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December 2010 Newsletter

In This Issue
Today's Daily Idea
Advertise with Little Acorn
Winter Squash Chips Recipe
Winter Childcare Menu
Visit Our Blog!
The Little Doves Song
Winter Window Stars
December Finger Play
Acorn & Rose Puppetry
Playstands for the Holidays
December Sponsors
A Winter Verse
Hazelnut Children Solstice Ring
Into the Holidays Article
Caregiver Meditation on Warmth
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Today's Daily Idea ~

~taken from the December Afterschool Guide 


How can your

family bring light into the lives of those who need it most this holiday season?


Talk to your child this week  about the immense blessings they have in their lives and about others who are less fortunate. 


Ask your child how he or she would like to give to others who need it most.

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Winter Squash Chips

taken from the Winter Afterschool Menu


Supplies Needed:


4-6 cups sliced and peeled winter squash (any type can be used, delicata is especially delicious)

Seasalt to taste

2-3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl mix the ingredients together and spread out in a single layer on the cookie sheet.   Bake until crispy brown, about 30 minutes.


These can be dusted with all manner of different things after baking.  Try cinnamon and maple syrup, dulse and nutritional yeast, or curry powder.


Winter Menu   
This menu is a five day per week menu (breakfast, morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack) set up so as to use the daily grains specified by Rudolf Steiner and widely used in Waldorf Kindergartens and homes the world over.

Little Acorn Winter Banner

Visit Our Blog and Keep Track of How We Celebrate the Seasons Little Acorn Style :)

The Little Doves


High on the top of an old pine tree

Broods a mother-dove with her young ones three.

Warm over them is her soft, downy breast,

And they sing so sweetly in their nest.

"Coo," say the little ones, "Coo," says she,

All in their nest on the old pine-tree.


Soundly they sleep through the moonshiny night,

Each young one covered and tucked in tight;

Morn wakes them up with the first blush of light,

And they sing to each other with all their might.

"Coo," say the little ones, "Coo," says she,

All in their nest on the old pine-tree.


When in the nest they are all left alone,

While their mother far for their dinner has flown,

Quiet and gentle they all remain,

Till their mother they see come home again.

Then "Coo," say the little ones, "Coo," says she,

All in their nest on the old pine-tree.


When, they are fed by their tender mother,

One never will push nor crowd another:

Each opens widely his own little bill,

And he patiently waits, and gets his fill.

Then "Coo," say the little ones, "Coo," says she,

All in their nest on the old pine-tree.

winter stars

Learn How to Make These Beautiful Winter Stars in our Winter Handwork Book Created Just for us By Syrendell

December Finger Play

 (use fingers on your hands for each "bunny")


One, two little bunnies

Sitting on the ground.


Three, four little bunnies

Looking all around.


Five, six little bunnies

Standing in a row.


Seven, eight little bunnies

Waiting for the snow.


Nine, ten little bunnies

All ready to go.

Little Acorn Learning

December's Featured Sponsor



Acorn & Rose Puppetry is the love-child for children's author Molly Piper.  Molly has written, illustrated and designed several books including The Magic Crayon, E-T My Bat and Firelight Night.  She has also conducted young author programs for more than 75,000 children, teenagers, teachers and adults.  Acorn & Rose Puppetry is now offering vibrant puppetry kits as well as beautifully crafted stages, delightful puppets and hand-painted sets!  All puppets and shows are created from legends, fairy tales and love for the natural world! 
Little Acorn Learning Woodshop
Little Acorn Learning's Woodshop is proud to offer 100% Natural Pine Playstands just in time for the Holidays!
Each set of playstands is handcrafted with love by a Connecticut craftsman (the Little Acorn Daddy).  Solid and Sturdy - these stands will last a lifetime and provide endless hours of open-ended imaginative play!

**Special HOLIDAY Sale**
For the month of December ONLY Buy a Set of Playstands with or without canopies and recieve a FREE December Afterschool Guide and Winter Afterschool Menu!!!

Assembly is Required.
Little Acorn Learning - December Sponsors

 hip mountain buttonrhythmadSimpleKids

   syrendelllifeways logo

A Winter Verse
Winter without
And warmth within!
The winds may shout
And the storms begin.
The snows may pack
At the window pane,
And the skies grow black
But the sun remains.

Hazelnut Children Solstice Ring 

hazelnut photo

Supplies Needed:

Heavy Cardboard or wooden discs


Hazel Nuts



Small Candle


On Solstice, these little hazelnut friends gather around the fire and sing their praises to the sun!



