Dear Friends we are so excited to be celebrating our first Easter Festival together. The Midjim Berry Playgroup, co-ordinated by Katie Alini has invited us to join together at the Community Garden in Southport. The mood of Easter is very special time therefore we endeavour to bring you some memorable moments for both the children and yourselves it is the beginning of our community of like-minded souls.
DATE: SUNDAY 14TH APRIL
TIME: 4.30pm to 6.30pm
PLACE: Joan Park Community Garden, 32 Joan Street SOUTHPORT.
PARKING: Please park on the street it will be a little walk to the venue so I suggest that limit your needs if possible. I am sure there will be helping hands nearby if you require them.
A gold coin donation towards the Community Garden project would be appreciated.
What To Bring:
Top of the list……….one or two painted or vegetable-dyed HARD BOILED EGGS for each of your children. Please ensure the eggs are hard-boiled as children can be very disappointed when they finally get to crack the shell and they are all runny.
A plate of wholesome food, as much as your own family would consume in one sitting is a good indicator. If you could mark the food ‘meat’, ‘vegetarian’ etc that would be useful as all food is placed on the sharing table.
Bring your own plates, utensils and drinks.
A picnic rug or chairs and insect repellent.
A small torch for each child to use in the egg hunt.
Something warm for the children to wear if required.
As parents and carers you are each responsible for your own children during the festival.
A friendly reminder that this gathering is smoke, alcohol and drug free.
For the following two weeks we will still be meeting up at the hall at the same time to make toys for our community playgroup. Please come and join us for a fun morning. Don’t forget to bring your needle and scissors and enthusiasm.
Easter is the festival of our fulfilment as children of Mankind, of the rescue of our earthly existence from aimlessness, and the renewal of its purpose and meaning.
At Christmas the gifts of the holy event to humanity are brought to us openly and we receive them with wonder and delight. So it is for the children that the gifts are there under the tree. At Easter the gifts are hidden – shrouded in a mystery which we must penetrate with our thinking and permeate with our hearts. Rudolf Steiner.
The Child at Work and Play
Extract from WECAN.
For educational activities appropriate to the young child, we need look no further than the traditional tasks of the home: cooking, baking, gardening, laundry, cleaning, and so on. Purposeful tasks that proceed in a logical sequence and involve a wide variety of movements and gestures become the basis for logical and flexible thinking later on in life, when performed in a conscious, deliberate way that allows the child to take in what is happening. It takes patience and creativity to cheerfully perform such “mundane” tasks amidst the rush of modern life, and to include young children in an age-appropriate way, but they are more powerful than any contrived educational program or learning tool.
An artistic quality can lift our work above the humdrum. If we take pleasure in folding the napkins beautifully, sing a special song as we wash the dishes, or simply enjoy the rainbow colors of the soap bubbles in the laundry tub, we feed the soul’s hunger for beauty. Young children delight in songs, stories, verses, and games, which bear many complex skills within them, without any need to be didactic or overtly “educational.” An adult’s own invented songs or stories, however rudimentary, are most precious to the child for whom they are created.
Young children learn most appropriately through imitation, a deep and irresistible urge to take in and become whatever they perceive. If we can resist our adult urge to explain and rationalize everything, and instead understand the deep significance of our actions both outer and inner, we are on the path of Waldorf early childhood education.
The environment that surrounds the child, all that he perceives and participates in, is transformed when he plays. We may even say that he “digests” his experiences through play, and a child who is not given the opportunity to play will be malnourished as surely as one who is not allowed to digest his food. When given space and time to play freely, with models of meaningful work to imitate, children spontaneously create the most varied scenarios and try out many roles that prepare them for later life. Such creativity is perhaps the most human quality we possess, and the freedom to play is the birthright of every human being.
For this healthy play to develop, the child does not need too many or too complicated playthings. In fact, the simpler the materials at hand, the stronger the child’s own inner powers will become, as she transforms a stone into a loaf of bread, a stick into a magic wand, or a plain cloth into a rainbow. Unadorned, natural materials allow the child’s imagination free rein to endow them with all the details it requires.
In both practical life activities, and free play, the child increasingly takes hold of her body through movement. As she learns to roll, crawl, stand, walk, run, jump, skip, twirl, and hop, she is exercising the mind-body connection. Long hours spent sitting in front of a screen or at a desk are not natural or healthy for young children. Rather, every bodily movement feeds the developing brain, and every bodily skill mastered forms a foundation for mental learning and spiritual freedom. This is the particular gift of the first seven years of life.