Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day!!!! 

above all, plan for your regular, healthy rhythm of snacks, naps, meals, indoor outdoor and bedtime.

Activities within that rhythm:

Bake something (or cook something)
covers two bases—activity and snack!
Simple whole wheat rolls(recipe at the end) that can me kneaded, rolled into balls, snails, snow-people, etc... if you have a young toddler, you may need to do the bulk of this with them helping or playing with spoons and containers near-by. Also, you can cut veggies for a soup-- give your toddler a cutting board and butter knife to help cut soft things.

Make something
craft craft craft. Here are two ideas from Carol Petrash's book Earthways:
  • Try an orange and clove 'pompador' – putting cloves into an orange then hanging it with ribbon—it will dry and smell wonderfully! --you need to make starter wholes for the cloves with a nail, a bamboo kabob stick or something you might discover works well.
  • Make bird feeders-- slather pine cones with peanut or soy nut butter, then roll in birdseed, sunflower seeds … hang on a tree outside.

Clean something
Seriously—you and I may know cleaning is a chore, but they dont yet—lets not spoil it for them! Washing dishes is warm, bubbly, watery, and feeds the senses! Either turn a chair so the back is to the sink so they can stand up with you and help wash, or put a few towels on the kitchen floor with dish tubs and sihes for the to wash while you are at the sink.
Try putting socks on their hands to dust the base molding—or table legs
polish wooden bowls and cutting boards with a beeswax polish, or oil them with mineral oil.

Leave them alone
As long as you're toddler proofed and not too far away, give the some space/time for free play. This usually only works if we adults decide to do some 'real work' (not talking on the phone or working on the computer) like cooking folding laundry, sewing, making something, repairing a broken piece of get the idea.

Go Outside!
Suit them up – and yourself too and go out into the winter wonderland! Hang your bird feeder, take a snow walk (you may not get far as there may be so much to see and do). Make snow angels, if there is enough snow, roll some balls and create something. Shovel /sweep snow off of a sidewalk or your car—give your toddler a tool with which to help. Catch snow flakes on your tongue...... get rosy cheeked and tired, then come back in for warm soup.....

Turn off screens, Slow down, be present, breathe.....

Recipe for whole wheat rolls:

1-2 Tablespoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups warm water
2 cups whole spelt flour (or whole wheat)
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. olive oil
4-6 cups combined white and whole spelt (or wheat)
1 teaspoon salt added with this flour.
Mix together the first 3 ingredients and let stand until bubbly. Mix in the 2 cups flour and let that get spongy.

Mix in the oil, honey and remaining flour (with the salt) one cup at a time until the dough is stiff enough to turn onto your work surface. (flour on work surface) Knead in some more flour until it’s not sticky then cut small pieces to shape into balls. put on baking sheet. Cover with a dish towel and let rise. While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 350. When they have doubled, bake for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Move Baby Move

I recently attended a workshop given by Sharifa Oppenheimer at Acorn Hill . The topic was brain development, and she said over and over how important free movement is for brain development. One particular comment really struck me: “Movement is how we know ourselves”.
Free, self initiated movement is how babies integrate sensory information, it's how they get to know themselves in space, and how they find their own balance. Movement is how they learn. “In the course of her motor development, a baby does not only learn how to turn over onto her belly, to roll over, crawl, sit , stand and walk, she also learns how to learn. She learns to tackle something on her own, to take interest in something, to try something out, to experiment. She learns to overcome difficulties. She experiences the joy and the satisfaction that comes with success, the result of her patience and perseverence.--Emmi Pikler 

Can we “trust the wise infant” enough to allow her to struggle to roll to her side, to her tummy, reverse it, come to her knees, crawl, come to sitting on her own, come to the vertical on her own—as Magda Gerber said-“in her own time, in her own way”?
Rudolf Steiner, founder of waldorf education also advocated free movement:“We should leave every thing to the child. Of the child's own accord she will raise herself in to an upright position when the time comes. “ --Rudolf Steiner
If we can give our baby this gift of free movement (within a secure relationship), she not only builds neural pathways, integrates sensory information and primitive reflexes, she gets to know herself. She gets to have an experience of herself inside her body. She feels a sense of core self, and a sense of self agency.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Warm and Gentle Welcome: A workshop for expecting parents.   March 7th 1-4 at Acorn Hill  link to flyer

Come join me and Kate Miller for a Workshop on March 7th 1-4pm at Acorn Hill
Mamas $45, couples $70.
  1. Learn ways to promote a more peaceful, stress free pregnancy.
  2. Discover how to create a warm and gentle birth experience with your birth team.
  3. Prepare yourself for the tender time of the fourth trimester and honoring the threshold of motherhood.
  4. Receive tools that facilitate bonding and attachment through the activities of routine caregiving.
  5. Understand the natural movement development of infants.
  6. Find out what infant carriers, carseats and strollers are most beneficial for your infant’s intellectual and kinesthetic development.
  7. Discover ways of trusting in yourself and wise infant.
  8. This workshop will include imaginative and practical exercises, videos, lecture and discussion.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Announcing my Spring Classes Waldorf/RIE parent infant and toddler classes in the DC Metro Area:

Learn practical and profound approaches to parenting infants and toddlers. Trust yourself and your child's natural development. Attuning to your baby or toddler through mindful observation and sensitive caregiving will foster a healthy sense of well being and confidence in your child. (and yourself!)Come join us to learn how…

Silver Spring MD
Acorn Hill 

Parent Infant I--infants 6 weeks to creeping and a parent
Thursdays 11:30-12:45

Parent Infant II --infants from crawling to confident walking (approx. 9 mo. to 16 mo.) and parent
Fridays 11:30-1:00

Parent Toddler--Confident walkers (approx 14 months  to 2 years 3 months)and a parent
Either Thursdays or Fridays 9:00 -- 11:00
MARCH 5/6 TO MAY 14/15

Bethesda MD
Washington Waldorf School

Parent Infant (Moon Garden) Infants 6 weeks to crawling 
Tuesdays 11:00-12:15
FEB. 24 TO MARCH 30 (6 WEEKS)session one
April 14-19 session two

Parent Toddler (Star Garden) 10 months to 2 years and parent
Tuesdays or Wednesdays
FEB. 24/25 TO MAY 19/20

Arlington VA
Potomac Crescent Waldorf School 

Parent Infant 6 weeks to creeping
 Wednesdays APRIL 15-MAY 20