Build.

   
    
    
 

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Geometry playground

Class 5 geometry lessons are underway! It’s exciting for me to revisit the beauty and symmetry of compass art, Learning about polygons, prisms, pyramids, solids, quadrilaterals, angles, lines and circle language. I enjoy the artistic focus in presenting this work with Lily through the Waldorf curriculum.

On an adventurous day out recently we were happy to find this playground in a small village. (Neustadt near Metzingen) Soon there where exclamations about how this whole place was framed on polygons, prisms and even a quadrilateral pyramid supporting the tree! We are all looking at the world through geometry glasses now!   
    
    
 

I hunted for four leaf clovers (unsuccessfully) and enjoying watching while the two spent half an hour cleaning the sand out of the water play basins and creating waterfalls. I know Lily gets lonely for friends her own size when we travel and I cherish the richness of her relationship with Cedar and their ability to play together despite 6 years age difference. 

They where really engaged with the water pump and this initiated more conversations about living in historical times, continuing on from visiting Lichtenstein Castle earlier in the day. Shall we detour there right now, it’s a lovely late summer day in Southern Germany….

   
    
    
    We took the tour so we could snoop around inside the castle. I was especially enthralled with the detailed paintings on walls and ceilings. Photographing strictly Verboten! So you will have to go there yourself.

Afterwards we sought out the Easter Egg museum, decorated not chocolate !unfortunatley closed but the glimpse in the door was inspiring for our own Easter festival. After studying ancient Egypt lily was taken with the egyptian artwork eggs in the centre. 

  
 Anyway back to geometry!

We have been playing with toothpicks and modelling clay to create a sample board. It began with lines, which naturally flowed into the exploration of what can you make with lines.   

  glimpses from Lily’s main lesson book.

 It is fascinating the different polygons and patterns which are made when you follow the times table…  
  

Draw a dozen intersecting straight lines, then identify and color the various types of triangles.

Mamas exploration.   Lily’s

  Cedar’s

   
  Practicing rays by imagining starlight that shines on forever.The city map practicing all different types of lines. See if you can spot them!  
    
    
  First freehand circle explorations before introducing the compass.  
    
    Cedar watched the above flower of life developing, later he sat quietly and recreated his own very beautiful version. I loved making and colouring this mandala as a child also.

  The hexagon creations are beautiful, followed by a dodecagon.
   The fun side of mathematics for us!

3,4,5 triangle

       While researching  Ancient Egypt in June for Lily’s studies, I came across the 3,4,5 triangle. Apparently the Ancient Egyptians used a rope of 12 (we used metres) knotted sections. With angles made at 3m and 7m a right angle or Egyptian triangle is made. Fascinating little insight into geometry without a compass or ruler. 

With my father we went out in the hof (courtyard between the house and barns) with string and sticks and measures and markers and  water cans, we created an Egyptian triangle in the dirt. After we marked the triangle we flipped it and made another triangle, for a rectangle, then marked the centre and made circles with 3, 4 and 5 m diameters. Finally we finished with a central post and made a pyramid! A really fun, visual exploration. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

          While we travel I homeschool Lily. I follow the Waldorf curriculum as closely as I can (with guidance from her teacher in Australia) while not being a trained teacher myself. It usually works really  well and it’s a fantastic opportunity to tutor Lily in areas she has challenges. Getting her motivated is not always easy though and the differentiation from parent to teacher is interesting (read challenging, inspiring,frustrating) for me. I learn so much alongside her and enjoy the intellectual stimulation and discovery in research also. It is difficult to maintain consistency when we are moving a lot so this 6 week interlude with my parents in Germany was a good foundation for studies. We visited the Egyptian museum in Berlin which inspired us with incredibly detailed and beautiful carvings and paintings. It is the home of the famous bust of Nerfetiti which cannot be photographed, so we took our sketchbooks and drew her. The guard commented Lily was the youngest artist he had witnessed sketching her.    

  Her drawing books are full of images of Egypt. 

  

Drawing freely.

    Cedar has discovered drawing in such a new way! It’s very exciting to see him coming more freely into expressing his own visions and ideas as it’s been many months of encouraging this little one who was frustrated as his hands couldn’t do what his thoughts could see. He only wanted to direct us to draw for him. Now I see this fantastic leap in self confidence blooming!

He has invented some fantastic trailer/home/hay makers and the theme is tractors and machinery, trains, maps, gnome homes in trees, apple orchards and landscapes. He’s not often drawing his own wheels or people yet which I find intriguing.  

Each comes to these things at their own pace but I’m glad as I see it brings him much happiness and us much entertainment! 

   

This picture was a surprise to me this morning. The piglet on the left is having a birthday and wears a ribbon around its neck.   

Both children draw a lot while we travel, we have a good stock of visual diaries with quality paper and we have an extensive collection of Lyra pencils. I find the thicker pencils easier for little hands to hold and the smooth bright colours very satisfying. The enjoyment of the materials inspires more use. 

I gained a lot of confidence drawing alongside Lily as she grew and now with Cedar. The children don’t need a perfect replica of something, they just need a suggestion and their imagination fills the rest. I learnt to draw like a child again and it’s brought me a lot of happiness and a fun connection with my children. 

Even after years in art school I needed to de program and lose the critic. So many of us are thinking “well, I can’t draw” do you want your child to think this also about themselves? I was determined not  to say “I can’t draw” in front of my child but to say, well I will have a try, and be able to laugh if it turns out oddly and have another go or ask my child for ideas. Begin with them as they start to scribble at age 2, mimic your child, for they are free. Look to nature for simple gestures, a grassy field, a tree. Then put a swing in the tree or an apple. And so grow slowly. It takes a lot of slow to grow, I heard this recently. 

