First Day Jitters

Tomorrow will be our first Waldorf Playgroup in the Woods, and I’m hosting.

And really, instead of posting, I should be cutting out more owls for the craft the mamas will be doing, but I’ll consider this post a playgroup rehearsal.

I intend to arrive by 9 am, even though the group starts at 10, because I will have a lot of stuff to haul in and set up. That said, here is my list of what to bring:

  • cooked brown rice and paddle
  • bowl for fruit salad and serving spoon
  • cutting boards and knives
  • table
  • tablecloth
  • 12 bowls and spoons
  • handwashing station plus a couple squirts of dish soap
  • a couple hand towels
  • owl finger puppet
  • silks: for covering food and story set-up, for the owl rhyme, for the rainbow bridge, and for the scenery of the story
  • animals and hand puppets for the story
  • lap harp to strum before the story begins

All the moms and kids will be arriving around 9:30 am to set up their blankets, say hello, and let the kids run off some energy.

I will sing them into the circle with “Follow, Follow Me” (which we’ve just discovered is in Shea Darian’s book Seven Times the Sun). The rest of the songs and lyrics for the circle are here.

After which I will release the kids into playtime while the mamas have craft time. I am thinking that I will transition them into play by having them spin, and the mamas can quickly make their way over to the blankets

where there will be seven little craft packets waiting. Everybody will make a wise old owl finger puppet to go with the poem we are using. He stands perched on my arm which is draped in brown silk while I recite the short poem. I’m pretty proud of this owl as I designed him myself from a photo of an owl in the Zoonews magazine we get from the San Diego Zoo.

Note: two moms will be assisting me tomorrow – my main mom assistant came over yesterday to make the owl with me which worked out well. She’ll probably not have time to make one tomorrow.

After 30-40 minutes, I will sing the kids back to me with a handwashing song. We’ll proceed through the handwashing station and be sung to the table, which will have 12 stainless steel bowls full of brown rice and fruit salad. (Prepping the salad and setting the table is the job of the main assistant. The fruit salad is made from the washed organic piece of fruit that each child brings to contribute.) We will sing a short grace and eat all together sitting on a blanket. I need to be mindful to keep the children together and calm while eating.

As each child finishes, he or she will rinse his or her bowl and go to play some more. The assistant will mind the children playing while I set up the story, which is The Little Red Hen. I will be telling the story from memory with stuffed animals and puppets (mostly handmade). There is of course a short verse to sing before the beginning of the story.

After the story, I will sing the children right into the closing circle, which consists of two short verses with motions and then two short goodbye songs.

And that’s all! It seems quick and easy when I write it up like that.

Still to do:

  • Cut owl finger puppet kits
  • Make a red hen (!!! I left the red hen I made in Thailand and it’s currently in the post on its way back to me…)
  • Make a lamb (can use a turtle hand puppet I borrowed if I don’t get to this)
  • Finish my pig (can use pig puppet I also borrowed…)
  • Nail the closing songs.
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