Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Books for Children

Thanksgiving is next week and we thought we would share some of our very favorite Thanksgiving books for children. Take a trip to your local library or buy a favorite to share for years to come. What are your favorite books of thanks?


Monday, November 12, 2018

Autumn Lantern Making

As promised to my Facebook community, here is the tutorial for these very pretty Autumn Lanterns that we made at our home yesterday for Martinmas. These are very fun to make and come out so beautiful. We also did these in our New England Lifeways training and each and every student's lantern came out so unique.

Supplies Needed:

Different Colored Tissue Paper
Old Paint Brushes
Leaves (optional)

Blow up balloon and tie. 
Place balloon in a bowl or on top of a wide mug, jar or cup to work. 
Mix glue with 1 part water in a separate container. 

Working carefully, paint glue mixture onto individual strips and pieces of tissue paper. You will be covering only half of your balloon, leaving the top half with knot open to make a bowl shaped lantern.  Be sure to glue the underside of each strip of tissue as well as the top and keep layering and layering until you have a nice design that will be thick enough to stand firm after drying.

Experiment with different designs, transparency ideas or even consider gluing autumn leaves to your lantern.  

 When completed, place your wet balloon lantern on top of the same cup or bowl to dry overnight.  In the  morning pop your balloon and carefully pull out and away from your lantern.

We stapled star string for a handle. You can also punch holes on either side and tie with string or make a handle out of wire. If you decide to use real candles, please be very careful as the tissue paper can catch on fire. We chose to use battery operated votives and it was just perfect.

Please share your photos with us on our Facebook Page

If you like this activity, be sure to check out our other publications for more inspiration.

And guess what? We have a special gift for you!...We are offering our Martinmas and Thanksgiving Festival EBook 50% Off through Thanksgiving Day (*coupon code GiveThanks50*)

149 PAGES of Verses, Fingerplays, Poems, Song, Crafts, Meditations, Book Recommendations, Circle Times, Recipes and Much More to Guide You in Celebrating the Martinmas and Thanksgiving Festivals in Your Home or School!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Celebrating November with Little Acorn Learning

November is such a beautiful month! Where we live the trees are in full color, the air is a bit cooler and the days feel longer especially after daylight savings time ended. Yesterday felt like the never-ending day in our house. At 7pm we could have sworn it was 11pm! Today is actually Bonfire Night and in the November Caregiver's Calendar we suggest enjoying an outdoor fire with your family or school tonight if possible. It's raining in our little spot in Connecticut today but this can be done anytime this month and is really fun to do during the fall. Roasting marshmallows doesn't have to be only a summer camping activity! I've been working around the clock on so many Little Acorn things... including the Caregiver Calendars for 2019 which will be here soon, a beautiful November newsletter which includes Waldorf-inspired verses, songs, stories, recipes and more (by the way we are offering 50% off ads in it for any likeminded small business owners!), a special book I've been thinking of for a long time and tons of marketing of our current products.
Doing this for so long, it is amazing how many products we have put together over the years. Here are just a few for anyone new to Little Acorn Learning: November Preschool/Kindergarten Guide - this program is wonderful for a mixed aged group of children or young children under age 6. It is non-academic and truly beautiful helping to hold a rhythm through your days. Most of our customers use this as their base and add in more academic work for the older children as needed.
For those of you who use traditional schooling methods or homeschool the older grades, we've put together a Waldorf-inspired Afterschooling Enrichment guide for fun ideas to enjoy with your school-aged children! These activities are a bit more time consuming and better for children who need less assistance.

As many of you know, Martinmas is just around the corner on November 11th. We absolutely love this festival. It is the perfect time to make beautiful lanterns and really embrace autumn. Thanksgiving is coming as well and we made a pretty autumn nature table to celebrate. Many of the ideas and activities we enjoy most are put together in our Martinmas and Thanksgiving Festival Ebook for those of you who could use some festival-specific inspiration.

Also, remember we have sweet seasonal menus for you. This season we have the Autumn Childcare Menu and also the Autumn Afterschool Menu. The first focuses on the daytime meals and the afterschool menu includes just that.. afterschool snacks as well as dinner and weekend meals.

Lastly, this is a perfect time to break out the warm yarns and crafting supplies. Please take a look at our Autumn Handwork Ebook made just for Little Acorn Learning by our friends at Syrendell.

Wishing you a very happy November and please make sure you are on our email list to receive the November Newsletter and fun updates, activities and inspiration. xoxo

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Show Us Your Halloween Doorstep and Win a Free Ebook!

Happy Halloween!

