Waldorf Curriculum HOME

Curriculum for
the Preschool Years


April 2006


April project list:

  • Easter:
    April 16
    The Easter Craft Book
    living Easter basket
    (gift for Grammy & Papa)
    Easter decorations:
    "a knitted hare" for each child
    knitted Easter eggs for the hunt
    dye Easter eggs
    Easter egg hunt
  • set up playroom
  • silk marionettes
  • second playstand
  • curtains for playstands


ARCHIVES

2006

Homeschool Blog

Having tried unsucessfully to get Blogger.com to work for me, I suddenly realized that I can easily create journalling pages linked to my site without extra help. This is a very informal page with my personal notes as to how homeschooling is going for my family. Please feel free to email me with comments. Learn more about my preschool curriculum by visiting the links on my homepage.

Other Waldorf-inspired homeschool blogs you may want to check out include:


April 2006

April 25, 26, 27 - Moving.

April 24 - again, just goofing off here online. Steve is at settlement; I'm waiting for him to call to say that it's all done. tonight I'm getting a copy of the key and I'm going to go over and set up the Happy New House gifts for the kids. once I find out our new mailing address I can start requesting all my catalogues to be transferred over to the new house. we've moved so often in the past year that none of the mail order companies have been able to keep up. the result is that we are in the (I know, somewhat enviable) position of not getting any catalogues in the mail. this is nice but also a hassle. I love to read through catalogues for relaxation -- pick it up, put it down -- and actually kindof miss getting them. as long as it's not too many! plus, we'll be needing things for the new house. I decided to set an arbitrary limit of 25 and then promptly chose 26 so I'll have to take one off the list -- I think it will be The Vermont Country Store. I think 25 is more than enough! I'm putting them here for my own convenience so I can go down the list and click on each one and request a catalogue. I've been carrying this list in my mind for a long time so it will be good to put it down someplace! and it's interesting how many of the company names have stuck in my head, even if it's been several years since I've seen one of their catalogues. I'm putting them in the order they come to mind so it's going to skip around quite a bit -- from home decor to clothing to kid stuff to gardening, etc. here goes:

I absolutely love lists! This way I can type it up and hang it inside the kitchen cabinet which is my mail-sorting spot (a nice place for baskets and the kids can't get into anything). If a catalogue comes which isn't on the list it doesn't go into the Magazines basket; I can just pick up the phone right then and call to say please don't send me your catalogue any more. If I like the catalogue, I scan the list and say, do I like this more than one of the ones I'm currently getting -- cross out the one it is replacing and then cancel that one the next time it comes. this kitchen has so many cabinets that I have to find something to do with all of them!!! and I think a mail-sorting spot is perfect. then once a week I can put on my schedule to go through the Bills basket and pay them and I know where all my casual fun reading is when I get a few minutes to sit on the sofa. as I said, Steve is at settlement right now... keep your fingers crossed, everybody!

* * * * *
ooh, maybe I will have to put some more on the list. I just remembered about Diamond Organics, perfect for gift-giving. a few more cheats: here are the links to some I thought of and discarded... I'll request them all and then make my short list from there. Rosie Hippo's. Victorian Trading Company. Ikea has all their catalogues online which doesn't help me because I like to cut out pages and save them for design ideas. I'm sure you can get them in the mail; I just don't see where to click and request one. I really can't have too many catalogues, though, since we also get magazines. Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, Family Fun, Hobby Farms. I used to get a bunch of crafting magazines and home decorating and parenting ones... for a while I got like 12 a month. Sunset, Southern Living, Crafting Traditions, The Creative Home Arts Club, Parents, and on and on and on. so we cut it down to a much shorter list. too many cooks spoil the broth, as they say. I don't want so much "fun-time" reading piling up that it ceases to be fun! I only want to keep the ones which are really inspirational and enjoyable to read. so there you go. that's everything on my mind right now. I am a blank slate. I am also really really bored... waiting for Steve to call and say he bought this house... waiting... waiting... maybe I'll go have something to eat. you stay classy, San Diego. (that's a quote from Anchorman. we've watched a lot of Will Ferrell movies lately)

* * * * *
it's done! 5 pm and my husband just tossed me a copy of the key and went off in the truck with a bunch of stuff including the children's play kitchen and my box of yarn. you know I wouldn't let my knitting stuff go until the very last minute ;-) so it must be real! I want to say a sincere Thank You to everyone who wrote to express their support. I had so many people say they were praying for me and wishing us the best of luck in this house hunt. it made a tough time better. and now we have a wonderful new home!!!

