Friday, July 29, 2011

Puppets and Puppetry

Who doesn't have a memory of them in one way or another...
I recall the puppets at my nursery school; the teachers creeping to a space in the supply room enclosed with a half door...the puppet would make his appearance and bonk his head on the door frame. It was nothing elaborate, but I remember so vividly this time during our day...
I was lucky enough to witness an incredible puppeteer at Sunbridge; one of our teachers, Connie Manson.

She performed several puppet shows for us using standing puppets, simple marionettes, elaborately needlefelted marionettes,


Yes, handkerchiefs!
She taught us how to create a simple bunny puppet out of any ordinary handkerchief. (I'll create a photo tutorial soon!)
She expressed that all children deserve to have puppets in their life in some way or another....

...."So as educators we try to create special times for inner quieting, for a deeper breath and concentraion. An example of one such opportunity, is the play with table puppets or marionettes which children experience first as observers. Out of this observation, rich impulses can grow for their own play. We build up a scene with pieces of colored cloth, materials taken from nature such as stones, wood, pine cones, unspun wool and such like, and simple home made standing dolls or animals of wood or soft material. We move the figures in an appropriate way while we tell the story. Or we can create a scene fitting to the content of the story with colored silks or veils. Amidst great expectation, what is mysteriously covered at first is gradually unveiled, and the eye meets a meaningful wholeness. Simple marionettes made of silk wander through the colorful world. They walk from house to forest, over the sea and sometimes to the sun, moon, stars, and even sometimes up to the mountain of clear crystal glass. As they move over the surface of the scene using its length, breadth, and depth, the observing child can inwardly unite immediately with the experience of space, while on the television only deception  of of the eye is at work. Here, inner activity is created that works in a refreshing and enlivening way into the very breath and blood circulation. Color, movement, gesture, and language shape a unity, and fitting music can envelop the soul in warmth and safety...."
-Bronja Zahlingen, Vienna, Austria

On our last day together, we formed groups and created our own simple puppet show set to a classic story. My group chose Mother Earth and her root children.
We worked on standing puppets and needlefelted figures all week long...
We decided to use two hollow cubes to create an above and underground "scene"...

Being the excited extrovert that I am, I happily volunteered to do all of the singing and narrating.
It was great fun!!!

Man, it was a hot day!! I don't think I've ever sweated more in my entire life!
And I'm, um, starting to think that natural deodorant is a fallacy...
Well, that wraps up my Sunbridge reflections. I am now left with some of  the most beautiful memories and experiences to keep mulling over again and again. I am in the process of organizing all of my notes, handouts, and drawings into a large binder with page protectors.
Here's a few scattered photos to close...

..The following photo is one of the most beautiful images which I think sums up the mood of the week perfectly...I also had the pleasure of staring at it all week long:)

The shepard is one of my most favorite archetypal images. I think it encompasses the role of a Waldorf early childhood educator so beautifully.
The beauty of lazure really lends itself to the softness of the image!

Stay tuned....we are about to enter into W's birthday week, and it will sure be a celebration!!


  1. Ok - so you asked for help with the deodorant thing - and even though I want to comment on all the beauty in that post (and how inspired I am to make table puppets for my little guy for xmas) I will tell you my fool proof natural deodorant.
    Baking soda!

    Yep, cheap and easy. Just wet your fingers dip in a cup of it and apply a bit to your underarms. Right out of the shower works or sometimes I just wet my fingers. And I'm 21 weeks pregnant and a sweater! Never had a problem.

    Hope that helps!


    PS LOVE all the inspiration on your blog - keep it coming! :))

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  3. oh my. I can't thank you enough for this post. I've been working on puppet shows lately with an adorable 3 year old... As for deodorant, for several years I used apple cider vinegar (the smell fades quickly. After showering I dabbed it on with a cotton swab . It changes your PH balance or so I'm told. Then I put a few drops of fragrance oil on top. Hope that helps. Take care.

  4. What a beautiful journey!
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Thank you for bringing us along on your Sunbridge journey... (wish I really could have been there, but your photos and reflections were really a treat!)

  6. Was reading through your blog... if I calculate the date correctly, is today your wee boy's second birthday? Best Happy Birthday wishes to your sweet boy and love to you on this special day...

  7. Yah! More photos from your trip! It has been so fun seeing them!
    As for deodorant, think of it this way....if you don't plug the pores with something in the first place then your body won't be constantly trying to flush it out! Sweating is your body's natural way of flushing out toxins. I only used deodorant for about 8 years (the teen/early adult years), as I watched my poor husband develop these lumps in his armpits - it was deodorant! Now a quick clean every morning either in the shower or with a cloth and little natural solid perfume (vanilla scented yum!) is all I do! I shave as well so that the bacteria (which is what smells) doesn't stick to the hairs. Deodorant is so unnatural when you think about it but you do have to be patient, as it took about a year for my body to sweat out all of the deodorant that I had used!
    Hope that helps!
    ~ joey ~
    ps. even during pregnancies I didn't sweat that much!

  8. I don't always know the right words for a nice comment. But I enjoy your stories so much. They are so inspiring.
    Greetings from Severine

  9. What wonderful pictures! The visuals are very helpful. :o)

    On the deoderant issue, we have success with the crystal deoderant. But only the solid crystal one, we've tried the liquid crystal ones and they don't work for us at all. I figure that anything that works here in Texas should work great anywhere This Wednesday we hit our 65th consecutive day over 100. It's hot. :o)


  10. Another fantastic post! What a tremendous experience this must have been! I've been thinking about archetypal images and stories recently and what you say about the shepherd image has been coming back to me over and over. It's an image I love too and one I find myself sharing with my W through story telling and through the felted items I made for our playroom and the few pieces of artwork we have there....of course I made/selected those items well before I ever was thinking about archetypal images/ interesting.....also of note along these lines...the church we have found here is called Good Shepherd...which actually was why I started thinking about it as an archetypal image more recently.

    Also, re: deodorant, I make mine using coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch with some essential oils mixed in. I keep it in a glass jar and dip some out with my fingers to apply it. When it gets really hot, it needs to be refrigerated or it melts, but it works wonderfully.

    Wishing you many blessings, Erica

  11. Dearest Rebecca, I have just caught up on all of your recent beautiful posts. I have thought of you so often but just never a chance to write. I am so happy that you have begun your magical journey. You are a special spirit meant to bring light to the lives of children, thank you for sharing some of the moments with us!
    I can never get so behind on your lovely blog again, too much goodness, and I have missed you! Hope you are very well. Sending lots of love, Renee XO


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