We like to sit on the sofa and cuddle when we sing, I've found, before we lay out the quilt and do our story. So we read and I sang Over in the Meadow. I love the version illustrated by Eza Jack Keats.
Over in the Meadow
by Ezra Jack Keats
When it was time to spread out the sunflower quilt I started singing "A Ram Sam Sam" which is right in my range and I feel perfectly comfortable singing it. I don't feel that way about most songs! It was very joyful and it's a nice song which you can sing over and over until the quilt is spread out and everyone has shown up for the circle. If you don't know this one, it's on the Seven Times the Sun CD, which you can get at WaldorfBooks.com.
After our good morning verse, we did some of the Zoo Exercises from Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures: Movement Enrichment with a Therapeutic Approach for Early Childhood, volume 1. These (Bird, Lizard, Fish, Frog) were all animals which were found in our story / song. Zac had a great time! Then we read Leo Lionni's Fish is Fish, stopping on the page when the tadpole's tail started to disappear to listen to the track "Sana, Sana" from our CD of the day (track 53). This shows that time is passing and, if you know what the lyrics mean, it's also a perfect fit with the story.
After the book we went to the Art Room and did a wet-on-wet watercolor painting using blue. If you know your Stockmar blues you'll be able to see from the picture that it's neither ultramarine nor Prussian blue. For early childhood, Stockmar sells primary color paints (they're referred to as Circle Color). When I first saw them I was really confused -- blue? red? yellow? what happened to the classic set of six? -- until I found out they're for early childhood painting. And these are a lovely fit with the cherry paint jar holder from Camden Rose (something I've owned for years and finally got to use!).
He really enjoyed the watercolor painting, and he said to me at one point, "Mom, look, this is a fish and this is a tadpole."
As the painting sat drying, we went out for some Water Play! Water Play was at his request, so we did it, plus it was a good fit with our painting of the pond. This Water Play involved a lot of pouring work (still his favorite thing), and also him dragging a heavy watering can across the yard and over to the digging pit to try to fill it back up. Watching him I was reminded of something I read when I was a new Waldorf mom, about the Will. You are never supposed to ask a child WHY he or she is doing something at this age, even if it seems like a completely pointless physical activity. Just let them do it (keep safety in mind, of course) because they are working on their Will forces and asking WHY takes it up to the Head and isn't good for them. A great book about understanding Waldorf child development, and especially how to help the Will develop correctly, is The Challenge of the Will: Experiences with Young Children by Margret Meyerkort and Rudi Lissau.
Interestingly, he figured out how to balance the hose so that it would fill up the can without him having to hold it. Good job, Zac! Then he decided next to fill the can up very full with water ("I'm going to put in so much water"). He realized he couldn't lift it, poured out some of the water, tried to drag it, realized it was still uncomfortably heavy, poured it all out on the ground, and then saw that I had turned off the hose and so he went to get the pot he had previously filled and transferred that water to the watering can. Then he decided to water the magnolia tree with part of the water (and knew to get very close to it, all the way over to the trunk, to water it), and then dragged the can all the way to the digging pit and put the rest of the water in.
Phew! That's a lot of work for a newly three-year-old. Time for lunch!
P.S. I just realized that track 23 -- Wriggledy Wriggledy -- on Candy Verney's The Singing Year is about the egg/tadpole/frog and would be perfect for this!
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