|Autumn Childcare Menu
This menu is set up so as to use the daily grains specified by Rudolf Steiner and widely used in Waldorf Kindergartens and homes the world over.
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3 lbs Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored and Quartered
2/3 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Water
You will need to peel, cut and core the apples. This can be time consuming so you may want to skip your nature walk this morning in order to focus on your cooking. Remember to let children help you as much as they are able. Older children can use the tools to peel, cut and core while younger children place the apples into a bowl or help with setting and cleaning up.
Place the apple pieces in a large pot, and add the cinnamon, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes
Once I saw some little leaves
Way up on a tree,
(looking upward as though looking at a tree)
But while I was looking
Down they came on me.
(Both arms raised, hands making fluttering motion and gradually towering, in imitation of falling leaves.)
А red one on this shoulder,
(Point with thumb of hand to right shoulder)
Yellow one on that;
(Point with pointer finger of right hand to left shoulder.)
A crimson one on my head - The dearest little hat.
(Point with middle finger of right hand to the crown of head.)
A brown one stuck upon my nose,
(Point with ring finger of right hand to nose.)
Another on my chin -
(Point with little finger of right hand to chin)
One, two, three, four - five leaves,
(As counts are made repeat rapidly previous five motions, using different fingers for each - same as already done.)
A silly shower to be in!
For just one little minute
I stayed as still could be,
(Bend body lightly forward, hands hanging loosely, as though trying to keep body motionless.)
Then shook and shook my own self,
(Shake body from waist vigorously up and down - arms also in motion.)
"But - back they came on me:
(Glide body slightly backward, extend arms forward and then bring hands so that tips of fingers will rest on chest.)
Red leaf, brown leaf, yellow leaf,
They surely wanted to play,
But along came a little breeze
Away - Away - Away.
(Hands brought in front of body, palms downward, then fingers are rapidly moved as arms are carried in circular motion behind back. This carries out idea of fluttering away of leaves.)
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Introducing Our *NEW* Afterschool Guide and Menu for September!
They are the perfect addition to our regular September Childcare Guides focusing on afternoons and weekends!
Please note that the files are sent to the email address listed in your PayPal Profile.
These afterschool guides were created to help parents and caregivers of all types create a healthy, rhythmic and peaceful home for their school aged children. These guides may be used with children attending traditional schools, Waldorf schools, private schools, childcare centers or with homeschooled children as an after-school and weekend tool to extend their Little Acorn 'Learning'.
This story was carefully selected for the first month of 'school', acknowledging the anxious feelings that many children (and caregivers) may have about what lies ahead. Do your best to let the story sit with the children without imposing a lesson or moral at the end. You may like to display a branch with leaf attached and gently take the leaf off and let it flutter to the ground at the end of the story.
The Anxious Leaf
Once upon a time a little leaf was heard to sigh and cry, as leaves
often do when a gentle wind is about. And the twig said, "What is the matter, little leaf?" And the leaf said, "The wind just told me that one day it would pull me off and throw me down to die on the ground!"
The twig told it to the branch on which it grew, and the branch told it to the tree. And when the tree heard it, it rustled all over, and sent back word to the leaf, "Do not be afraid. Hold on tightly, and you shall not go till you want to."
And so the leaf stopped sighing, but went on nestling and singing. Every time the tree shook itself and stirred up all its leaves, the branches shook themselves, and the little twig shook itself, and the little leaf danced up and down merrily, as if nothing could ever pull it off. And so it grew all summer long, till October.
And when the bright days of autumn came the little leaf saw all the leaves around becoming very beautiful. Some were yellow and some scarlet, and some striped with both colors. Then it asked the tree what it meant. And the tree said, "All these leaves are getting ready to fly away, and they have put on these beautiful colors because of joy."
Then the little leaf began to want to go, too, and grew very beautiful in thinking of it, and when it was very gay in color it saw that the branches of the tree had no bright color in them, and so the leaf said, "O branches! why are you lead-color and we golden?"
"We must keep on our work-clothes, for our life is not done - but your clothes are for holiday, because your tasks are over," said the branches.
Just then a little puff of wind came, and the leaf let go, without thinking of it, and the wind took it up and turned it over and over, and whirled it like a spark of fire in the air, and then it dropped gently down under the edge of the fence, among hundreds of leaves, and fell into a dream, and it never waked up to tell what it dreamed about.
Ask children to take a seat and prepare them to do Apple Stamping. If you cut apples in half horizontally, you will see the star shape in the center. The apple halves make perfect stamps. Give each child a "stamp", stamp pad or paints and white paper and let them get to work. Children can make an apple tree and use the stamps to add apples to each branch.
"The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man." ~ Euripides, Greek tragic dramatist (484 BC-406 BC)
Harvest time is a time of Creating Balance in your life. The world around us is in a constant state of movement. Do you feel the equipoise of your personal balance of work and daily life, and joy in the important work that you do? If not, try to pinpoint what feels 'out of balance' during your meditations this week and come up with a plan on how to change that in the coming year.
Michaelmas is September 29th
The following is to help guide you within during this time - taken from our September Afterschool Guide - special thanks goes to veteran Waldorf Early Childhood Teacher, Marianne Frost for partnering with us on these books:
During this time of year when the world is growing dark and we travel inward to find our own inner light to offer to the world around us. It is the time when we gather up our strength and wield our swords of courage and upright living to slay our inner dragons of depression, egoism, untruth that try to arise.
As we observe the world around us, we witness Mother Nature's bounty in all of its glory! The crops have been gathered and rest in our cupboards and lie on our tables, our sustenance for a long winter; and the treetops are ablaze with the fire of their last hurrah!
But nature, too, is beginning to feel the approaching darkness and turning back into the earth for its winter's sleep. The earth is blanketed with the blazing leaves of the autumn trees where most of nature will soon be sleeping. The little animals are scurrying about gathering and putting up food for their winter's rest. The bears are filling their bellies, readying themselves for a long hunkering down in their cozy caves. And it is a wonderful celebration for families because we all gather back home around the hearth, close once again after the outbreath of summer!
Today's Daily Idea ~
Make a cup of borage tea to share to celebrate Michaelmas. Lore has it that knights drank this tea (or just chewed on the plain borage flowers!) forcourage before going into battle.
Simple Borage Tea
4 cups water
Juice of 1 - 2 lemons (save several thin slices for garnish)
4-6 Borage leaves
4 -6 Lemon verbena leaves
3 T Maple Syrup
Crush fresh leaves in a mortar and pestal to release oils and flavor. (This is a great activity for the children to do!)
Put all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Cover and turn off heat, allowing tea to steep for 5 minutes. Strain into teapot or cups. Serve warm, garnished with a lemon slice, borage or lemon verbena leaf, and a cinnamon stick!
This is a very mild tea, but as with any fresh herbs, be mindful of possible allergicreactions! The lemon juice and/or maple syrup in this herbal tea recipe can beincreased or decreased according to personal taste.