Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Eoghan

Oh my what a fun Birthday week we have had.  Eoghan turned two on Sunday but we celebrated with out friends and family on Saturday. I had hoped to have an outdoor party as we had 19 children and 15 adults RSVP'd to celebrate with us (Yikes!) but we awoke to freezing rain which later turned into snow flurries.  It looked like an indoor party was our only option.

The them of the party was Jack and the Beanstalk,  Do to limited space, I set up the story in the bed of our wagon and kept it hidden in another room until it was story time, the wagon worked great!

I apologize for the blurry photos, my mother was the photographer for the day, as I had my hands full.

Sitting on Grandpa's lap.

enjoying some fruit

Singing the "Happy Song" as my little ones call "Happy Birthday"

He was able to blow out the "Fire Faeries" all by himself this year, I guess all the practicing with our meal time candles paid off!

We dyed playsilks in our magic pots as one of the party favors

Everyone left with a little gift bag

that contained a knit chicken with a golden egg and some honey sticks (it really isn't a golden goose in Jack in the Beanstalk I promise).

We celebrated at home the next day, here is a photo of Eoghan playing with his Rainbow Bridge story.

and blowing out candles again (his favorite part).

And one more celebration at Playgarden, this time the Rainbow Story was a version told and written by Ms. Lisa.

We are looking forward to one last celebration when "out of town" Grandma comes to stay with us for the weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

 Happy Valentine's Day!  We received this adorable little peg doll in the mail we won from Mama West wind's Valentine Giveaway on her blog.    Please head over there today she is hosting another giveaway this time for Margaret Bloom's new book, "Making Peg Dolls", Two of my favorite bloggers and crafters working together!

 I have really enjoyed making peg dolls, they are fun and fairly easy to craft and they make such wonderful additions to stories and nature tables.  If you have not seen Mama Westwind's peg dolls on Etsy, I really encourage you to visit her shop, I am so in love with her Spring Bunnies, wouldn't they just be perfect for telling "The Carrot"? and a perfect addition to a Spring Basket?

We celebrated Valentine's Day today in Playgarden,  And keeping with the peg doll theme, I gifted each of the children with a Valentine Gnomes.  

I didn't really go all out for Valentine's Day this year, as we are preparing for Eoghan's 2nd Birthday on Sunday and his party on Saturday.  But I did cut out some hearts from the littles' watercolor painting and they glued tissue paper on them to make our kitchen feel a little festive.  I also strung some from fishing line to make a little mobile.

Today was bread making day and stone soup day in Playgarden so I created a little Valentine's Day story inspired by Stone Soup:

Two gnomes were wondering how to celebrate Valentine's Day, one gnome thought making soup with their friends would be a great way to celebrate.  The other gnome agreed and went into the Deep Deep Woods to invite all of his woodland friends to join their celebration. 

 First he went to Squirrel's tree to invite Squirrel to their Valentine's Day Feast.  Squirrel was very excited to be invited to the celebration and scurried off to gnome's house to add an acorn to the soup.  The acorn bubbled and boiled in the cooking pot, and it smelled delicious!

Then Gnome went to Rabbit's house to invite Rabbit to their Valentine's Day Feast.  Rabbit  was very happy to be invited to such a wonderful celebration, and decided he would bring one of  his carrots to add to the soup.  Rabbit scampered off to Gnomes' house to add his carrot to the cooking pot.  The carrot and the acorn bubbled and boiled in the cooking pot, and it smelled delicious!

Next Gnome then went to Deer's Meadow to invite Deer to their Valentine's Day Feast.  Deer too was excited to be invited to his dear friends' celebration.  Deer decided she would bring Kale to add to the soup and bounded off to Gnome's house to add her kale to the cooking pot.  The kale, the carrot, and the acorn bubbled and boiled in the cooking pot, and it smelled delicious!

Gnome went to Bear's cave last (as bear was often sleeping) to invite Bear to their Valentine's Day Feast.  Bear thought this special celebration was indeed worth waking up for.  Bear decided to bring honey to sweeten the soup.  Bear lumbered off to Gnomes' house to add the honey to the cooking pot.  The honey, the kale, the carrot and the acorn bubbled and boiled in the cooking pot, and now that all the friends had gathered, they enjoyed their soup, and it was delicious!

After we baked bread and enjoyed our soup there was free play outside, and some of the children told their own stories.  I didn't take any pictures of our craft or bread but you can see a roll under Eoghan's boot in the picture lol and Lisa is holding the felt wands we crafted today.  The thought was to make heart wands but most of the children asked to have diamonds instead.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Bessie!

We celebrated our first birthday in Playgarden, Bessie is 5!  Lisa told the Rainbow bridge story, while Bessie's Mom filled in special memories from each year of Bessie's Life.  Lisa made Bessie her Birthday Crown and the sweet little angel doll she used in the Birthday Story Puppet Play.   Kiera got to play Bessie's angel in the story and most importantly she got to wear a yellow silkie!  

