For the past 2 weeks, I have been knitting up a set of barnyard stuffies for W and the playschool children. During the summer, we spend many days at some of our local farms....picnicing, playing, exploring, and meeting some very sweet animals!
|Klein Farm, Pennsylvania|
|Klein Farm, Summer 2010|
In addition to squirrels, rabbits, cats, and dogs, barnyard animals are about to be commonplace for W. I happily aim to introduce playthings that the children can have real life experiences with. For example, an elephant or giraffe generally wouldn't be familiar to a young child. A child sees a squirrel hopping through the yard and birds flying through the sky...they are familiar with their movements, and these animals are very real to them. Really, they're are a part of a child's neighborhood!
To better clarify, I once heard a Waldorf Early Childhood teacher explain the reasoning behind the name "Garden Gate" for a parent-child class..."A young child plays in the garden every morning. He sees familiar flowers, bugs, birds....the gate to the beautiful garden is as far as he travels for now." The gate will be opened in time, but there is no rush.
I completed our barnyard animal set late last night (ahem, saving all of the seaming until the very end!). The patterns are from Freya Jaffke's Knitting With Children, which is a fantastic resource.
The horse is my favorite. He's also the project which proved to be most difficult!
I'm currently reading Jane Healy's Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think and What We Can Do About It. The author speaks very clearly about the serious choices we, as parents, have to make today in regards to schooling, media usage, and lifestyle. It's an eye opener, for sure.
Ps-Entries for the Finns and Flowers Spring Giveaway will close on Friday! Good Luck!