Welcome to Wood Nymph Way! I have created this blog with two intentions: (A) keeping our family and friends, many of whom live in lands Far Far Away, up to date with what we've been doing, and (B) as a tool to document and learn from our journey as a Waldorf homeschooling family. Enjoy! And don't forget to check out my resource pages on the right!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

While the title of this blog may be reminiscent of that old Christmas song, it definitely doesn't pertain to that holiday.  At our house, Halloween is getting to be a big thing.  Autumn tops the list as our favorite season.  Great weather, fall foliage, fabulous food, cool nights for sound sleeping, tons of birthdays and celebrations and an exhausting list of seasonal activities...what's not to love? 

During our school day we've been preparing for the big day by reading lots of great stories and doing lots of really fun activities.  We started the week by telling the story of the Sugar Sprite Fairy, who will come visit us late on Halloween night.  She has a hard time finding sugar to feed her children with this time of year, what with the flowers gone and nectar being scarce.  So children who know about her may leave their Halloween candy (except maybe one or two special pieces) on their doorsteps so she can stock up on sugar for the coming winter months.  In exchange for this kindness, she leaves a small gift for the children.

Some of our other favorite stories for Autumn and Halloween are on the list at the bottom of this blog.  Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor is a favorite, and the children requested that their pumpkin moonshine (jack o'lantern) be a fierce one like little Sylvie Anne's in the book.  So of course, there has been pumpkin carving galore this week.  Our favorite pumpkin piece is our Pumpkin Gnome Home.  Four shepherd gnomes live there, with their two fluffy sheep.  They have a brussel sprout and berry garden and grow flowers in their sea shell window boxes.  They seem to be very happy.  I made the residents a while back with instructions from Toymaking With Children by Freya Jaffke.  We also roasted lots of delicious pumpkin seeds with this simple recipe.

Pumpkin Gnome Home

Sheep by the garden

One of the art activities we did this week was a painting story from Our Little Nature Nest.  I narrated the story, which was breif, and the children and I painted along together all the way to the surprise ending.  Here it is for your enjoyment:

Set up your paper, water, and paints as usual, but mix the yellow a bit stronger than usual.
First paint a large yellow ball, this will be your pumpkin, but do not tell the child.
Next surround the yellow with blue. Try  not to let the blue touch the yellow.
Tell the simple story as you do this. 
Gold  shines from the paper like a golden ball. Red says “let me warm you up a little”.
Paint over the yellow ball with the red. It will turn a golden orange hue.
Blue presses in from all sides, but the glowing orange will not let him touch her.
“Remember, you must leave me room to breathe”  says orange.  So blue comes soft & gentle.
Then yellow shouts out, " Please let me shine out!! I am getting too hot & feel all boxed in.”
“OK,” says orange "I will open some holes so that you can peek out.”
Then show the child how you can lift off color with a clean brush. Make sure you have removed the excess water. Lift off the color in places to look like eyes, a nose & a mouth. Then go back over those places with yellow.
The Jack-o-lantern will be complete. When you begin this activity do not let on that this will be a jack! Allow the suprise to unfold.
S's surprise jack o'lantern

We are preparing now for the day of Halloween, and I'm sure I'll have at least one post before then.  But here are some of the things we have planned, aside from trick or treating.

The night before Halloween we will be at my cousin's pumpkin carving party.  He and his family and friends usually do about a hundred pumpkins or so!  On Halloween day, we will have a little family celebration with Boo-Nilla Shakes, Chips and Guaca-moldy, and yummy Witches Fingers, all recipes from the Halloween issue of Martha Stewart.  Yeah, I know.  __GASP!___Martha and Waldorf?  Whatever.  She does some pretty cool stuff. 

Whatever you do this Halloween, have fun, maybe start a new tradition, and for crying out loud, please carve a pumpkin!
The Pumpkin Fairy's House

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