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Michaelmas & Fighting Your Inner Dragon

I almost forgot to announce the winner of the Show Me a Story Giveaway! The winner is Rondah. Rondah, you have 48 hours to email me back to claim your prize. Congratulations!! Thank you to everyone who entered!
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Last year I learned about Michaelmas. It is a Christian Festival celebrated at the Waldorf Schools. It is on September 29th each year. In the Catholic Church it is known as the Feast of St. Michael or All Angels Day. For more information on the Catholic Feast visit here.
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Now the Waldorf view of the day is to go with the story of St. George slaying the dragon. There are many versions of the story available on line. Now this gets confusing because we talk about St. George and St. Michael. According to folklore, St. George is the earthly form of St. Michael, the archangel who threw Satan out of heaven. (Source) For a wonderful example of how a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher celebrates with her class check out this wonderful article, Taming the Dragon by Barbara Klocek.

Now to celebrate Michaelmas, we tell some dragon stories.




Some great books are available.Here are a few that we have discovered. I have a few more being sent to my local library for me which hopefully I'll have by Saturday.

  • Baby Dragon by Amy Ehrlich tells the story of a baby dragon whose mother must leave for a day. She promises to be back before morning, but of course the baby dragon gets tired of waiting. After turning down two offers from friends to play or get a snack, he decides to go with the crocodile to look for his mother, but of course the crocodile wants to feed the baby dragon to his own children. The baby dragon has to deal with his own demons and escape. It has a happy ending.
  • The Dragon Nanny by C.L.G. Martin tells of a nanny who has been fired by the king because of her age. As she wanders around upset she ends up disturbing a mother dragon who wants to eat her, but when the nanny sees her baby dragons she offers to take care of them. With several trials she ends up becoming important to the dragons, but when one of the babies becomes captured by the king, the nanny goes to save him. She gets caught and the king begs her to come back. She has a happy ending for everyone.
  • The Princess and The Dragon by Audrey Wood tells the story of a princess who is more like a dragon and a dragon who is more like a princess. They switch places and it makes everyone much happier. I posted activities to go with this book over the summer here.
  • The Sunflower Sword by Mark Sperring tells of a story of a young boy who wants a sword to fight a dragon. His mother gives him a sunflower to pretend is a sword. When the young boy meets a dragon the dragon is so touched that the boy brought him a flower they become friends.
  • Dragon Tooth by Cathryn Falwell tells of a young girl about to lose her first tooth and it is painful while it is in her mouth. Her father wants to pull it out for her, but she is afraid to let him. He refers to it as her dragon tooth which gives her the idea of making a dragon out of the things in the recycle bin. Then she imagines that the dragon is in pain because of a loose tooth and she pulls it out for him which makes him happy and then she lets her father pull her tooth out. (This is a great one for Michaelmas since it shows a girl overcoming her own inner dragon.)
  • A Dragon Moves In by Lisa Falkenstern is a cute story about a rabbit and a hedgehog who happen to picnic on a dragon egg that hatches. They bring the dragon home to live in their house which works well until the baby dragon grows too big for the house and gets stuck. They come up with a solution that works for everyone. This is a great story for young children who may be afraid of some of the other ones. It is a story about friendship and working together.
  • Draw, Model, & Paint Dragons and Prehistoric Monster by Isidro Sanchez has some great crafts to make dragons (as well as dinosaurs) out of clay and other modeling materials. I'm thinking of making some salt dough and making dragons with Hazel on Saturday.
  • Dragon Dancing by Carole Lexa Schaefer is a cute story of imaginative children at school. They are making decorations for a classmates birthday celebration after hearing a story about a dragon and they imagine that they become a dragon who travels the world.
There are some stories available on-line.
I would also like to share a story I wrote called Dragons in Every Day Life. It is about a little boy named George. His father is a dragon slayer and he is a bit shy, but one day he steps up and conquers his fears to help out some friends. Click on the picture of the story below to download it!



