Monday, 13 October 2014

Tales & Songs {and a giveaway}

As the children and I work around our home at the moment I hear little voices singing to themselves. And I can't help but join in...

Come gather, come gather, 
there's work to be done
make a bundle, take an armful
together it's fun 

Singing and music can really transform the work of the home. And we are very lucky to have been gifted a copy of Come Gather by Tales & Songs! This lovely album includes a number of sweet joyous songs as well as some wonderful stories.

My favourite is the title song Come Gather, and I think it is my daughter's too *smile*
But I do love how my children respond to the stories! My son in particular loves to hear about Jack Frost and listens closely to Jakob & the Fire. 

You can have a little listen to Come Gather here...

How are songs and stories used in Waldorf?

Music is used in Waldorf education and Waldorf inspired homes to transition through the rhythm of the day. Songs can also bring an element of ritual or focus to an activity. In our home, we like to sing a blessing before meals, seasonal songs after lunch and to bring fun to an activity like tidying up.
Storytelling is also an art form embraced by Waldorf, as it captures and inspires the imagination. Children in Waldorf schools are also encouraged to develop their oral storytelling ability by setting up puppet shows. You can read more about storytelling in Waldorf schools here.

And now I'm excited to give you a chance to win a copy of Come Gather created by Annie Bryant.

Annie is a passionate storyteller, musician & mother. She loves the power of words & melodies to inspire and nourish all hearts - young and old. Annie’s seasonal recordings of handcrafted stories & songs for children combine the power of therapeutic storytelling with joyous melodies to inspire strength, confidence and gratitude for the beauty of our natural world. Annie's second collection of tales & songs ~ Wake Up ~ inspired by Spring will be released soon.

Annie also co-presents a weekly storytelling radio program for adults, works as a copywriter & spends lots of time on the beach and in the rainforests of Northern NSW where she lives with her husband and 2 boys.

You can connect with Annie on the Tales & Songs website and Facebook page.

For your chance to win....
...tell me how you use songs and storytelling in your home

Comments close at 8pm AEST on 20 October 2014
I will choose my favourite answer and announce the winner in this post next week.

Remember to leave a way for me to get in touch!


Good luck,


Monday, 6 October 2014

A Spring Nature table

By the end of Winter I was so very ready for Spring. I was itching to get outside, itching to change up our reading basket, itching to transition our nature table from Winter to Spring.

So day by day in that last week, I changed the items. First the Winter fairy door disappeared, and a rainbow door came to take its place. King Winter returned home while a rabbit hopped into the scene. Lastly, Jack Frost scampered away and a flower peg doll emerged. I even changed the play silks hanging below, shifting from blues and greens to add a little yellow and pink.

We have placed our new nature shelf in our dining room, a central part of our home. Often walked past, but also a place for lingering. The shelf is at child height. So little hands can explore and add pieces of Spring.

In our Springtime garden, rosy morning glow,
Sunshine falling, calling, falling,
seeds are waking so.

This is our alter to Mother Nature. An inside connection to the outside. With little items that represent the season, as well as items from nature itself.

As we flow through the season, so to will the nature table shift and change.

Warmly, Kelly

Monday, 29 September 2014

Roughhouse play

It took me quite awhile to be ok with roughhouse play. And you know, it was initially more that I was worried about other parents' expectations about the play and how we responded to it than the play itself. Although I did harbour some concerns about the kids getting hurt. But I also noticed it was hard for the kids to come back down from their roughhouse high.

I tried encouraging my son to play differently for a little while. We have no toy guns or weapons in our home (we do have a water pistol but that's a bit different right?). But it's funny how easily a clothes hanger and elastic band can become a bow, or a stick can become a sword...

Then I started reading articles and books about why children need roughhouse play, and why playing with toy guns can be okay. Our kindy teacher also talked to me about how important roughhouse play is and how they managed it in the playground.

I've learnt that this kind of play has many benefits ~ it helps kids learn their limits, builds emotional resilience and empathy, and it allows dad's to connect with their kids in a way that might feel more comfortable. 

So I got comfortable with the idea and more able to defend it.

Now we have rules to minimise risk (no sticks near faces for example), and we encourage the kids to help their friends if someone does accidentally get hurt. Story telling can also be used to encourage safe rough play.

And you know what, my husband loves a bit of roughhouse play ~ and nothing is more fun than roughhousing with your dad!

How do you feel about roughhouse play?

Warmly, Kelly