Thursday, October 4, 2018

October - Michael and the Dragon

On the Waldorf calendar, September 29 is Michaelmas. Here are a few notes from our week of Dragon Fun!

We continued with Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines, and made a few changes to our Circle Time series of verses and finger plays.

Circle Time


The children loved hearing this story each day this week. I found that when I got to the part about a "cloak of light," I instinctively reached for a white silk and tied it around my shoulders. We all want to bravely fight that dragon!

We started Monday morning right away with dragon bread baking.

I used frozen bread dough which I thawed overnight. We got it out of the fridge at 9 am and immediately began to shape it and decorate it into dragon buns (some nice pictures of this are on page 147 of All Year Round). We had to get to work so early in order for the bread to have enough time to have its second rise so that we could bake it and eat it before the children left. Going straight to the shaping and decorating was actually quite relaxing and fun and children were busy with their currants and sliced almonds making dragon-esque eyes and scales.

It worked well to make the dragons first, then let them rise during morning play time and circle time. When we went into the kitchen for snack we could see that they had doubled in size. I put them in the oven to bake and then took them out and let them cool while the children were at recess. They got to eat their bread when they came back in from outside play, and share what was left of their dragons with their families when they went home.

    Simplest Dragon Bread Baking - Notes

    I got Rhodes White Bread in the three loaf pack. We thawed two loaves, enough for four children to make dragon bread. I followed package instructions in all regards except the shaping of the dragons.

    7 pm - 9 am
    Thaw dough in fridge overnight (each loaf thaws in a loaf pan)

    9 am - 9:30 am
    Give each child 1/2 loaf of bread dough on a piece of parchment paper. Write each child's name on the paper. Shape dough into dragons and decorate with dried currants and sliced almonds.

    9:30 am - 11 am
    Place parchment paper pieces in a warm place uncovered to let rise

    11 am - 11:20 am
    Lift dragons off parchment paper and place on baking sheet. Use a piece of paper to draw a diagram of where each child's dragon is. Bake bread for 20 minutes

    11:20 am - 11:40 am
    Allow to cool for 20 minutes

    11:40 am - 12 noon
    Eat! Don't forget to share your dragon bread with friends and family


I had made a Michaelmas Candle many years ago when my girls were small, so we greatly enjoyed lighting it and watching it during snack time. It was almost as if the dragon was breathing out the fire. This was just a handmade red rolled beeswax candle which I embellished with decorating beeswax.

We also sprinkle dyed wool felt for our dragon finger puppets! This is so easy to do and gives absolutely beautiful results! All you need is a piece of white wool felt, bowls, spoons, colors of unsweetened Kool-Aid powder, water, and a rimmed baking sheet. Lay the felt on the baking sheet, saturate with water, sprinkle colors (don't use Grape because the powder is black), and watch the colors flow and blend. Perfect for tropical fish finger puppets, dragons, etc.


Today was Stone Soup day! We also spent some more Art time noticing the different colors, shapes, and textures of my collection of heirloom pumpkins. I introduced the children to a new art material: oil pastels. We talked about how to take good care of this material. I was impressed with how carefully they placed the pastels back in their boxes and politely requested to borrow colors from one another, then returned them. This time we worked outside so that we could see the colors of the pumpkins in natural light.

We also spent some time today talking about sewing patterns and I showed the children the dragon finger puppet pattern I drew (based on this picture) and then cut out of tracing paper. I showed them how a pattern is pinned onto fabric and then cut out with sharp scissors. Since our sprinkle dyed felt has so many various colors in it, they each got to choose exactly where they'd like the dragon pattern to be placed. They also chose a piece of colored wool felt from Magic Cabin to be the backside color of their dragon. I have learned from experience that it's really difficult to make a finger puppet that has the Kool Aid wool felt on both sides, since it becomes much stiffer when it is dyed. The color combinations the children chose are lovely.

After the rest of our indoor play time, we had snack (and Stone Soup) and then the children went outside and played Jump the River, which was a big hit. Miss Marie watched them outside while I sat inside and cut out dragon puppet pieces. When the children came back in they were able to see their dragon puppets take form. Next week we will work together to sew them.

Here was our list of veggies in the Stone Soup this week:

white potatoes
sweet potatoes

As I write this, Becca is lying on her stomach in the yard playing with her rabbit and Zac is practicing throwing a Frisbee. He's very interested in all kinds of new skills all of a sudden, like shelling pistachios and sharpening pencils. Play can be so simple. This week we added new things to the outdoor mud kitchen (mini marshmallows, magnolia seeds) and tried out some new games which needed only the simplest of equipment (We're Going on a Bell Hunt, Jump the River). It doesn't have to be complicated to be fun!

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