Then we will do some dragon crafts. I made this red and yellow dragon for Hazel. I made one for her classroom last year and finally finished the one I promised her. I got the pattern at Rhythm of the Home. I made the green one as a Christmas gift for one of Hazel's pen pals last year. The pattern came from Living Crafts Magazine Fall 2011 issue.


I also found some great coloring pages of dragons at Free Printable Coloring Pages. One of St. George and the Dragon is available at Activity Village.

We will also make dragon bread. I think this year I might use huckabuck bread recipe from school and follow the tutorial on Show Tell Share for the shaping.

I will share more about how we are celebrating Michaelmas tomorrow! Stay tuned!!

Halloween, Dressing Up, Pretend Play, & Friend Picture Books

Disclsoure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe it is already October. That means we need to think about Halloween. Now I have posted in the past how Halloween is not our favorite holiday and how Hazel hates October because of the gory and scary decorations in yards and stores. When Hazel was young we found some Halloween books she loved, but not too many. Today we are going to share two more Halloween books that are fun and two books that involve dressing up, being yourself and being kind and making friends. All of these books are for kids in the age range of 3 to 8. We will start with Skelly's Halloween by David Martin and illustrated by Lori Richmond. 

Michaelmas

Hazel dressed at St. George ready to slay the dragon
September 29th is Michaelmas. If you haven't been following I posted some information about our preparations with dragons and harvest. Last year was the first time we celebrated this holiday, but it is a traditional holiday in the Waldorf education as well as the Catholic Church (though my Catholic husband didn't know about it).

To celebrate we dressed Hazel as St. George with her yellow cape, crown and sword. Traditionally it would be a wooden sword, but we have inflatable ones from a birthday party so we used one of those. I dressed up as the dragon using Hazel's dinosaur costume mask. It was definitely more dinosaur than dragon than I remembered so next year we will make a mask. I also held up the dragon I made her. Steve wanted nothing to do with our re-enactment, but I did get him to take a picture.

We also read the short story of St. George and the dragon from A Book of Dragons by Hosie and Leonard Baskin (Steve did listen to this). Then at bed time I read Sunflower Swords by Mark Sperring and Miriam Latimer and Dragon Tooth by Cathryn Falwell.


Our other big activity was making salt dough dragons and fall decorations. We made three colors of salt dough: green, red, and orange. Then we went outside to get some things to make texture on our ornaments. We used cookie cutters (leaves, acorn, Halloween, and dinosaurs--to be dragons and circle for the textured ornaments). Then in the circle ones we pressed leaves, branches, flowers, acorns, pine cones, etc. to leave texture. Hazel used her own rolling pin and really had a blast doing this. They are still in the oven or should I say the first two trays are, but will come out soon. Oh, and we poked holes in all of them with a straw.

Then we had a lovely dinner. We made huckabuck bread using the recipe from our Parent/Child Waldorf class last year. I shaped it into a dragon bread and sword rolls. This was our favorite part of dinner. We also had Harvest Apple Soup, but I changed the recipe slightly. Then for dessert we had a raspberry tarte from Trader Joe's. It should have been defrosted a bit more, but we enjoyed it. I will share more details about our family dinner on Tuesday for Happy Family Times!

As for today, I am thinking about what inner dragons I can slay. Enjoy!! Happy Michaelmas!

Doll Carriage Re-do

So today, I tackled Hazel's doll carriage. It went from:  

to:

Hazel has a habit of sitting in it herself, so the cheap fabric it came with did not last long. I used the original as a pattern and then doubled up decorator fabric to give it more sturdiness. I reused the clasp but bought on clearance some new webbing--also stronger than the original. Hopefully this one will last.

Some books Hazel and I have been enjoying from the library:
The Sunflower Sword by Mark Speering
The Little Squeegy Bug by Bill Martin, Jr. and Mark Sampson
Moonstruck: the True Story of the Cow Who Jumped Over the Moon by Gennifer Choldenko
Press Here by Herve Tullet