Did you decorate your home for today's holiday? Show us a simple photo of your Halloween Doorstep and enter to win a FREE ebook of your choice from!
Here's how:

1. Take a photo of your Halloween Doorstep
2. Post it on Instagram
3. Mention Little Acorn Learning and tag two friends
4. Use hashtag #LittleAcornLearningHalloweenDoorstepContest 
(we know, it's a long one!)

Winners will be chosen and contacted directly!

Best of luck and have an amazing night with the children.  Maybe the Candy Fairy (aka Switch Witch) will come?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Visit from The Candy Fairy

When my children were little they were often more excited about the Candy Fairy then they were about trick or treating on Halloween night. Every Halloween night each girl left out a big bowl of candy for The Candy Fairy. Amazingly, she just so happened to always fly down our road after they went to bed... and, in appreciation she left some treasures in return.
The girls were always convinced that the more candy they left the better the surprise would be in the morning. Sometimes it was a fairy type of treasure like you see in these pictures and as they got a bit older it would often be a special toy, doll, art supplies or Lego set.

And, don't worry ... I wasn't a mean mom... each girl kept enough candy to enjoy a piece or two when they wanted a treat that week - just not a pillowcase full.

By the way, I heard the fairy visits houses any time after Halloween so you may want to see if she's heading to your neighborhood soon.


Make Your Own Weather Wheel

This sweet activity was requested by a few of our members and comes from our October Preschool/Kindergarten Ebook

If you make one, please share it with us. We have many ways for you to share with our community: Our Blog, Facebook Page, Discussion Group and by tagging us on Instagram!

Creating a Weather Chart or Weather Wheel
Supplies Needed:
Large Piece of Cardboard
Cardboard to Cut Out Arrows
Watercolor Pencils/Markers

This is a wonderful time of year to introduce a Weather Wheel or Weather Chart to your circle time. Children will delight in looking out the window each morning to determine what type of weather is in store for the day. You can create your Weather Chart with cardboard, watercolor pencils, moving arrows (by using a brad to attach), colorful circles in the center and a drawing of the Sun, Rain, Snow and Clouds. Get creative and allow your children to participate in the process. You may like to add two arrows for those days that the weather is more than one element. Hang your chart with raffia and a stick found on your nature walk that day and keep it on the wall where you do circle time each morning.  Be sure to use your chart as you do your morning blessing which signifies what the weather is each day.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Leaf Laminating in Autumn

This time of year in New England is a dream for those of us who love to do nature crafts with the children. 

 One really fun way to display the beauty of autumn is to collect pretty leaves and flowers you find on a nature walk and preserve them to hang in a window. 
I happen to have a heat laminator which makes this job much more easy. We simply lay out our nature display and put it through our laminator. It is so much fun to see it move through slowly and come out the other end like a piece of artwork.
Another wonderful option is to use wax paper and a hot iron.  Simply put your leaves between two pieces of wax paper, lay a cloth or towel over it and gently iron until they stick together. 

Can you identify the leaves we found? 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

5 Ways to Celebrate the Full Hunter's Moon Tonight!

The Full Hunter's Moon will arrive tonight and it's a magical time. It may seems silly to celebrate the full moon but what a lovely way to teach reverence and awe for our universe and the miracle of each day and night. Here are some fun ways to celebrate this October Hunter's Moon with your children:

1. Share Verses and Songs:

Moonlight Verse

When the moon is big and bright,
It makes the bedroom floor look white;
And outside where the tall trees grow,
It makes the ground look white as snow.

The Huntsman Circle Movement Song

The huntsman through the greenwood came,
His heart was bent on finding game;
He wandered here, he wandered there,
He wandered here, he wandered there,
A hunting, A hunting, A hunting through the greenwood fair.

His faithful hound was by his side,
They searched the greenwood far and wide;
The hound was keen,
The hunter fine,
The hound was keen
The hunter fine,
Together, together, A hunting through the long, bright night.

The Moon
The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.
2. Take a Full Moon Hike

Take a full moon hike. Bundle up, bring flashlights and go on a walk in the moonlight. Be sure to take time to be still and look up at the moonlit sky. The Orionid meteor shower is still lingering from this past weekend and you may even catch a shooting star or two if you look closely! 

3. Make Crescent Moon Bread

4. Learn About the Moon Phases

Take time to teach your children about the different moon phases:

New Moon
Waxing Crescent
First Quarter
Waxing Gibbons
Full Moon 
Waning Gibbons
Last Quarter 
Waning Crescent

Think of fun ways to introduce this like:

5. Make a Moon Phase Mobile

We were lucky enough to have some old scrapbooking tools to help us cut our circles out of black cardstock as well as a fun star cutter but you can simply trace circles out, cut them out and use a white crayon to make the moon shapes.