We had a lemon blueberry cake and a little circle of gnomes birthday ring during snack time.  Everyone sung Happy Birthday to Bessie, and she made a wish upon, her hastily dipped, beeswax candles I whipped up really quick when I realized I didn't have any on hand... (note to self to stock up on candles for future birthdays).

Then Bessie opened a few presents made by the Playgarden Mama's.  Isn't her new hat so sweet?  She was gifted with a crochet hat and a cute crochet flower ring, an angel baby, a birthday crown and a gnome peg doll.  Such a sweet day for a very sweet girl! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Candlemas Celebration

We had a lovely Candlemas Celebration at a friend's house today.  She made homemade waffles, while her teenage son whipped us up some homemade whipped cream accompanied with a beautiful fruit spread and real melted  hot chocolate.  The Mamas and one Papa dipped Beeswax candles while the children played and then she told the story of  "The Carrot" (In Wynstone Press's Spring Book) for the little ones, with the help of some of the older children using her beautiful hand sewn wool felt bunnies:

You can see more of her precious bunnies on her blog, Chocolate Fishies.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Candlemas too.

And the Winner is.....

Donni from The Magic Onion's Blog, You are the winner of one of my little gnomes, you may pick from any listed in my Etsy shop and I will get it out in the mail to you right a way or if you'd like you can custom design one in the colors of your choosing which will take just a tad longer to get into the mail.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Candlemas and Groundhog Day.

I had created a special Candlmas/Groundhog day themed circle and story for Playgarden on Monday, but sadly it was cancelled due to a severe ice storm.  The next day was 72 degrees and we are expecting snow tonight!  It has been such a strange week for weather I really have no idea what the groundhog will see on Saturday.

Me and the littles have been doing our special Candlemas and Groundhog Circle all week, I took ideas from our Earth Schooling curriculum and from some really great sources on the web such as, Seasons of Joy  and The Mystical Kingdom to come up with some fun content for our circle and I made up a little story  to tell.

Once, upon a time brother and sister woke up one morning and they could feel excitement in the air.  They knew it was a special day but they did not yet know why.  They went into the woods to ask their woodland friends.  First they came to Bee's hive, and Bee was busy at working buzzing around.  They asked,"Bee why so busy today?"  Bee replied,  "Today is Candlemas!  I must make sure that I have plenty of wax to share, so that everyone has candles this year."

  Oh okay the children thought, that explains why Bee is busy but what is going on with all of our other friends?  They spotted Gnome, and went to inquire, "Gnome, what is going on today?  Why is everyone so excited?"  Gnome said, "Oh well today is Groundhog day, we must go see Groundhog to see if Winter shall be done."  "Oh the children replied, "Can we come with you to see Groundhog too?'.

 Gnome and the Children continued into the woods, where they ran into their friend Bear, "Hello Bear.  What are you doing out of your cave today?"  Bear replied "I am off to see Groundhog so I shall know when to wake up from my long Winter's nap."  "We are going to see Groundhog too, you should follow us."  I sing "Follow, follow follow, follow me." while the bear, the gnome, and the children make their way to the clearing to find Groundhog. 

 Once everyone has arrived Groundhog pops out of his mound and says, 

"If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won't come again"
(taken from a verse found on The Mystical Kingdom's blog)

We have done a few different scenarios with the weather, the children's favorite is the snow, I give them a basket of wool roving to drop over our story as we sing, 

"Dance Like Snowflakes, Dance Like Snowflakes, 
Whirling Twirling Snowflakes, Whirling Twirling Snowflakes, 
Everywhere, Everywhere."
(our version of a song, in Little Acorn Learning's January 5 day guide)

A special Thank you to The Wool Food Mama for gifting us with this sweet little Groundhog as she was working out some prototypes and was not yet pleased with this little fellow.  We love him very much here and have been enjoying out stories with him.

We will do our Special Candlemas Circle with our Playgarden children on Monday and we are going to make little acorn cap candles for everyone to take home.  So it has been nice to have a week to practice the circle with my own children and to really let them "breath into the story".

We also have a Candlemas breakfast we will be attending with friends that I am really looking forward too,  the hostess is a Waldorf grades teacher and she has prepared a puppet play for us and we will be dipping beeswax candles and then that evening our homeschool group is doing a spiralwalk that we hope to attend but it is right at "Pumpkin Time" I will have to see if it is just too much festivity for the littles in one day.

Also don't forget to enter the Gnome Giveaway, tomorrow is the last day and our winner will be announced on Candlemas Day.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Knight and The Lady Giveaway

Don't miss out on this amazing oppertunity to win these beautiful works of art!  Enter Castle of Costa Mesa's Giveaway here.  Can't you just imagine the beautiful stories this couple would inspire?