✨ Little bird found a sheltered spot to rest. His wings had grown tired during his flight from his cozy nest on his way to his dear friend squirrel's tree. The wind was ever so strong today and had blown him far off course. He looked around and found he didn't know where he was. He looked for some familiar sign, but found none. He looked for someone to ask, but saw no one. Little bird began to feel a little bit nervous. Then he remembered what his mama had always told him. "If you ever feel frightened, singing a song will help." So little bird began to sing and sure enough he felt a little bit better. He noticed the warm glowing feeling in his heart that he always felt when he sang and pretty soon he didn't feel nervous at all. Just then he noticed three little mice sitting just below his perch. They looked up at him with smiling faces seeming to be enjoying his song. Little bird finished his tune, smiled as the mice clapped for joy and asked them if they could help him find his way. "Of course!" replied the mice all at once....
Hello! Let's pretend that you are just beginning your storytelling journey. Maybe you have been asked to make up a story and your mind went totally blank. Maybe you ventured there and even began to make up a story but you felt that it wasn't "good enough" and you stopped.
The first step can be to imagine a storyteller. What does the archetypal storyteller look like to you? A wise grandmother or wise grandfather? A person from a different culture? Someone with glasses or a beautiful shawl? Imagine this person and then embody them. This may be easy for you - or you may need a physical prop. Find the perfect rocking chair or stool, or maybe that shawl that you never wear but will be perfect to bring out the storyteller within you.
The second step is to light a candle or sing a song signifying that it is now story time. I have recorded a song below. I don't know who wrote it so if you do please let me know! This is a song that many Waldorf teachers sing before their story. Afterwards the children and I always say "Where was it, where was it not? When was it, when was it not?" And then I begin.
The third thing to do is to begin telling your story. You may tell the simplest story that you know by heart, or you may wish to learn a new one prior to beginning. Or you can use these Twelve Little Tales as part of the process. The tales do involve some reading just to get everyone started in the land or adventure of the month, but the 12 prompt cards are all open ended, each ending with a ... Sometimes the cards end mid-sentence and sometimes not. What you will do it continue from the prompt. You could say ANYTHING. You could almost always say ...and then 3000 pink bunnies hopped over the hill and surprised everyone. Or you could take from something that you did earlier in the day or week or you can address an issue that your child is having by having one of the characters in the story experience the same issue and resolve it in a simple or complex way - it all depends on you - and it is all just exactly right!
The VERY MOST IMPORTANT THING is to look at your child or children and notice that they are looking at you with wide eyed wonder, waiting for what you will say next. Don't let that intimidate you! Just keep going and feel the energy that is begin created in this magical experience of storytelling. It really is magic.
Please let me know what your initial experiences with storytelling have been and how they have progressed.
note: I am by no means a professional singer - so know that when listening :)
...foods and drink including freshly pressed apple cider. The little autumn sprites have decorated today with twinkle lights and a large fire in the pit. There are veggies roasting that can be smelled from way down the mountainside, and a bell is ringing, calling the gnomes and their human friends up to the feast they will be sharing this evening. Suddenly, from far above near the stars, the dragon flies, breathing a large stream of fire. Everyone looks up and basks in the majesty of the magnificent beast...
As she begins to weave the Tale the flies come in a bit closer so as not to miss a word. "Deep within the earth the creatures are preparing for one of the busiest times of the year. The crimson and gold paint has been mixed in jars so the leaf sprites can paint the all the leaves in the land before settling into their winter homes. They will each take a jar and brush and in the earliest morning between the time when the night and day creatures are awake and asleep, they carefully paint each leaf the colors of autumn. Always singing, the song they sing helps the leaf know just what to do next. In the spring as they paint buds they call to the leaves to come out and play. Now, in fall, they tell the leaves to let go of the branch they have been holding onto all the summer long. "Let go" they sing. "Let go and fall, drifting, drifting, drifting down to the ground." The leaves are excited for a new adventure and fall happily, along with all their friends to the soft ground below. The worms and beetles welcome them and sing the leaves a lullaby so they fall fast asleep for the winter long. They will dream of a magical journey where the whispers of the sprites carry them into the ground and through the roots of the trees and plants where they will live for the wintertime until the spring when they will respond to the sprites' song and come out again in the buds welcoming the warmth and joy after their amazing trip.
