‘Making the Children’s Year’……our review

 

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Making the Children’s Year

Seasonal Waldorf Crafts with Children

by Marije Rowling

Published by Hawthorn Press

 

We have (and love!) the previous version of this book  ‘The Children’s Year’. It was one of the first craft books we purchased when we first discovered Waldorf, and it has facilitated many a making session.  I was delighted to see that an update was coming, and our lovely friends at Hawthorn Press offered to send us a copy for review

This volume ‘Making the Children’s Year’ is an updated version of the previous book, put together by Marije Rowling (one of the original authors of the previous edition) It offers a brand new layout and more information for each season, including a very inspiring piece on colour throughout the year, the nature table, information on craft materials and where to source them, tips and abbreviations for sewing and knitting, information on fabric dyeing, pattern tips for tracing and transferring and much more. 

There’s a wealth of seasonal offerings within these pages, things to make for outdoor play, indoor play, cards, nature crafts, lanterns, decorations, dolls and doll’s clothes, children’s clothing and accessories and more.

I  especially like the knitting patterns because knitting is my favourite craft. I have previously made the mittens, hat and jumper from this book, actually, the first jumper I ever knitted was the one in this book, thanks to the easy to understand, yet thorough pattern instructions. Imagine my delight when I discovered that such well loved, familiar patterns now have beautiful colour illustrations! 

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Of course I paged through to the autumn portion first, because its my favourite season, and also because we are currently gearing up to begin Kindergarten again this autumn so this is perfect timing for some extra autumn craft inspiration. Much is included for festival crafts, as well as some lovely ideas for gifts and little play figures and even some creative and beautiful storage solutions. The Bundles delighted in looking at the illustrations and telling me which things we should have a go at making (so, basically everything!)

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This book is accessible for both those who are already crafty and seeking seasonal inspiration, and equally for those who would like to learn.  There are patterns offered for adults, older children and younger children, and the illustrations are captivating to all!  It is an Invaluable resource for Waldorf home educators, indeed for anyone wishing to bring rich, seasonal crafts to their family, group or community. 

Bringing seasonal delight and a reminder of the importance of creativity and handwork, this book is a real treasure and we most definitely recommend it!

Our friends at Hawthorn Press are so excited about this title that they have made it available early! Order your copy here 

 

‘Findus Rules the Roost’ by Sven Nordqvist……a review

Our friends at Hawthorn Press kindly sent us the latest Findus and Pettson book! Find out what we thought as we share our review of ‘Findus Rules the Roost’ 

 

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Farmer Pettson has a surprise for his hens, a proud and very handsome Cockerel! The hens are thrilled, but Findus the cat is less than impressed by this noisy new addition to the farm. The rooster is spoiling all of his fun, the hens are no longer interested in playing, the rooster has taken to chasing him and can give a nasty peck, and the noise is simply too much to bear. 

It’s time for a plan, Findus sets to work on a cunning trick to get rid of the pesky cockerel once and for all…but will his plan work?

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We were excited to read this latest story, having read many of the other titles in the series we knew we were in for a treat and we were certainly not disappointed. Findus Rules the Roost is beautifully written, warm and humorous. Both Bundles thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story and pausing to explore and appreciate the stunning illustrations, in which there are many delightful details and characters to be discovered. It is already becoming a firm favourite in our spring book box.

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If you haven’t met Findus and Pettson yet, what are you waiting for? And for those of you who know the characters well,  this story will make a great addition to your collection. 

‘Findus Rules the Roost’ is the tenth book in the Findus and Pettson series to be published by Hawthorn Press. Find it, and all of the others here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘All Year Round’……our review

This week we received another lovely package from our friends at Hawthorn Press Inside were two beautiful books, the first of which I am happy to share our review of today……

 

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All Year Round is a fantastic resource for families with young children, particularly those following a Steiner/Waldorf approach, and for those who wish to find out more about festivals and traditions and find inspiration from the plentiful craft suggestions.