My people began as stick figures and gradually became 3 dimensional as I drew more and more with Lily. The children also like simple art they can mimic. To just sit with them and begin putting color down can begin a new pleasure (and healing) for you both. 

What are your children drawing?

What are you drawing?

Right now

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Right now. Play dough fun with cedar. Playing an imprint memory game. Taking turns to make prints or guess what made the print.
I make play dough by the recipe on the cream of tartar jar but just found this no cook recipe for the future. I usually add some essential oils. This time it’s lavender.

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Also making Swedish saffron buns for st lucia dec 13th and birthday cakes. The gnomes sing along for Cedar. Lily and I made them for him last year. A really fun craft. Supplies from winterwood crafts. Wool felt and wooden finger puppets.
Four candles, four crystals. Practicing for July!

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A favoured birthday song

Now on this day we celebrate your day of birth and we wish you a good and happy life on earth.

Our other birthday song we love is

Four years ago today today
Cedar came down from the heavens to stay
He came to bring gladness and joy to the earth
Kind people and angels attended his birth
So let us all join in the singing
Four birthday bells they are ringing
Happy birthday dear cedar
Happy birthday dear cedar

Interchange age and names. I’m not sure of the original authors sorry.
Xx

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The games we play…

In my main childhood kitchen there stood a tall narrow white cupboard within arms reach of our kitchen table. Running along one side of the table was a long pine bench my eldest sister made in woodwork. It could seat 6 or more but if you where left for last and put your weight on one end it would tip you right off. (I wonder where that bench is now…) our table was often stuffed with our own family plus guests and the cosy noise and simple meals stay with me. Mum how did you gracefully accommodate another few spontaneous guests to our busy crew and stretch the meals so everyone had enough?
Anyway the cupboard. Open the door and you will find top to bottom crammed with games! Oh joy what shall we play tonight? (today,this morning,now?) no one has to leave the hub to play.
Being the fourth child I was pretty savvy for my age and had to keep up with my elders and for the record I did NOT always cheat! I’m actually very skilled at strategy. So there.
Anyway the cupboard. Where have all those games gone by the way?
Such a variety. I never enjoyed Monopoly, but I did like Cluedo and Chinese checkers and Sagaland (the enchanted forest) and Labyrinth and canasta and Europareise(travel Europe) and Speed and UNO and memory (a german anniversary set with some gorgeous photographs and artworks and a few that scared me) and and so many more.
Many games came from our Grandmother in Switzerland. Perhaps every Christmas? Good Ravensburger brand board games and puzzles with beautiful artwork.
A feature of my childhood play and now a feature of my children’s play. I love love the game times and whether i am playing or overhearing Lily and friends it’s all warm and happy inside for me. (unless there is squabbling of course)
It can be a safe place for playful squabbly banter and venting and teasing. a place of togetherness across all ages, an ice breaker and a bonding tool. It’s good not to take oneself too seriously.
We have a few friends we play games with and I cherish these playful connections.
At my Mums there is still Often a game after dinner, Scrabble or Zilch (dice game)
One rare Christmas at mums with all 6
Siblings and family saw all the adults staying up late playing games. Fun fun wholesome fun.

Great learning is happening for Lily with her numbers and sums with Dice games.

How do games fit into your family?
What’s your top games and why?
How can you play more in your life?
Want to come over for a games night?

Scrabble
Saga land
Labyrinth
UNO
Yahtzee
The orchard
Chinese checkers
Blockus
Zilch
Quirkle
Set
Guess who
Jenga
Boggle
Sequence
Connect four

Spelling Gnome (formerly known as hang man, draw a gnome in stages)

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marking paper with grace

IMG_0149 IMG_0150 IMG_0155 IMG_0161 IMG_0162delighting in Lily’s natural embrace of writing and the practical application of ink on paper

her cursive is a pen drawing/dancing as i watch her fluid movement

invitations are made for a tiny party

cards and envelopes (crafted from a recipe i found and put on my pinterest good crafting board)

tiny ant trails of words and trails of footprints make sense now

 

Rainbow slippers and a non slip soul

my crafty fingers have been springing forth a multitude of projects in the past weeks

the creative processes soothe me while my inner processes spin me

there has been much sewing (a dear friend has lent me a machine while mine is still in the depths of storage, she needs a cake or something in gratitude…) of trousers, a skirt, a dress, curtains, mending, a witch hat, a witch dress, many cutesy felt toys {more photos and tutorials soon}

just the sunhats on my list did not eventuate…

some knitting of baby bonnets and some crotchet of boy slippers

he chose the yarn, row by row and the pom poms (bom boms)

this means he is more willing to keep his toes warm because he was a part of the creation journey…

clever mama moment!

lily made her own pair, proclaiming about how much faster crotchet is to knitting… IMG_0087

i painted on latex to make a slip free sole

{if only sometimes i could paint my own life with latex to prevent slip ups}

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the rainbow slipper tutorial

crotchet yourself a rectangle which is as long as the foot and wide enough to meet over the top of the widest part

gather the toes and stitch up the topside about half way

stitch up the back of foot section

you may want a gathering string around the foot entryway particularly for children

make and join on pom poms {essential for good humour}

if you can get a little paint on rubber latex, coat the soles evenly for non-slip and longer life

be warm toes and soul

xx

ps remember to make a second one…

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cedar loving being spooked by a hiding papa

{yes i made his vest and his doll… she had  bath later this day}

{did you enjoy all the bracketing in this post?}