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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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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!

 

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March 9th, 2014 | Family, Gratitude, Waldorf Education | Permalink | Comments (17)

 

Dear Friends,

Has it really been more than three months since I last posted here at Moon Child? Yikes!

Where have I been?

We had a very busy holiday season at Bella Luna Toys in November and December. My staff and I were putting all our time and energy in fulfilling holiday orders. We are grateful to so many of you for your support and being part of Bella Luna’s growth. I hope your holidays were filled with joy and love!

January brought our yearly task of end-of-year inventory, then I took a much-needed vacation to southern California to visit family and friends, and to see my son William who is a freshman at USC.

In February, I traveled to New York City for the NY Toy Fair, where I was excited to discover a bunch of wonderful new natural toys to introduce in 2014. Some have already made an appearance at Bella Luna Toys, so be sure to check out our What’s New? page if you haven’t recently.

The new year also brought the hiring of a new full-time staff member. Amy Sabaka, whom I’ve known ever since my son William and Amy’s daughter Rachel started first grade together at the Ashwood Waldorf School, is now our customer service manager at Bella Luna Toys. Amy was a kindergarten assistant at Ashwood for a number of years and has had a long relationship with Waldorf education, both as a parent and a teacher.

The next time you call Bella Luna Toys, it is likely that Amy will answer the phone. Be sure to say hi!

But now, with the help of Amy and our fantastic operations manager, Rob Wilson, my time is being freed up to get back to the work I love most—blogging, producing my “Sunday With Sarah” video series, and discovering beautiful new toys and products for families to introduce at Bella Luna Toys.

So now that spring is almost here, I am back—refreshed and renewed, and looking forward to reconnecting with you!

Here’s a new “Sunday With Sarah” video for you.

This week’s video is on on the power of verses in transitioning through the day, and for cultivating a sense of reverence and gratitude in young children. I hope you enjoy it!

With love,

 

Here are the verses shared in the video:

CANDLE LIGHTING

Fire spirit, fire sprite
Share with us your golden light
Come for us our candle light!

MEALTIME BLESSING (Can be spoken or sung)

Earth, who gave to us this food
Sun, who made it ripe and good
Dearest earth and dearest sun,
We’ll not forget what you have done.

Blessings on our mealtime and on each other!

REST TIME/BEDTIME VERSE

Now the sun has gone to bed
The stars are shining overhead
In their nests the birds all sleep
Into their homes the snails will creep
Children now no more will roam
It’s rest time (bedtime) now and we’re safe in our home.

Does your family incorporate verses at home? At what times of day? Please share your favorite verses with us here!

 

 

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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!

 

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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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