I am busy putting together plans for our winter festivals and crafts and so I am beginning with the winter portion of the book……

 

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We have a couple of the other titles in the Festival Series and I am always delighted by the illustrations and little verses included for each season. These illustrations are evident throughout the book, depicting seasonal treasures and craft instruction visuals.

The chapter begins by talking about winter, which really sets the mood. This magical introduction  is followed by a list sharing a selection of winter festivals and their dates (this list is not exhaustive, there are many other winter festivals and the book deals with those personally chosen by the authors) and some ideas for creating a winter seasonal table.

The authors then lead us through the selected festivals and celebrations, sharing their origins and talking about the ‘mood’ of each one. There are then plentiful suggestions for crafts and activities offered, suitable for families, adults, children and groups of children. There are some really beautiful suggestions here! There are also ideas given for putting on little family shows, along with verses and the words and music provided for some seasonal singing.

 

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We are delighted with this book! I particularly enjoyed the portions detailing the origins of the festivals and celebrations,I have learned a great deal through reading about, for example, the origins of Father Christmas and Santa Claus, something we are really thinking about this year as we work to keep that sense of magic and wonder without becoming confused by commercialism and unnecessary embelishments. There is much scope here for putting your own family’s stamp on such festivals……

We will be sharing some winter activity ideas at our home ed groups, as well as getting stuck in to some seasonal crafting at home, why not try some with your family this winter?

 

Find your copy here 

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Form Drawing and Colouring, For Fun, Healing and Wellbeing….a review

Our lovely friends at Hawthorn Press sent us this new title for review and we have been having lots of fun playing with it!

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Form Drawing and Colouring For Fun, Healing and Wellbeing

Fourfold patterns for Harmonising Body and Soul

by Angela Lord

This new title is a refreshingly different take on the ‘adult colouring book’ and mindfulness theme. Form drawing is a very important part of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum and holds a magical appeal for both children and parents alike so it’s great to see a form drawing colouring book just for us grown ups ‘for Fun, Healing and Wellbeing’, encouraging us to slow down and enjoy a focused, relaxing yet will building activity.

Inside the book you will find a wealth of ‘fourfold patterns of increasing challenge and complexity’ which you can work through at your own pace, plenty of freedom to experiment and choose from a bit of relaxing drawing to something more taxing and involving a higher level of focus and concentration.

There is a handy introduction section and ‘how to use this book ‘ guide at the beginning of the book which we found very informative, part of this is written in a ‘question and answer’ fashion which is engaging and fun, an especially nice touch for someone in need of some healing and wellbeing to have a friendly voice there on the page.

So, us grown ups had a go at some form drawing, and it really is great fun. We used some of Bundle Number One’s special Kindergarten colouring pencils which were ideal for this, but you can use any coloured pencils of your own choosing.

These forms drawings are a fantastic will building exercise, and give a great sense of  achievement as there is plenty of space to get them a little wrong and then try again and improve.  Do take note of the title though, and allow yourself the space to give this your full attention. Do not try this while there are little ones around, its distracting. In fact, if you look closely at the drawings you can actually see wobbles where said distractions occured! Definitely keep this one for a quiet evening with a nice hot drink, and now that the nights are drawing in its an ideal activity to sit and immerse yourself in for a while

A few of the forms were a teeny bit tricky to follow due to the inside page creases but this was easily solved by my not being so precious about book spines, yes I am one of those people who like to keep books in pristine condition but this one needs and wants to be used 😉 

 We would definitely recommend giving this new book a try, and it also makes a lovely gift for anyone you know who is in need of something just for them, ‘for Fun, Healing and Wellbeing’.

So go on, find a copy here , wrap it up with a pack of new coloured pencils and make somebody smile 🙂

History Through Stories, our review…..

History Through Stories

Teaching Primary History with Storytelling

Chris SmithPhD, Adam Guilain and Nanette Noonan

Published by Hawthorn Press

 

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We were offered the opportunity to review the latest title in the Storytelling Schools Series which we have been following and reviewing since the first book in the series was published. This one is published on August 1st 2016 so we were very excited to have a preview!