April 23 - fun new link. the Maryland Faerie Festival which will be held May 20 and 21st. I'll also be going to the Greenbelt Greenman Festival which is the weekend of May 13 and 14th, and I hope to have a vendor table there. A few handmade items have been donated for me to sell at the festival to help raise money for the business. I'm really looking forward to this summer, lots of fun events! settlement on the new house is tomorrow morning. I HOPE!!! I just realized that there's no May project list here. That's because I am a little tired of knitting (just finishing up the zoo toy bag now) and can't decide what to do next. maybe it's time to start my quilt for this year. in a few months it will be time to start making Christmas presents. I have my list all made up of who is getting what so I can pace myself. It's not much, a few knitted and felted fireman hats (from New Knits on the Block) for my nephews, some knitted dishcloths, other stuff... I don't know where my list is. But first things first, a project for me. Once we move and I get my fabric unpacked I can start working on the quilt! It'll be nice for Steve and I to have in the winter when it gets cold and it can be my Happy New House gift for myself. :-) I have one of those quilting calendars from a few years ago where each month is a different quilt and they also include all the patterns and directions with it, so I will just pick one of those and get cracking. oh, here it is. some refrigerator magnets (shaped like mini potholders, totally cute) and a quilted gift for my friend Jenn (the Christmas memories album I tried to make for her last year and ran out of time). I'd like to try some polymer clay things this year. I also really love cross-stitch. and making Christmas ornaments. Usually I sit down and go through my craft magazines and go, I'd like to make that. And then I pick a person to give it to. Or a project immediately makes me thing of someone. I have some cute Halloween ideas banked up, adorable cards where you do your children's footprints in white paint on black paper -- you do them upside down so the toes are at the bottom -- and they look like little ghosts. Also a Halloween wreath from one of my magazines that I think my mother-in-law would love. We can make it and hang it on her door as a surprise. So I'm sure there will be plenty of craft projects in my future. Don't have Christmas present ideas for my children yet but I was saving them for the end. I'm thinking my brother and sister-in-law in July, my nephews in August, my parents, grandparents, and mother-in-law in September, my friend Jenn and her husband in October. that's a good countdown schedule. just a few gifts each month. and then my husband and kids at the end. we do the 12 days of Christmas here so I have plenty of time if projects run late, like Leah's little knitted gnomes from The Gnome Craft Book did last year. so if all that starts in July, I have May and June to begin on the quilt. and I'll be painting and decorating the new house which should be fun, too. I probably will start making a ton of things once we get the new playroom set up; like here I see I've written to build another playstand and make some silk marionettes. I'd like to knit some farm animals too but that will come in the Rhythms unit (life on the farm is one of the rhythms we're studying). also to bring some tree stumps into the playroom and sand the bark off of them. I've always wanted to do that. sanding and finishing with beeswax is part of the Texture unit. can't wait to get those written... I know everyone has been very patient with me! we packed the books all into the truck today. I promise they will be the first thing to be unpacked. last one in, first one out. I picked new beds for the children yesterday so Steve is picking them up and setting them up tomorrow. all we need is a washer and dryer and we're set to move!!!

April 20 - Check This Out!!! customized wall murals (yes, they're vinyl, ie. wallpaper, but who can afford a decorative artist?) -- really nice! they'll do any image you want, any size you want. I am looking around for room inspiration; think I've found it! our new house has a huge blank wall facing you right when you come in that was giving me a nervous twitch, had to cover that wall, but with what? I hate accent walls, and I was thinking maybe a quilt but it's so high-traffic that it would just get dingy (little hands). maybe a mural is the answer. I know this a homeschool blog but right now there's no school so it's just WYSIWYG. and I have to have somewhere to put all these great links so I don't lose them! I started looking for murals because of this great kids' room picture from The Company Store. don't you just love it??? I'm no interior decorator but from what I understand you start by gathering images of rooms you like and then see what their common elements are. so, since I'm looking online, I'll be posting those links as we go along. funny, I never thought I was so girly. but the pastels keep popping up again and again. except when I am looking for grown-up rooms, then it's all dark colors and uber-modern furniture. hmmm, caught between two worlds. aren't we all? :-) ooh, look. Dunnattor Castle. I've been to that one; it's in Scotland, up north by Aberdeen. I used to live there. isn't that a gorgeous picture? I also really like this one. ooh, horses. look at the pretty horses! okay... I've got to get off the computer or I'll be here all day. :-)