Cut a disc of heavy cardboard as your base (wooden discs are lovely but not necessary!)  Cover with moss.


Choosing the nuts that you use is a very important part of this project!  Once you begin looking at them you will see that they each have a personality of their own.  The shape of the nut and the "expression" of the flat side that becomes the face create the mood of your piece.  You will notice that they sometimes have little peaked hairlines and pointed little noses, and that the angle in which they are glued to the body also speaks a mood. So take some time in choosing.  The bottom nut (body) should be larger than the top nut (head).

Once each little "child" has been chosen, glue the larger nut to your base, and then glue the second nut on top.  You may have to support for a bit to allow the glue to set some.  (There is a glue on the market called Aleene's fast grab Tacky Glue that works very well, but it is not necessary.)

Allow to dry.


For the scarves, cut small, narrow strips of felt, approximately 4" by 1/3", and fringe the ends.  Acorn caps are also sweet if you have them.

When your piece is completely dry, wrap the felt scarves around the necks and place your candle in the center of the ring!  By now, because you took such care in creating the personalities of your little Hazelnut will be in love!

Into the Holidays

submitted by Brooke Conner Sevenau


Celebrations are a legacy for our children.  They are moments of magic, moments that teach, moments that connect us and help us grow into the families that we are.  And holidays are opportunities to create bonds of love, to create memories, to have fun together, to teach our children about being compassionate humans. 


In my family, I have been a longtime Christmas bah-humbug.  The pressure, the planning, the copious amounts of money spent, the obligations, the hurt feelings, the excess and the commercialism - all of it is such a turn off.  The rest of my family has the spirit.  They love decorating and Christmas lights and baking and crafts.  Usually, I would let them do all of that while I planned Christmas dinner.  But now that we are far away from family and now that my children need an example to follow, I have been digging deep to find the place inside of me that wants to celebrate the season.  And, ways to celebrate the season that feel authentic, fun, sacred.  Celebrations that honor the hush of the advent and solstice season, not cave into frenzied buying and obligatory gift giving.


One of my lifelong interests is to understand and reinvent the pagan roots of traditional holidays, to dive into the mystery behind the tradition, to seek out essential meaning.  I want the seed, the sacred truth that inspires the motions we go through and the things we celebrate.  And obviously this is a lifelong process of learning which was inspired by my mother who never stopped the spiritual explorations of traditions she was born into.  She passed this on to me.


For me, the Christmas season includes St. Nicholas, the original 'Santa.'  The Santa before there were elves who produced any toy advertised on television.  St. Nick loved children and gave to the poor, leaving gold coins in the shoes of the hungry.  It is this spirit of unconditional generosity that I want my kids to understand, not the rampant greed and entitlement of children in developed countries believing that any gift, in fact a multitude of gifts, is theirs for the taking. 


In this spirit, the holiday season includes several opportunities for Satchel (and soon Temple) to experience giving to others.  Growing up, we would make a big pot of soup and bring it to a local park where we would serve anyone who was hungry.  We would gather up old blankets and leave them on cold nights for others to take.  My sister once gave away her husband's brand new pair of shoes to a homeless man who knocked on the door looking for work.  I want my children to know the joy of generosity, of giving from one's heart.  And while it is important to cultivate this feeling year round, the winter is a time of great hardship for people who must go without - what better time to share your inner warmth than when the whole world is turning cold?


I have also continued a wise tradition that my mother started....


Read the rest of the article here on Brooke's Blog


Brooke Conner Sevenau is a freelance writer and publicist who lives in Sonoma's wine country where she and her husband, Matt, raise their children.  They all love books, family dance parties and popcorn.  Their son, Satchel age 7 and daughter, Temple age 2, are the inspiration for mindfulness, magic and joy. 




 from Little Acorn Learning!   
gift certificate little acorn

 We have been receiving numerous requests for us to begin offering Gift
Certificates through Little Acorn Learning.  
Here they are!!!  What a wonderful way to give a 'Little Acorn' to someone you love!
Caregiver Meditation:  Warmth
  (taken from our January 5 Day Guide)

"Chop your own wood, and it will warm you

twice." ~ Henry Ford


Warmth is important both physically and emotionally for every human being.  Young children need to be dressed and cared for in a way that warmstheir bodies and souls. And, you need to find time to warm yourself with the things you love and surround yourself with people you enjoy.

 When we put the time and energy into making our home a place that warms us both physically and spiritually, we benefit by both the process and the result of our work.


Spend time this week mediating on how you can create a warm environment for yourself, your family and those you invite into your home.   
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