One of my favorite Waldorf resources is the book Creative Play For Your Toddler from which I got the idea to make felt fish so the boys could pretend fishing.
The boys have seen many fish at aquariums and love to watch the fish, including large catfish, in the stream at Longwood Gardens. Although they have never fished, they know that their dad caught a big fish this summer and have read books about fishing. Shane is also learning his colors so I thought I would combine his love for learning and imitative play by making felt fish and fishing rods I'm sure the fun activity will extend into our many pretend camp sites or other adventures.
To make our fish, I cut fish shapes out of felt and needle felted eyes on opposing sides. Next I used a blanket stitch to stitch the sides together leaving the end open to stuff in the wool roving then stitching up the end. finally I tightly sewed on little washers. (This is a work in progress as I want to add more colors.)
For the rod I dabbed the ends of a 2-foot length of string in wax to keep it from unravelling then tied one end of the string on a stick, dabbed it with glue, and glued the other end to a magnet.
We put our fish on a blue playsilk lake and the boys placed their catch in a basket. Next time maybe we will add a box boat to the fun.
There you have it, an easy-to-make, imaginative toy that will provide hours of creative play!
Last weekend, we visited my husband's parents in Connecticut just hours after several inches of snow had fallen on top of the 18 inches they received a week ago. It reminded me of my childhood in north Idaho.
We took the boys outside to play in the igloo that Papa and 2 cousins built. It was great! There was a slide entrance and a tunnel exit. Even Tug the dog enjoyed it.
While the boys, Papa and Daddy played, I explored as much as the snow would allow. Their home is settled on several wooded acres that I could explore for hours on end. It was noontime and the little birds were singing and raiding the bird feeders. Every once in a while, the wind would pick up and blow snow off the trees and into my face.
On a little walk down the long wooded driveway, we found some little mouse tracks climbing over a mound of snow.
Because the sun was straight overhead, it's beams hit the untouched flat snow just right to make each snowflake its own sparkling prism shining a rainbow of colors. It was beautiful and so hard to look away. (A photo just doesn't do it justice.)
Later that day, we went on a drive to see my husband's grandma On the side of the road were ice cicles that reached over 15 feet long and a scening creek pushing through the frozen ice.
The next time we go up, the snow will be gone and flowers will be pushing through the dirt (thanks toThe Root Children, of course.) I look forward to more exploring.
My 2 year old is beginning to play out the mama/baby relationship. I first noticed it last month when he was playing with his little fairy dolls. He declared one to be mama and the other baby. Then mama comforted the crying baby.
Now he appoints the relationship to both live and inanimate objects and occasionally throws in the daddy. He asks/tells me, "Mama, this is mama dog and this is baby dog?" or "Mama, this is mama rock and this is baby rock... and this is daddy rock."
Not only is it cute to watch, but I think it provides him with some stability and a sense of place as I still call him "my baby" and probably will for some time.
Occasionally he moves in very close, looks in my face and softly says, "Mama, you the mama and me the baby." in almost a question tone seeking reassurance that he is mine and I am his. I always answer, "Yes, I am your mama and you are my baby."
This is our winter nature table. I thought about putting a lot on it since our holiday nature table was sparse, albeit for a reason. But in an effort to keep our nature table something the boys can interact with, I pulled back and kept it hands-on.
Our table is actually a table/magazine rack. on the bottom shelf we keep a large woven basket full of playsilks that make up a nest for our plush singing Audubon birds. On the sides we keep favorite all-year-round books and seasonal books.
On our winter table are 2 playsilks (white & purple), our wood bowl with treasures (polished rocks), pinecones, Woodsprite & Snowchild figures by Zooloonaturals. a bit of wool roving, a paper mache deer, a prism, a postcard of a scene from Elsa Beskow's "Children of the Forest" and snowmen made by myself and Aidan out of glow-in-the-dark Fimo. All ready for little hands to expolore.
As we enter a new year, I want to continue to foster a love of nature in my boys. Part of that is helping the boys understand the change of the seasons, especially for little Shane who seems a bit bewildered by the cold weather. To get us started in talking about the seasons, we made a wall mural.
First we painted a blue sky, trees and grass.
Once the paint dried we used wool roving for clouds.
Next, we added snowflakes & animal stickers,
a foil frozen pond & snowmen that Aidan made.
They are so proud of their creation. We will use it in the weeks ahead to talk about what makes snow, how each snowflake is different and what animals do in the winter.
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