* * * * *
it's beautiful outside today. the daffodils are almost over but the azaleas and the dogwood trees just started popping into bloom. so we went from yellow (daffodils, forsythia) to lots of pink! also out are the dandelions and the violets. everywhere you look there is color; it's so lovely. almost time to plan the homeschool money for May. I can't believe how quickly this month has flown by!


list of homeschool expenses for April/May/June:

April 28th - Rhythms unit:

May 5th - Rhythms unit:

May 12th - Texture unit:

May 19th - Texture unit:

May 26th - 1st Grade:

  • Bob & Nancy's Bookshop order:
    Creative Form Drawing Workbook 1 - Kutzli $30.00
    A First Book of Knitting for Children & Knitting for Children, A Second Book $53.90
    Path of Discovery, Volume 4 - Grade 4 $18.00
    Path of Discovery, Volume 6 - Grade 6 $18.00

June 2nd - 1st Grade:

  • A Child's Dream Come True order:
    LMNOP Alphabet Wall Cards $29.95
    Puck the Gnome $14.00
    The Wind Boy $12.00
    The House Above the Trees $12.00
    Liputto $16.00

June 9th - 1st Grade:

June 16th - 1st Grade:

  • Bob & Nancy's Bookshop order:
    The Wise Enchanter $15.00
    Eurythmy for the Elementary Grades $10.00
    Leaving Room for the Angels $14.00
    Come Unto These Yellow Sands $27.95
    Allegro: Music for the Eurythmy Curriculum $12.00
    The Healing Art of Eurythmy $30.00

June 23rd - 1st Grade:

  • AWSNA Bookshop order:
    An English Manual by Dorothy Harrer $12.00
    Teaching Language Arts in the Rudolf Steiner School $15.00
    Difficult Children: There is No Such Thing $16.50
    Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum $33.95
    Curriculum Chart (large) $14.50

June 30th - 1st Grade:

  • Bob & Nancy's Bookshop order:
    Painting in Waldorf Education $17.00
    The Temperaments and the Arts $14.00
    Mathematics Around Us $27.00
    The Wonderful Adventures of Nils $10.95

  • Michaelmas Press order:
    The Waldorf Student Reading List $8.95
  • Hearthsong order:
    Alphabet Spelling Game $14.95

