Apple Day at Darlene's - Livin' the Good Life
Oct. 18th, 2009
01:20 pm - Apple Day at Darlene's
"Apple Day at Darlene's" was a success! I've been planning it ever since the little girls' tea party I wrote about last month. My main purpose, other than providing some enjoyment for the 3 and 4 year old girls in our group, was to demonstrate for the moms ways of doing things that are Waldorf-inspired. I had such fun doing that with my boys when they were young, and I'm reliving some of that style of fun now. I particularly want to work with girls because it is such a novelty for me, and I really love to do "girlie" things in girlie ways! It was something I missed out on completely while raising my boys. One thing I do like about Waldorf, though, is that it emphasizes that both sexes should learn to sew and knit and crochet. They are all useful skills in themselves, but they also prepare children to use their fingers and hands for things like writing and other important tasks that require fine-muscle coordination and control later on.
I did a lot of studying of the Waldorf method 30 years ago when Ely was first homeschooling, and then I went even deeper 20 years ago when my friend Debbie and I started a Waldorf-inspired playgroup for our three year olds. I believe my little Ben benefited from the efforts of all us moms working together to create a sensitive, intentional, and meaningful experience for our little ones.
So, "Apple Day" began with me telling a story called "The Little Red House with No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside". It's a riddle, and the answer is: an apple. The children were good listeners
After the story, each child took their place at the table
and had their attentive moms (and one father, who was so sweet and patient with his daughter) cut the apple that each had brought from home crosswise to see if THEIR apples had stars in them. And, of course, they all did. From there, they put on their aprons, and I provided each of them with a "cook's hat" that I had made (simply because I thought they'd all be so adorable, and they were!)
Here's one adorable model:
and they all busily got to work cutting up their apples. I loved how diligently they all cut those apples to bits! And then they were delighted with the apple coring "machine" I had set up outside, and each of them took a turn at the crank. While I cooked the apples into applesauce, they each got out their rolling pins and enthusiastically rolled out their portion of pie dough I had ready for them. After each pie crust had been flattened to its little cook's satisfaction, and made surprisingly round
the girls spooned on the lightly-steamed applesauce and brought the sides up around the pile of sauce, squeezing and pinching the sides together. They initialed their creations, and I popped them into the oven while each girl washed her pie-making equipment (a few aprons got washed too, I discovered later.) Some moms and I prettied up the table with a fresh tablecloth and flowers, while the girls went off to the living room for some games. We played the now-traditional Row, Row, Row Your Boat where we swing them in a long cloth like a hammock... and of course we played Ring Around the Rosie. The new one I introduced was Caterpiller. Here's a photo of it:
The girls lie face down in a line and the girl on one end rolls herself over the other girls. This picture captures the legs of one girl as she's in the process of taking her bumpy ride across the backs of the others. You have to not mind momentarily squishing your body against other bodies to play this game. It was a little too intense for a few of the girls. But the others seemed to really enjoy it. I'll try it again next time, and maybe the others will be ready for it by then. I wonder if boys would like this game better?
After the games, we dished up the extra applesauce and the girls ate it along with some iced-peppermint tea.
After that, they washed their dishes, then went off home with their warm, hand-made pastry creations in little paper bags... and I promptly took a nap!
The video below was shot and edited by Maya. (Thanks, Maya!!!) She compiled short clips of most of the activities, just to get the overall feel of the day. I think she did a great job!
Why do I do this, you might ask? Just look at the faces of those girls!