 

This book focuses on History, which we won’t be covering for a while yet with The Bundles as we are taking a relaxed approach to academics until age 7. It does, however provide an ideal opportunity for me to get refreshed on all things History in order to bring it to them when we are ready!

I really like the storytelling approach to teaching, I’m a big story fan and I think this approach really engages children and brings the learning to life. If you are unfamiliar with the Storytelling Schools approach, this book has the first chapter dedicated to explaining the approach and a guide on how to use the book.

Each chapter in the book focuses on a different historical time/event and comes complete with a story, tips on telling the story, songs, ideas for ‘Ways to Work with the Story’ and extensive information on other areas of the curriculum that can be linked to the story.

This is a fantastic new resource which I would highly recommend to other families, it’s certainly an invaluable one for the home ed bookshelf. You can get your copy here  🙂

 

 

Findus goes Fishing…..a review

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Findus goes Fishing

Written by Sven Nordqvist

Published by Hawthorn Press

‘Oh, what a day. I don’t feel like doing anything.’ ….. 

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It’s a grey Autumn day and Farmer Pettson is not in a good mood.  Findus, however is full of enthusiasm for the day and wants to play all day, he is less than impressed when Pettson tells him that, although he doesn’t want to do anything, there are still plenty of chores to be done.

Hilarity ensuses as Findus tries every way he knows how to cheer up his friend, until farmer Pettson finally snaps and gets angry. The only idea Findus has left is fishing, that’s sure to help…or is it?

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This story is slightly different to the others in the series as we see Farmer Pettson at his grumpiest, something which amused Bundle Number One greatly, as did Findus’ hilarious attempts to cheer his friend up. The story  holds a powerful message as Pettson begins to see the day through fresh eyes and appreciates the beauty around him. A must read for Findus and Pettson fans and for those who have not discovered them yet 🙂

Findus goes Fishing is a brand new story in the Findus and Pettson series and is available from 1st May 2016, so why not give yourself a May bank holiday treat and grab your copy here 

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Creative Form Drawing with children aged 6-10 years Workbook 1

We were sent this brand new publication by our friends at Hawthorn Press. We are learning all about form drawing in readiness for Bundle Number One’s home education so we were very happy to be given the opportunity to review this book.

 

Creative Form Drawing 

with children aged 6-10 years

Workbook 1

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by Angela Lord

Published by Hawthorn Press

What is Form Drawing?

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, form drawing was introduced as an important part of the Steiner/Waldorf curriculum by Rudolf Steiner. Form drawing supports the child’s learning process by integrating several senses while keeping the lesson alive and meaningful to the child, fully addressing ‘thinking, feeling and willing’. Form Drawing is introduced in First Grade in Steiner/Waldorf schools.

Bundle Number One is about to reach his 5th birthday and so we are not actually ready for form drawing yet, rather we are reading and researching in order to bring form drawing to him at the appropriate age. 

What is included in the book?

Within this large, hardback volume, you will find a detailed introduction to form drawing along with an explanation on how to use the book and information on teaching methods. There is plenty here to ensure that even those with no prior knowledge of form drawing will feel ready to have a go.

 

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The main body of the book is split into three sections; Class one 6-7 years old, Class Two 7-8 years old, and Class Three 9-10 years old. Each section introduces and explains the appropriate forms it’s age group fully supported by  plenty of colourful illustrations.

 

What did we think of the book?

As I have already mentioned, we are not at the form drawing stage yet with Bundle Number One, but we found this book to be an excellent resource in our own quest to understand the concept. We will be using the book to familiarise ourselves with, and practice the forms for Class One so that we are confident in bringing them to him when he is ready (and he was very interested to have a look at the forms and see what he has to look forward to!) I would highly recommend Creative Form Drawing with aged children 6-10 years, Workbook 1 to other home educating families, especially those interested in Steiner/Waldorf education.

 

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Creative Form Drawing with children aged 10-12 years, Workbook Two is due for publication in April 2016