April 19 - sometimes I forget about the library as a resource. I just requested a copy of Kids Knitting. they're quick, too, usually I get the call that my book is in in about 2 days. yesterday sucked. Natalie's clay class was cancelled -- she was the only one who signed up -- and I didn't find out in time and drove her all the way to Annapolis. we don't have an answering machine so they weren't able to get in touch with me. and here I'm thinking I spend all day stuck at home, but apparently that's not true. so it's nice to know that I'm out and about more than I think I am. so far no obstacles to us buying this house so I'm actually going to have to start packing soon. we did a huge first round and then it all just ground to a halt. but it looks like the heaps of stuff in my bedroom (the only child-free place) will shortly be out the door. that'll be nice. I am going to go furniture shopping this Saturday and pick what I want (we don't need a ton of stuff to move in but beds and mattresses for the kids is kindof a necessity!) and then the settlement is Monday. Steve's going to tile the laundry room floor (the only thing we need to do to the house, it's all freshly painted, hurrah!) and then we start to move furniture in. I'm hoping we can be in, at least roughly, the last weekend in April so that May Day I can start working again with a new newsletter topic. we were already scheduled to start the Rhythms unit May 15th so that can come out on time. I'll just release Texture and Rhythms simultaneously. we'll do Texture first and then Rhythms as our summer unit because N is too little to start the kindergarten "Around the World" curriculum. so we'll run late and do T & R as spring/summer instead of spring/spring and then in the fall Leah will be ready to start school so we'll do the First Year units again with her on board. then next summer Natalie will be five and can go off and start with Europe and Leah can do the preschool program units along with Rebecca -- next fall (2007) will be the first time I'll have kids in two different grade levels so that'll be interesting juggling that. Rebecca is one year behind Leah age-wise so instead of having her do the second year with Leah and then the first year by herself, which is silly, I'll have Leah redo the first year and Becca can be onboard. then they can both do the second year of preschool while Natalie starts first grade. the units are so open ended that you can easily repeat them and get something different the second time, just because you're older. and we can mix in the newsletter topics to keep some variety. should be fun! I'm glad we're moving now so that I can be all established in the new house before homeschooling gets more complicated (ie. more than one child). I don't know how people can teach and move at the same time; I know lots of families who've done it. my kids are young enough that we can just take a break and start back up again after we're settled but I'm sure you can't do that with kids who are supposed to be following a schedule and are supervised by home visits from the Board of Education. the next few weeks, homeschool money will be spent on the last few things I need for the Rhythms unit and then I can write it (hurrah!) and get started (double-hurrah!). I'm thinking that the housewarming party for the new house will actually be a yard-warming party (is there such a thing? I thought it was a great idea! we have very few plants there, just some dandelions and a bunch of holly trees -- and we don't need anything for the house... but Steve looked at me kindof funny when I suggested it) so that should be fun! everyone can bring something to plant and plant it alongside the kids (I'll have to stock up on kids gardening gloves and tools) and then mark it with the plant name and who brought it (I'm looking for some nice copper plant markers) and then we can have a big picnic outside to enjoy the fruits of our labor (and because we probably won't have a kitchen table yet). as I get closer to that I'll be making some more notes to help me plan. that would be a nice introduction to the Rhythms unit, actually, since the Nature focus is the life cycle of plants, so I'll probably include it in the unit. Hearthsong sells Real Gloves which are real (high-quality) gardening gloves for children. and Nova Natural has a nice gardening tools set. I have to place an order with them anyway since I want to get a birthday ring ornament for myself (to represent our new house, which fell near enough my birthday to count as a gift) and they have a nice little house one. they have a good variety, actually -- I love shopping there -- and I may get some more just for fun. we have no ornaments for Steve at all. my birthday fell on Easter Sunday the year I was born so maybe I'll sneak in a bunny one too. I can use either one for this birthday year, actually, because technically my party was our Easter Egg hunt on Sunday. it was fun, too. the kids all loved their little pails of goodies (the only downside to the metal pails is that when they dropped the eggs in they all cracked) and their ribbon streamers. the adults had fun too. I ended up doing only one knit bunny because I ran out of time but that was OK because I just set it out with the hutch as a new Easter toy and the kids enjoyed it. then there was extra room in the pails for the other gifts people brought. some of the adults brought candy and toys. so it actually worked out perfectly. but, as much as fun as the party was, I prefer to think of my birthday celebration this year as being the new house. how can you top that????

* * * * *
ooh, guess what I found! building plans for a child's wheelbarrow. also something to include in the Rhythms unit. where's my notebook?

