Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Little Earth Playgroup

 I tried to teach my child with books
he gave me only puzzled looks,
I tried to teach my child with words,
they passed him often unheard.
Despairingly I turned aside,
"How shall I teach this child?" I cried
into my hands he put the key.
"Come", he said, "play with me!" 

Remember this post about a beautiful book written and illustrated by mothers from my big girl's school? Well I have been waiting about a year for a space to become free for me and my wee girl to join their morning circle. Today was our first day ~

Oh is was so beautiful, so worth the wait.  I wish I could show you in photographs but words will have to surfice for now.

We began the morning with free play...because my wee one had not been before she explored the sandpit and the hammock swing, the tree trunks and the long grass. When everyone had arrived we gathered into a small circle for morning verse and a couple of simple songs; it was ok if some children were too distracted and wandered off, or shy and clung to their mothers or simply sat and watched. Afterwards each child was given a handful of freshly cut grass and we wandered down the hill to a fence at the edge of Vicki's property. A couple of stunning chestnut mares meandered across stooping low to nuzzle the grass from the chubby hands of our babes. My wee girl was delighted and hunted for more grass.

I know that Vicky's group has been running for years and the rhythm is always the same, so the horses know the children are coming and the children were quiet, patiently wait their turn.

After the grass was gone we wandered through the bush to the dam to see if their were any ducks about. None their today, so our walk continued up the gentle slope toward the house.

The outside area was set up so beautifully. A long low table with sanded logs cut to stool size for the wee ones, a wash bowl and little towel for their hands. Another shaded sandpit, a home corner, a rug with baskets of shells and seed pods, simple percussion instruments and an assortment of other simple toys.

Together we cut fresh fruit to share, and made some very simple raw almond meal and tahini balls (I will share the recipe another day) some children went with Vicki to feed the wild native birds and collect herbs from her garden to make tea, others helped prepare morning tea and others played.

We sat togther and sang ~
Blessings on the blossoms,
Blessings on the fruit,
blessings on the leaves and stems,
blessings on the root.

The fresh herb tea was divine - mint, lemon grass and yarrow - I am going to plant yarrow on the weekend; it was so fresh and cooling (it was a horribly hot humid day; 32 degrees C at 10am).

After morning tea the children played; in the sand, in tubs of water, with each other and alongside ~ it was so relaxing to just watch them, have another biscuit and another cup of tea and talk to other women! I loved it!

Playtime wrapped up as easily as it began. Vicki gathered the seven children together and told a story with a simple silk puppet and song. She slipped the puppet into a basket and announced it was time to feed the chickens...I LOVE chickens as does my wee girl.

The morning ended with a walk through the trees, stopping to admire and climb the lychee tree before heading back to where we began in a circle to say goodbye.

My wee girl fell asleep on the drive home.
This will be our new Thursday morning rhythm, I'll bring you more adventures next week.


Natalie @ the little gnomes home said...

It sounds magical. Love to hear how the yarrow grows.....looking forward to hearing about your weekly adventures

Melissa Luxmoore said...

Sounds so beautiful. I miss ayla's little playgroup.

anna said...

Oh, what a beautiful, inspiring day you've described!

Rebecca said...

Beautiful. We've been going to a Steiner play group for a couple of years now and it really is magical. We sing, the children bake bread, have some free play, share our bread and fruit for morning tea and then we feed the chookies (not ponies as you do - thaqt would be beautiful for past horsey peoples like moi!), and sing our good byes. XX

m. bloom said...

Oh! I'm ready to hop on the next plane & join you & your wee girl next week...

Amber said...

Oh goodness! You are making me miss my Waldorf playgroup! I am taking a year off as we have been for the last two years with my now 4 year old daughter, and have a two year old who has tagged along. Will take this year off and go again next year! Even though it was the right thing, oooh it was hard to let go of for a year. I do miss it!!