We got a little creative and cut out the black circles that were left over to use as little "frames" and cut and glue on our center black punch out circles (with stars) to create the moon phase with empty space. 


Monday, October 22, 2018

October, November & December 2018 Caregiver's Calendar Bundle - ONLY $5

The December 2018 Caregiver's Calendar is ready... BUT we have a special treat for you! We've bundled up the October, November and December 2018 Caregiver's Calendars for ONLY $5 for ALL THREE! 

Finish out 2018 with all the important dates, festival celebrations, colors/grains for the day, full moon dates and a daily inspirational idea and suggestion for each day of the year inspired by Waldorf education. These calendars are a wonderful peek into Little Acorn Learning's ideas and philosophy and will help you create a more peaceful and mindful home or school!

So You Can't Afford a Waldorf School...

 (photos from my Kindergarten classroom where I used to teach at my local Waldorf school)

But what can you do? 

~ You can create a healthy rhythm to each day your children live within your home.

~ You can keep the television and radio off while you are living, loving and creating together.

~ You can choose a select few open-ended toys, a special doll and playthings made from natural materials... keeping electronic, battery operated toys and video games to a minimum - if at all.

~ You can sing and make up stories together.

~ You can do your schoolwork outside on the deck and incorporate artistic methods for practicing and learning.

~ You can focus on all you CAN provide and remember how very lucky you and your children already are.

~ You can remember that the study of Anthroposophy was never meant to be only for the rich... that anyone who longs and strives to know more about the layers of the Self and the Universe around them is welcome to seek and find their own truth REGARDLESS of the educational model they choose for their children. It is not a club. It is for all to enter...Welcome.

~ You can cherish your role as caregiver, homemaker and Your Child's Very First Teacher as a spiritual task and sacred work to be done and set a beautiful example for your children as you do so.

~ You can choose to live within this world on YOUR terms, protecting what you hold to be sacred and true for your family. It is OK to say NO to what seems the rest of the world is doing but feels wrong for you... in doing so, you set the stage for others to follow - and will soon see that there are many more parents like you than you originally thought and you will find your clan wherever you are.

~ You can take care of your own health, interests, desires and creative energies first and be whole and complete to be the amazing parent you long to be for your children.

~ You can accept the fact that we cannot create a perfect world or scenario for ourselves or our children as much as we try. This world is imperfect and so are we. BUT we can work with what we have to create a BEAUTIFUL and FULL existence while we are here. There is beauty in diversity, embrace the world for what it is.

~ You can celebrate the Festivals and Holidays with song, crafting, recipes and community... creating memories and traditions that your children will carry with them forever.

~ You can choose natural fibers when dressing your children and always remember the importance of warmth.

~ You can be an advocate for all children in your community, your school and home and speak up to help create the change you hope to see in our world.

~ You can slow down... pass on a few after school classes, keep your weekends open and pull out a bunch of board games or go on a hike instead.

~ You can teach your children to appreciate creativity... to use their hands even when not using them may be easier... to knit.. to sew... to cook from scratch.

~ You can keep a seasonal table in your home and encourage your children to add to it with the changing seasons and festivals.

~ You can approach learning, homework or study more holistically - practicing multiplication by using rhythm sticks or sharing fairy tales that incorporate spelling words.

~ You can encourage and inspire your children's teachers and board of education with articles, suggestions, example and ideas.

~ You can volunteer to teach your children's class how to knit.

~ You can host advent spirals, lantern walks and other celebrations for your community or school.

~ You can light a candle and say a sweet blessing at mealtimes.

~ You can have special afternoon for beeswax play, another for watercolor painting, another for baking and so on...

~ You can spend a good amount of your time outdoors with your children.

~ You can remember that the World is ultimately GOOD and seek to find the goodness in all you do and wherever you are. Look for the beauty. It is there. 

~ You can be proud to be a Waldorf Afterschooler or Waldorf Homeschooler.

~ Oh! And a shameless little plug... you CAN use our Afterschooling Enrichment Program or other Little Acorn Learning guides to supplement your child's education AND you can joint our Waldorf Afterschoolers Facebook Group for support!

Good luck on your journey - whatever it may be.

I'd love to add to this list - please feel free to do so in the comments section below...

With love.

Eileen is a former Waldorf Early Childhood teacher, work at home mother and the owner and publisher of Little Acorn Learning. The Little Acorn Learning guides have captured the hearts of caregivers and children all over the world. Based on seasonal themes and festivals, Little Acorn Learning inspires a love of nature and the home arts while supporting the caregiver's soul. Be sure to join the mailing list to receive special offers, FREE lessons, verses, songs, recipes and much more each month right in your inbox. And please follow Little Acorn Learning on Facebook and Instagram to continue to be inspired in your work with children.