* * * * *
killing time, looking around for furniture choices. I found this, in the Ikea catalog (which they conveniently have online -- click the picture for a close-up). wouldn't that be a great office look? I really like it. I'm excited about having a room of my own and I want it to be really cheerful and light so I can be happy and productive. the daybed means I can sit all curled up to read or write and it can double as a guest bedroom. I love the wicker, and the silk canopy (ooh, I can finally have one of my very own -- Jodi Carnes of Nature Kiddos makes custom-designed ones), it's like being outside in a garden! my office room has two big windows looking out onto the back yard and the woods beyond so it would just be perfect. I like everything about this room, the pale blue wallpaper, the little end table, the under-bed storage bins, the pile of comfy throw pillows. hopefully I can make it happen! I'll have to go to the store and get a copy of the bedroom catalog to keep it for inspiration after they take the pictures off the website. it's so funny how things are, though. once I picked an inspiration room I went to look at my color palette to pick the paint colors which match it and realized that nothing even comes close. I loved the Arts & Crafts colors but now that I'm thinking about actual room choices, I see that they are all too dark for me. I think they're also too dark for the kids. I've seen two rooms that I want to recreate (the other is a deep brown master bedroom with simple furnishings and crisp white bedding -- the first one -- so cosy and appealing...) and now I see that the colors I actually like in practice are closer to those in the Victorian color palette. I actually HAD spent most of last night staring at that color palette trying to decide if I liked it and then just shrugged my shoulders and walked away. but here I am back to it today. I think it's more Waldorf-
friendy for the kids' colors, especially Dusky Violet, Antique Pearl, Cinnamon Whip, Victorian Mauve, and Mother Nature. there's the blue I love from the Ikea room, Swan Sea. so I guess this afternoon we'll be going to Home Depot to get a different round of paint chips. I like the exterior colors too. I just do not like the Victorian decorating style. I am definitely not trying to recreate a Victorian house here. I just want someone to hand me a palette and say here, these are your choices. and I go, OK. I really work better with a limited range of options. structure structure structure. so I give myself artificial limits all the time to help me function more effectively. so I won't get all hung up on "but I'm not doing a Victorian house" and just pick the paint chips up and walk out of the store. so there.

April 18 - today is my birthday. it's also the day Natalie starts her art class with her grandma. they're both so excited, it's cute to see. I'm moving my to-buy list for the first grade curriculum over here so that I can start knocking books off of it. Spring is the time when people start clearing off their bookshelves to get ready for next year's curriculum. the waldorfcurriculum-supplies list is really hopping! to keep me focused (although I would love to buy everything) here's my current short list:

Waldorf Without Walls
Form Drawing for the Homeschooling Parent -- DONE
Waldorf Geometry for Homeschoolers Grade 6 $17.00
Waldorf Math Grades 4-8 $4.00
Handwork for Homeschoolers K-4 $17.00

Bob & Nancy's Bookshop
Creative Form Drawing Workbook 1 - Kutzli $30.00
The Write Approach, book 1 -- DONE
The Write Approach, book 2 -- DONE
A First Book of Knitting for Children & Knitting for Children, A Second Book $53.90
Path of Discovery, Volume 4 - Grade 4 $18.00
Path of Discovery, Volume 5 - Grade 5 -- DONE
Path of Discovery, Volume 6 - Grade 6 $18.00
Path of Discovery, Volume 7 - Grade 7 $18.00
Path of Discovery, Volume 8 - Grade 8 $18.00

Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship
About Dynamic Drawing 2.50

A Child's Dream Come True
LMNOP Alphabet Wall Cards $29.95
Puck the Gnome $14.00
The Wind Boy $12.00
The House Above the Trees $12.00
Liputto $16.00

Bob & Nancy's Bookshop
The Wise Enchanter $15.00
Eurythmy for the Elementary Grades $10.00
Leaving Room for the Angels $14.00
Come Unto These Yellow Sands $27.95
Allegro: Music for the Eurythmy Curriculum $12.00
The Healing Art of Eurythmy $30.00

AWSNA Bookshop
An English Manual by Dorothy Harrer $12.00
Teaching Language Arts in the Rudolf Steiner School $15.00
Difficult Children: There is No Such Thing $16.50
Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum $33.95
Curriculum Chart (large) $14.50

Bob & Nancy's Bookshop
Educating the Will $16.00
Painting in Waldorf Education $17.00
Learning About the World Through Modeling $22.00
The Temperaments and the Arts $14.00
Mathematics Around Us $27.00

Michaelmas Press
The Waldorf Student Reading List $8.95

Hearthsong
Alphabet Spelling Game $14.95

Anybody see something on here that they have? I'm happy to swap for something in my library you'd like to read and/or purchase it from you (barter or cash). Please email me!

April 15 - when I walked the dog this morning I saw ant hills for the first time this Spring. so all of you doing the first year of the preschool program, it's time to start preparing for the Insects unit! I love that unit, such neat activities, and starting yoga. fun fun fun. Natalie loved the yoga that we did. soon it will be time to get a kids mat for Leah as well. maybe we can do yoga out on our deck this summer. today is the home inspection so everybody keep your fingers crossed! we're also doing the tissue paper eggs today and the natural dyes from Nova Natural. I have to finish and stuff the knit bunnies, put together the pails of Easter goodies, and bake the bread. I hope tomorrow is a beautiful day for our party; today is supposed to hit 80 degrees!