The Tales one can tell are infinite in their possibilities. You can tell a Tale catering to your younger child or tell a Tale with your older child. From this card you may want talk about the actuality of what happens during the winter when the plants from above nourish the plants down below for the winter-long until the spring to come. You may want to just tell about the little homes that the sprites live in underground with their spiderweb blankets and their firefly lights. You may want to tell about the parties that the sprites have to celebrate the changing seasons or about the time when a child followed a sprite and was quick enough to grab onto his tiny shoe falling down into the little portal, becoming small himself and having the adventure of a lifetime (before being returned safely after what seemed like months, but was really only moments later - as usually happens to humans when transported into lands of magical beings). You may wish to talk more about what the flies do after the story - Where do they live? What do they talk about? What will they do for the wintertime?
Have fun. Happy September!
One of the most amazing books I have read is called Storytelling with Children by Nancy Mellon. Her book is full of wisdom and she is a true master of storytelling. Click here to see her site.
Here is a quote from her book about setting the space for your storytelling with quiet and breath..
The quiet rhythms of our breathing immediately reach children, and the child within all of us. As we settle down to tell a child a story and prepare to say the opening words, each complete breath is heaven to children.
This process of becoming storytellers is just as amazing for us as it is for the children. It opens up a whole new world of imagination and connection that can nourish our souls. And we haven't even begun to tell the story yet! I would love to hear how you create your storytelling space and how it has felt for you from when you first began, or how it feels now as a beginner. Please feel free to share in the comment section below.
When beginning your journey to find the storyteller within you there are many things you can do to inspire this part of you to emerge into the world with confidence. Many people find that storytelling does not come easy at first. I know about this first hand because a while back my mind would totally blank when I tried to make up a stories and anything I thought of didn't seem good enough. This was before I understood how to let the story come to me and that anything that did come was going to delight the children.
One of the tools you can use to begin is to find a prop.
Begin by imagining a storyteller. What do you think of when you think storyteller? Close your eyes and find an image or feeling of a person or maybe the space a storyteller sits in. What sort of prop can you find that will help you bring this to life? A hat, shawl, rocking chair, a certain sort of light or atmosphere. Maybe a spritz of essential oil, lavender water to dip the hands in or settling everyone in with tea first. A song is also a wonderful way to begin story time. You can choose any song, or a different one each time to set the mood of the story you will be telling. Maybe a seasonal song.
Look below for the song I sing before we begin our story. I do not know who the author of this song is. If you know, please tell me and I will give credit. Forgive that I just recorded this with my iPhone and please take it with the love I'm sending it with :)
I would love to hear the ways that you have found the storyteller in you! Just like the infinite amount of stories there are, there are so many ways to become inspired. Next time we will talk more about what I mean when I say to let the story come to you or through you.
Elsie, Blue and Bunny Roo. Their room is at the tippety top of the tall house. They have been finding the sweetest little treasures all over the place. Tiny rocks with golden rings around them, beans with blue stars, paper clips with itsy bitsy notes attached..
When we start reading and telling the August Tale, my son will start finding similar little treasures around our home too. He's going to love it.
I learned so much while researching for the July Tale! Did you know that 90% of bees are solitary and don't live in hives? Did you know that fewer than 5% of insects are harmful to crops and so blanket pesticides are killing many potentially beneficial insects? Did you know that pollinators include bats, flies, ants, butterflies, moths, birds, some mammals and more? There are lots of websites talking about pollinators. I would recommend looking at a couple. There will be things there that will amaze you :) Happy July!
Searching and searching, the girl _________ has been looking high and low for her missing geese. Where could they be? The starling has already gone to tell the boy, who's name is _________. He will find her and then help her find her little friends. He packs a little snack of _________ before heading out. Several animals including the _________, the __________ and the _________ come with the boy to see if they can help too. Meanwhile the geese have found shelter at the house of the lovely red-headed girl ________. She has fed them grain and is singing to them. She sings songs of __________ and faraway lands...
Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed (children hold hand in a fist) One grew, two grew, so did all the rest. (put thumb and fingers up one by one) They grew and grew (raise hand in the air very slowly) And did not stop, Until one day The pod went POP! (children clap hands together) I did not creat this rhyme and I don't know who did - but I did make the peas
Print it out at home! It is very exciting to be able to offer Twelve Little Tales for use on the device and/or for download to print yourself. You will receive 3 high quality files to download and print - the Starter Tale, 12 little tale prompt cards (1 of 2 pages shown here being cut into separate cards). This option is only $7/month OR for $11/month get the digital/download PLUS postcards and stickers in the mail! For a free try featuring the April Tale go to main menu or store and follow instructions. A great way to bring some more magic into your home/school/vacation no matter where you are.
Time for spring cleaning! These I made for a dear friend. Both these pattern are fun, and easy too. I can do a lot of things, but I am not a master knitter :) So finding patterns that look this complex, yet aren't, makes me feel pretty good. Basic cotton yarn, size 7 needles and amazing color combination you could choose - what more could you ask for?
Now to make some homemade cleaning products- more after I have found success!
The pattern for the cloth on the right is from here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ballband-dishcloth
The pattern for the cloth on the left is from here: http://home.comcast.net/~hakuchodesigns/Circle_Cloth.pdf
She, with her favorite scarf upon her head, waited for the evening train that would take her through the night to her love...
What more could a little bird wish for than some bird seed love this February? Cut out cardboard heart, slather with peanut butter - if children are participating in this, which is way more fun, believe me ;), just make sure you are prepared for a peanuty mess! Cover with bird seed and string up in the tree. What I hadn't thought of when I took this photo is that birds usually need a place to stand while eating, so place them on your tree accordingly :) LoVE
Cousin Giblen Flora is the one who makes flowers from the beeswax. She holds it in her hand to warm it and tells the bees, who are almost always floating nearby, tales of flowers and giants, fairies and magical forests. Once the beeswax is softened she builds a flower one petal at a time, the smell of honey and her friends the bees keeping her company all the while. She attaches the flowers to branches or the dead stalks of the raspberry bush and gives them to whom she loves...
In deepest winter Giblen Jones tended his shop, a steady stream of customers coming in to trade for candles. Just before closing one evening Giblen Jones heard horses hooves in the lane stop suddenly and the bell jingled on the door. Looking up he saw an amazing sight, a tall woman in a green cloak with hair the reddest of red flowing from under her hood. Out of breath she quickly explained to him that she was a princess from a neighboring land. A curse had been put upon this land by a wicked sorceress and their wood would not burn and their fireplaces would not stay lit. Since she was a littler girl she had heard tales of the man in a far away village who made candles that gave warmth enough to heat a room; magic candles that she was hoping would not be impacted by the curse and would save her people...
Rolling a simple beeswax candle was the highlight of my four year old's week. He felt so proud that he had made this beautiful treasure. When we lit the candle for story he gazed at the candle with love while we made up tales of Giblen Jones and his sweet family. At one point Brother and Sister were lost in the forest until Brother remembered the candle he had in his pocket. It lit their way home and discouraged the goblins from coming any nearer... To roll a beeswax candle: •Take one sheet of beeswax. We cut ours in half. There is a possibility that your town has a honey store selling sheets of beeswax or you can find it online. • Cut the wick to fit the length of the candle plus a little extra. • Place the wick on the edge, with a bit sticking over the top, and use fingers to secure it before rolling. • If it doesn't stick once you complete rolling, you may want to hold a flame under the edge to secure it to the candle. • Place it on a plate or other spot. We put ours on a jar lid turned upside down.
"It's almost time. I'm going to very busy for the next few weeks" says the man with the long white beard. "Yes." says his love. He reaches for her hand and whispers "After I'm done, we'll just sit together by the fire and do nothing for as long as we can stand it." She squeezes his hand and smiles.
Twelve Little Tales is a project to spread the art of storytelling far and wide.