Friday, 15 May 2009

may day...

Last week, we celebrated may day with some traditional may pole dancing at parent and toddler group. I have been going to this group at our local Steiner Waldorf school for over four years now and I love it. It has taught me so much as a parent and given me the strength in my own convictions of what is right for our family. It has taught me about rhythms of the day and being calm, it has reignited my love of crafting, something that wasn't cool where I grew up! The best thing of all is that I have met lots of other lovely families, who share the same values that are important to me.

The day follows the same rhythm each week, a walk when we get there, followed by play in the garden ~ usually the sandpit with watering cans and spades. Then inside to wash hands and sit together around a low table children in front, parents behind. We light a candle, say our blessing and then share the bread {mmm home baked} and rosehip tea around, the children use small wooden knives to spread their own butter and jam. Afterwards one child gives out the flannels, that have been washed with lavender, for the little ones to clean their jammy hands and faces, another child will collect. Then we sing some songs together with actions and then help to clear up. Afterwards it's play for the children and crafting for the grown ups, sometimes we will do something together if it is festival time, like lanterns at martinmas. We end with a story and goodbye song. 

The parent and toddler group shares the kindergarten garden, which is the most beautiful garden, full of mature apple trees, a water pipe, a huge sandpit, vegetable plots and silver birches. I watch as the kindergarten children play in all weather dressing in their all-in-one suits and how they dig, climb and play, calmly with their teachers in the background, allowing them to explore. I stop and listen to the older children, singing in harmony, the sound just carrying through the whole school. 

Every Thursday I leave with a smile on my face, I just wish we could afford to send our children there. 


  1. How lovely! Thank you for sharing this. It sounds like a beautiful place.

  2. Sigh. Lovely. Educational decisions are still causing us sleepless nights. If only all schools were made this way, eh? x

  3. i think you need to find comfort in the fact that no matter what school your boys go to they always have the home that you have created.they will continue to learn and grow and be inspired by you and your husband regardless of what they are taught at school.

  4. We used to go to a Steiner toddler group but it was quite a way away from where we live and I got stressed getting there as it is nearer the city that we live and the traffic is horrendous. So although it was a calming place when we were there, I got stressed again when leaving sitting in traffic. I wish we had one closer to home.

  5. Beautiful indeed. My girls go to Steiner school as well, and it was only this week that i realized the eldest has been in Steiner education for 4 years now as well :)
    It's a shame that in London Steiner schools are not so strong in anthroposophic education as the ones in the countryside, they are indeed very urban schools and have lots of limitations regarding space, but even with all the issues i still think they are way better than tradicional schools. :)

  6. wow - it sounds fantastic - what a great introduction to education whatever happens after. Am off now to see if there is anything similar anywhere near me - I would love to spend a day like that, let alone one each week!

  7. although i'm not a parent,
    it sounds like exactly the kind of place i would love to spend time if i was.
    what a lovely a way to share time with your children, make friends, and find some crafty peace....

  8. That sounds like a wonderful, nurturing toddler group. I really wish there was one near to us. Sigh. Perhaps I should just try to emulate it at home instead? {she says thinking out loud}.

    Hmm, thanks for that thought provoking post. Off to check out some books....


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