer balls for a long time and these look fantastic. The colors are also very calming.”

#3  THERESA, who wrote: “These seem great! Would love to try them.”

Congratulations! Cyndi will get your LooHoo Dryer Balls shipped right off to you. Hope you’ll report back and let us know what you think.

And don’t forget, the coupon code above is good at loohoo.com through the end of the day!

 

Add comment
  • Bookmark and Share
September 11th, 2010 | Homemaking, Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (13)
Child's Broom

Photo by Derek Gavey

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.

Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Add comment
  • Bookmark and Share
July 7th, 2010 | Giveaway, Homemaking, Parenting, Play, TV and Media, Waldorf Books, Waldorf Education | Permalink | Comments (56)

I became a fan of Shannon Honeybloom as soon as I first laid eyes on her beautiful book, Making a Family Home. Not only was I thrilled with its beautiful photographs and ideas on how families of young children can create a more beautiful, nurturing and rhythmic home life, but I was also amazed to learn how much Shannon and I have in common!

Not only do Shannon and I share backgrounds as actors, but we also have both authored books, gone to NYU, lived in Brooklyn, and received an M.S. in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, NY. What are the chances? Though we have never met in person, Shannon feels like a soul sister to me (albeit a younger sister!).

Over the course of the past year, we’ve enjoyed a series of lovely e-mail exchanges. I told Shannon how much I wish her book had been available while I was teaching Waldorf Parent/Child classes. I would have liked to put a copy in the hands of every parent in my class. So naturally I was thrilled when Shannon offered a copy Making a Family Home as a giveaway to readers of Moon Child. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce you to Shannon and get to know her a little better.

Making a Family Home

Shannon Honeybloom, Author of Making a Family Home

SARAH: You know that I am a big fan of your book Making a Family Home. Can you tell us what led you to write it?

SHANNON: When my first child was born, it was a really crazy time for me.  As any new parent knows, one’s world is instantly transformed when baby arrives! I was thrilled to be a mother, but I really had no idea about what it meant to be a mother and to raise children. I started to think about motherhood, caring for a family, and making a family home.  I realized that a happy, healthy home is so important for children, and gives them a strong foundation for their future success and happiness.

Those thoughts and concerns, that early confusion, and also exploring early childhood education and homemaking in a graduate program setting, all provided the spark for Making a Family Home.

SARAH: Can you tell us a little bit about your family and the rhythm of your days?

SHANNON: I have three children–two sons, ages 7 and 9, and a 4-year-old daughter.    They are all in school now, so that provides the big daily rhythm for us, and we tuck in other routines around it.

We wake in the mornings, and to make things easy and smooth, we have already picked out their clothes the night before.  After breakfast (something like pancakes, or on busier days, cereal with toast and fruit) we head off for school.

After school we try to keep extra activities to a minimum and really allow the children to play. Childhood is fleeting and the most important thing children can do is play freely.  Of course, we do have some scheduled activities. My older son loves to play golf, so we have a golf lesson, or a game now and then; and we have swimming lessons in the warmer months.

After dinner, the children get ready for bed.  Our bedtime routine is well established–we light a candle, read a book, say a verse, sing a lullaby, and lights out.  When days are busy and crazy, I treasure that quiet moment in the evening with my children.

SARAH: What effect do you think a child’s environment has on her behavior and sense of well-being?

SHANNON: Everything affects all of us, but children’s senses are especially sensitive to their environment.  Noise, temperature, color, texture, light, and smell all affect us in some way.  Creating a nurturing space for children is about paying attention to how the senses are affected in each moment.  If the television is blaring, if the colors and shapes are hard and garish, if the temperature is frigid, then all those things make us feel and act in certain ways.

If, on the other hand, a room is comfortable, relaxed, and quiet; if the light is gentle, the colors harmonious, and the furniture soft; then that affects us in a certain way, too.  We can bring consciousness to our homemaking in order to create a healthy environment for our children.

If we feel comfortable in our bodies, if our senses are nourished, if we are filled with a sense of well-being, then we are free to pursue our life’s work, whatever that may be!

SARAH: I’ve met many parents who express a desire to transform their home from a place of disorganized chaos to a more nurturing, rhythmic and peaceful environment. The task can seem daunting and overwhelming, and parents often don’t know where to begin. Are there three simple actions you can recommend to take as first steps?

  • Declutter/Simplify. Release stuff from your life and from your schedule, too.  Making a nurturing home is ultimately about nurturing the relationships in the home, it’s not about all the stuff you can buy.  Focus on the people in the home and not on the stuff.
  • Simplifying life goes hand-in-hand with de-cluttering. Try to simplify things just a little bit.  It’s hard these days–there is so much to do!  Try and cut back a little, and instead of always being on the run; stop, slow down and spend time with the people you love.
  • Unplug. Resisting the constant temptation of email, the computer, and cell phone is definitely a challenge for me, but the constant chatter of all these machines is not helpful if one is trying to live in the moment.  I try to find time to really unplug from these gadgets and simply be in the moment with the people I love.  Being with someone–a child or an adult–and showing interest in him or her, is a way to demonstrate your love. But if your interest and attention are always being pulled away by electronic gadgetry, then that is a loss.
  • Love. Which brings me to my last tip, love.  Making a nurturing home for your family is one way to express your love for them.

SARAH: What are you doing with your life right now? (Besides the important job of parenting!) Are you finding time to pursue acting?

SHANNON: I try to find time to write and act.  I have some really exciting acting projects right now; one is an independent film that is shooting in July.  What I do artistically nourishes me, and in turn, helps me to nourish my family.

SARAH: How do you juggle your various activities and keep balance in your life?

SHANNON: It’s not always easy, but I try.  I think just being aware of the importance of balance is a great start.  When things get crazy and hectic, I try to step back and slow down.  Right now I am enjoying yoga and that helps me to breathe and find a moment of peace amid life’s chaos.

SARAH: Is there anything new you’re working on? What is the best way for readers to keep abreast of your work?

SHANNON: I have some writing projects that I am working on in addition to the film project that I mentioned earlier.

SARAH: Thank you so much, Shannon, for sharing your time with us and for the wonderful gift of creating Making a Family Home!

Shannon Honeybloom

Win a Free Copy of Making a Family Home!

For a chance to win a free copy of Making a Family Home, simply leave a comment before Monday, July 12 at 8 a.m. EST, at which time I will close the comments and select a winner at random from all the entries received.

For a multiple chances to win, please spread the word about this giveaway! Blog about it, Tweet about it, or share it on Facebook. Leave additional comments noting each action taken.

The Giveaway is open to all, but a winner outside of the continental U.S will be responsible for shipping charges.

Lots of luck!

Add comment
  • Bookmark and Share

children kids waldorf education families blogs child




Receive blog updates by e-mail
My Shop
waldorf wooden toys child development play imagination
My Book
waldorf wooden toys child development play imagination
Blog Archive
2014 (11)
August (2)
May (1)
April (3)
March (3)
2013 (23)
2012 (9)
2011 (11)
2010 (48)
Loving
Subscribe by e-mail
Recommended Reading
Pinterest
Facebook Fans
Twitter Updates
children waldorf toys creative play