Monthly Archives: April 2013

Oral Storytelling With Props

Saint Patrick's Day Story PropsOne component of a Waldorf education that I have really struggled with, is oral storytelling. I have trouble memorizing stories and Dora won’t listen to them if I just read them from a book. The reason that Waldorf educators are so adamant about engaging our children in oral storytelling is that it is believed that this is a natural step in language/literacy acquisition process.Koala Bear Puppets 2So far, I’ve not been too successful with telling my own made-up stories, mostly because Dora begged me for more so soon after I told one story, I just didn’t have enough creative juices in me to satiate her needs. Also, the sad fact is that I have lost a lot of my abilities to tell children’s stories. It is not a skill that I have used much in my adult life, so the process does not come very naturally to me. So, the best compromise that I have found is to use stories from books and just do my best to memorize the story and wing it on my own. In addition, I have found that using props to accompany my story telling, really grabs Dora’s attention. She will often play a game with the props after a story telling session, bouncing off the story. All of the photos included in this post are prop setups I used for one story or another. The Rabbit and the Carrot Story PropsI try to use a variety of props, as I don’t want to fall in to a rut. Props I have used thus far, include Ostenheimer wooden figures, Folkmanis hand puppets, shadow puppets, handmade beeswax props, and other little toys/figures that I make for Dora (needle felted figures, knitted animals, peg dolls, pompon animals, etc.).Shadow Puppets 5What about in your house? Do you have any good story telling props? Have you learned how to tell stories to your children (or did you never forget)?

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Maureen

Labels: Storytelling
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Gratitude Sunday–April 7

Pine Lake 1 - 15Sunday – A gloriously sunny day, heady with the scent of cherry blossoms and daffodils.

Monday – Dora telling me that she was taking pictures with her “Hello Kitty” camera so she could put them on her blog.

Tuesday – After an absolutely horrid day, physically speaking, spending an hour at the local lake/beach really helped to calm my frayed nerves, soothe my senses, and center my being.Pine Lake 2Wednesday – Enjoying a lovely spring evening with Dora exploring downtown, after her gymnastics class.

Thursday – Perfect dental checkups for both Gohan and Dora.

Friday – Going to see The Croogs with Dora and having an unexpectedly good time, laughing hysterically. I think that a good laugh is the best medicine on the planet!

Saturday – The first anemone of the season.

Anenome - 6

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Maureen

Labels: Gratitude Sunday
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Why So Knittin’ Quiet?

Knitted Pony - 3

I know that I’ve been quiet on this blog the last week or so, but I have some excuses (mind you, I don’t promises that they’re good excuses, just that I have some). For one, we’ve been playing hooky. Yes, you read that correctly – we’ve been ditching homeschool. Not really, we just have decided to switch to a year-round schedule with four one-month breaks. This seems to help with burnout for both Gohan and me. Of course, Dora had to join the bandwagon and wanted a “spring break” also. I asked her what she would get a break from and she didn’t have a good answer, she just knew that she wanted spring break too. So I told her that she was on spring break also and she was happy. Then we’ve been a bit busy with this and that, like nice weather, doctor’s appointments, nice weather, dentist appointments, nice weather, gardening projects, and (did I mention?) nice weather. Finally, I decided to knit this pony for Dora, who is obsessed with the My Little Pony show and all of it’s various tawdry merchandise.

I took a knitting class shortly before Dora was born and made a very nice scarf in class, which I never finished off. At the time, I decided that while it was nice enough, knitting wasn’t a hobby that really rocked my world. Fast forward several years and I’ve had to redefine “rock my world” since my body can no longer handle things like martial arts, distance biking, hardcore geocaching, etc. Now, I need to be happy with more sedate activities, which amazingly, I am finding that I can do. I also have become fixated on starting to make more of our clothes, due to the price increases and quality decreases in the clothing industry. (Not to mention, that at the ripe old age of 44, I just don’t fit into clothes like I used to, but I am not ready to throw in the towel and wear granny clothes yet.)

Anyway, I had to start this pony over many, many, many times, because of how much I had forgotten or never learned. In the process, I learned that the lady who taught me to knit, taught me some unnecessarily complicated ways of doing things. So I also had to relearn some things. In addition, I had some problems with me zoning out and doing things like suddenly switching to purl in the middle of a knitting row (if only I could unknit better, I would have saved myself many hours of work!). This project definitely helped me work on my focus and attention span, which did not used to be such a problem, but I guess I am developing some ADHD tendencies as I get older.

The pattern that I used for this pony is from Mam4Earth’s Etsy shop. Fortunately, she also has a Ravelery Group (and a lot of patience). Dora loves the pony! It was actually supposed to be a unicorn, but she said that she just could not wait long enough for me to knit a horn. Now, however, she is begging for me to knit a Rainbow Dash, who is a pegasus, and she says she’s willing to wait for me to knit the wings. Oi vey! What have I started?!?!

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Maureen

Labels: Knitting
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff