was a resounding success!
We managed to create exactly the kind of environment I want around Christian: calm and focused, AND I had fun (very important indicator of success). From the looks on everybody’s faces, children and adults alike I think everything went smashingly well and we all had fun.
Of course there are things that I would love to improve upon – especially material things, like wishing I’d finished the handmade animals for the story – but the overall feeling and mood was perfect. For instance, I’m expressing regret about not finishing my animals or not having more props, but the children were absolutely riveted to my version of The Little Red Hen even though the cat was an old beanie baby of Bella’s. And impressed even with my single strum of the lap harp before beginning the story. (That’s what so GREAT about kids!!)
And despite all the worry, the transitions went smoothly, the craft was appreciated, the brown rice and fruit was devoured, and the two hours flew by. I think we even did a good job with balancing “out” energy with “in” energy.
It was interesting to note how different the energy was from our regular open-to-everybody playdates in the park. I don’t know whether it’s just because the group was smaller (eight families) or because of all the structure, but the energy was noticeably different; it was a very pleasant focused energy. We still did lots of chatting and running after children, but the clear delineation of jobs (who’s watching the kids, who’s taking care of food) really allowed each mom to relax and focus on her hand project.
Also, within that structure, there was little to no feeling of being rushed or being pressed for time. Activities seemed to flow into each other and the songs came easily. We were all pretty relaxed.
I am really looking forward to meeting with this group of mamas every Thursday for as long as we can. Now I have to start planning the second cycle!
P.S. The simplicity and pleasure of the puppet show gave me new confidence. To see a post of another example of a Waldorf-style puppet show check this link at my friend Darlene’s blog. She also posted a sweet photo of a puppet show she gave almost twenty years ago here.