April 14 - well, I'm not doing everything I want to this Easter (when do I ever fit in all my projects and ideas for a holiday?) so I made a master list which I can use in my planning next year. I think the key is to start early. Here's my new Easter page if you're interested. next year I would really like to do an Easter garden for our Nature table with some of those magical pine cones from All Year Round and the cute pom-pom bunnies from The Easter Craft Book. I'd also like to try some different egg-decorating ideas. I really like the ones with dried flowers and grasses, and the straw and wood shavings designs. Every year I want to buy every March & April home making magazine on the stands because they always have such beautiful decorations pictured on the cover. it's soooo tempting. Easter and Christmas really get me... making all those homemade decorations. and special foods. I really love throwing parties, too.

April 13 - at last! my kids are all napping so I can sit down at the computer. for the past week, they've all been sharing a room (a one year old, a two year old, and a four year old). needless to say, they weren't sleeping at all. either for naps OR at night. so Mom was missing her me-time big time! anyway, the latest news here is that we are still not moved. homeschool is a daily cooking activity, nature walks, play. not a lot of projects since most stuff is packed. tomorrow's homeschool order is the Amazon one I put below with the knitting, crochet, and weaving books I want to preview for future units. we have a contract on a new house; they accepted our offer this morning! this one is much farther away from the Washington Beltway (read: "civilization") so I'll have a harder time getting to the area Waldorf schools for training. and Steve's commute will still be an hour. but it's worth it for what you get for the money, I think. and I am ready to start flying to Sacramento and staying at the youth hostel anyway. it's where all the training is! and I love hostelling it. it's so funny because the new house has the exact same layout as our old house -- Steve was laughing that I liked it because it already feels like home -- but with an added level, a full basement fully finished, and an extra acre of land. it's near a great park which I have loved for years (I grew up in this area) and we are already members to, which does historical reenactments and kid's activities. not to mention that it's the meeting spot for the local Spinners and Weavers Guild. cool! we are right across the street from the park. there are only five houses on our road, so we will have the ability to actually get to know our neighbors. and the schools around here are good (not Waldorf, but the public schools are decent, there are also private schools -- traditional, religious, and some Montessori ones too) just in case I completely burn myself out on homeschooling :-( not a happy thought but you have to consider everything when choosing a location. the best thing is the drive to the house. it's all farms. Natalie can grow up mucking out horse stalls for some extra cash :-) would be the best thing for her. I'm really excited and I hope this house comes through!

April 5 - homeschool orders for Friday:

I decided not to get the mohair knit critters kit collection since I just won't have time before Easter to make each child a knitted hare plus a few knitted Easter eggs for the hunt AND to make the cute animals from the Magic Cabin set. but it's on my wishlist for later (plus the regular yarn knitted critters collection... and the knitting bag, looks like it comes with Beautiful Yarn). my Amazon wishlist right now is all about knitting, too. I'm previewing books to find the absolute best for the first grade curriculum, also to look for weaving books for the Texture unit (Preschool) and crochet books for the second grade curriculum. I'm looking at

I have two families who requested some second grade curriculum so (especially since I hate to crochet) I really have to find some good crochet books for beginners.

* * * * *
here is my complete list of Easter plans. Sunday morning the kids will wake up to a present each. I carefully chose items that were the exact same cost ($12.95) to keep things fair. maybe I'm going to too much trouble, who knows. but my mom always carefully calculated the math on things like that so I guess I will be following in her footsteps. anyway, I placed the gift order from A Toy Garden (really fast shipping!) and chose

then at 10:30 our guests will arrive and the kids will each get a goody basket. everyone gets a Molly Brett tin pail (lots of people are carrying them but they are cheapest if you order directly from Schylling); there are three designs, the lavender fairies, the yellow ducks taking a bath, and the red teddy bears fishing. This is perfect for us since each of my girls can get a different one and the two boy cousins can each have a gender-neutral design (one red, one yellow). inside the pail, each child will have the same gifts:

  • shaker eggs (from Kindermusik, two each)
  • knitted hare (made by me, from The Easter Craft Book)
  • paper balls (two each, one large, one small)
    I got ours from Magic Cabin; A Child's Dream Come True carries them as well
  • rainbow silk streamer (I looked all around, the cheapest price is Nova Natural)

while the kids run around and play with their goodies, I will hide the eggs outside. the girls will be getting together in advance with their grandma to do the egg dyeing (since I can't hard-boil an egg for squat) -- we got the natural egg dyes from Nova Natural for this. last year we made our own natural dyes following Martha Stewart's recipes and, believe me, buying dyes is cheaper. plus it's a real waste of food. it made me sick to throw it all away at the end. maybe if we had a garden it would be different, if we were using what's extra. but that wasn't the situation at our house. that was pefectly good food (and the grocery budget) going down the drain. so we're not doing that again. Nova Natural also carries nice quality Japanese tissue paper so I ordered some in case Betty and the kids want to try dyeing eggs with tissue paper (a link from Karen's Spring Bloomfest). looks like fun! and it will probably be easier for the littler ones, especially Leah. I also got the rabbit hutch from Magic Cabin for the children to play with using their new knitted bunnies. (Magic Cabin also has a knitted bunny kit if you need one; the felt rabbits they sold to go with the hutch are all out of stock. FYI there is no a felt bunny pattern in Feltcraft -- I checked). then we can do our Easter hunt, each child using his or her new tin pail to collect the eggs they find. in addition to the real eggs, there will be some knitted ones which I am making just for fun. after the hunt we'll all have brunch. the location of this party is TBD since we may or may not have moved into our new house by then (the tentative settlement date is April 14th). but I'm hoping to have the party as a "come and get to see our new house" opportunity. the other make-in-advance project we are doing is a live Easter basket (actually a basin) using the wheat grass kit and wash basin from Nova Natural. we'll take that to my grandparents as a gift. should be a nice decoration on their table for Easter and then they can use the basin for something else later on. so here are my Easter to-do lists.

in advance:

  • place orders from Magic Cabin and Kindermusik
  • a "knitted hare" for each child (5)
  • knitted Easter eggs
  • kids dye eggs with Betty (natural dyes, tissue paper)
  • start wheat grass in basin for Grammy & Papa
  • the day before the party, make the Cardamom Wreath recipe with Natalie (from Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2003)
  • plan the rest of the menu, buy food & paper goods

on the day of the party:

  • set out gifts for children before they wake up
  • assemble gift pails for each child
  • set out gift pails, rabbit hutch from Magic Cabin
  • hide Easter eggs for hunt
  • set out food for brunch

April 3 - today for school we made Marshmallow Crispy Squares, using up a bag of large marshmallows (of course, right after I dumped them in the pot I remembered that the reason we had marshmallows on hand was for the celebration of moving into our new house -- N requested that we roast marshmallows in the fireplace -- can't believe I forgot! guess I'm going to have to buy some more...) and using up a box of Barbara's Brown Rice Crisps which no none in our family could stand. so now they are a gooey delicious treat. I always remember that my mom refused to make these because they made such a mess that it just wasn't worth it. I have to agree with her there but Natalie had such a good time that I just had to smile. we discovered that the best way to press them into your 9 x 13 pan is with the tines of a fork. less surface area equals less stickum, I guess. anyone out there doing Geometry with their kids? might be a fun way to introduce surface area! who doesn't love making a mess for "school work". no news on the house front yet, I'll keep you posted. sorry the Texture unit isn't going to be coming out faster, but there's a slim chance that we might be moving this weekend so I have to suck it up and pack everything into boxes. I'll have to write it on the other side. finishing up the Zoo Toy Bag for my MIL is taking all my time right now (her birthday dinner is tomorrow, yikes!) and I am so glad that elephant pocket is done, it was making me nuts to have to stop every four stitches to change colors. it will be so much fun to give to her though and I'll take some pictures before I wrap it and post them on my Knitting page. I'll come back sometime soon with lots of notes and ideas and links for Easter projects. I actually made my Christmas list a few hours ago. if I'm going to do handmade gifts, I need to start early (learned this the hard way!). so maybe there will be some notes about that too.


 
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