Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Magic Doorways

We were lucky enough that one of our lovely playgroup mamas paid a visit to Melbourne on the weekend, and offered to call into the amazing Bentsticks to pick up some of their beautiful creations. It was hard to resist it all, but I contained myself, and it was with much excitement that we recieved our goodies yesterday.

The new hobbit door fits one of our hollow logs perfectly...

The Juliet Balcony is a lovely new addition to the tree house my wonderful father made...

And of course the pixie bookends house our favourite collection of old Enid Blyton books.

And to make it all even better, the wonderful Gary gave us a special playgroup gift ...
a new pixie door!
Thanks Gary.
Now to decide where to put it?

Amongst our toadstool tree stumps with our other one to create a pixie villiage...

perhaps as a portal from inside...

to out.
What do you think?
Now if only I knew that secret pixie password!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Winter Weaving Dream Catchers

Knitting, weaving, working with wood - they all seem to go hand in hand with winter, beautiful warming activities. Their repetitive action lets us move inwards with our thoughts too.

This week we made woven dream catchers, "for the faires to put their sweet dreams into" as my 12 year old told my 2 year old.

You will need some sticks (around 17-20cm long), sanded and beeswaxed if you wish. String (for tying and hanging), coloured wool, beads, charms and feathers

Make a frame, tying firm knots with the string to hold the sticks together. The frame still tends to be a bit wobbly.
Tie on the wool to one corner and form the warp, tie off at the other corner ...
then begin weaving your coloured wool through, adding beads and charms (you can add the spoken kind too) as you go.

When you are happy with your weaving, tie off. Add some feathers, and a hanging string...

and there you have it.

Sweet Dreams!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Monthly Playgroup

This month we held our monthly playgroup at Daisy Hill Conservation Park. It was a beautiful place to spend the morning, and a glorious day, and although we were only a small group it was lovely to catch up. Time went so fast we didn't even get to go and visit the koalas.

We saw some wallabies early on...

shared a lovely morning tea...

and enjoyed playing amongst the trees and logs.

'Intrepid explorers'
They were fascinated by a bug on a log, and a bird that came close elicited squeals of excitement and laughter.

'Bug exploration'
Isn't nature amazing.
Can't wait for our next get together!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tree Stick Gnomes

I met my first tree stick gnome at the Mt Barker Steiner School Fair in Adelaide many years ago. We paid a 'gold piece' to enter a beautiful little cave, and were able to choose whichever treasure we desired. My girls chose lovely felt brooches, but I fell in love with this little tree stick gnome.

I have since made a couple more to add to our collection (one is currently playing the part of the kindly gnome in our story), and I thought it would be lovely to make some at playgroup this week for the children to take home. I must say our efforts met with varying degrees of success.

The children were rather more interested in making the most of lovely winter sunshine, playing with our outoor cubby and on the swings, so our attention was directed there.

And there are some mama's who will no longer be allowed to play with carving blades (lol)!

But anyway, here goes - Making a Tree Stick Gnome

Cut up some pieces of wood approx 4-7cm long and a couple of cm diameter. Make sure they will stand up straight
Cut out some felt in the above shape, wide enough to fit around your gnomes head
You will also need a wood carving tool/knife and needle and thread.

Carve a small 'face' out of the front of your stick

They almost seem to have developed their own personalities already.
I can see the potential for the Seven Dwarves here.

Give your gnome a light sanding over.

Sew up your hat along the curved edges using blanket stitch and glue it onto your gnome.

Now your gnome is ready to...

visit secret friends in magical places

embark on many a brave and bold adventure

or just sit back and relax by the fire with a nice hot cup of tea!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Winter Treat for the Birds

This week we payed tribute to our feathered friends, who lend us their beautiful song to brighten our winter days. With the cold of winter really beginning to set in, we thought it would be nice to give the birds a treat...
Honey seeded pine cones to hang in the trees!
This also ties in with our story in which a bird left out in the winter cold is cared for by a kindly gnome.

First we tied string around the base of the cone for hanging
(make sure the cone is nice and open).

We drizzled honey over pine cones making sure to get it right in, then sprinkled them all over with bird seed.

We had lots of children coated in honey and bird seed too, but it was great fun.

Hope the birds enjoy eating it as much as we enjoyed making it.
Sometimes it is the simple yet meaningful things in life that work out the best!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010



SunSpirits began with two mothers wanting a playgroup for their children guided by the nourishing and magical ideas and qualities of Steiner Education. After searching for something in our area to no avail, we decided to begin our own. Our playgroup began with just the two of us in early 2009, and slowly grew week by week. The name SunSpirits arose as one of us wanted a name which represented the sunny warmth of our climate and environs, whilst the other wanted a reflection of its spiritual element. The name came together to evoke images of light filled children dancing around, nourished and nurtured by the mystical, magical morning sunlight.

SunSpirits Steiner Playgroup is located on 5 acres in the Mt Cotton/Redland Bay area (South East Queensland). It is a home based environment, which offers a welcoming space for children and parents to move through their morning gently and joyfully.

Magical indoor play spaces

are lovingly prepared for children to develop their imagination through free creative play, using toys filled with beauty and simplicity, many of them being straight from nature or hand made with love.

Outdoors children have the opportunity to

play amongst the trees and flowers, through winding pathways, on swings

in the sandpit and on balancing logs

in outdoor cubbies

feed the chickens

and help out in the garden.

Our Morning

Each morning we follow the same rhythm, unfolding around the nourishing tradition of making bread, creative indoor play and home based activities such as cutting fruit for our morning tea, circle time including songs, blessing and shared morning tea, outdoor play and planned seasonal activities, and finishing with a warm, nurturing story telling circle.

Seasonal Celebrations

Each term we have a small celebration to honour the seasons or special days, which the whole family is welcome to attend.

Craft Nights

Craft nights are held on a monthly basis, gathering around with a cuppa and good company, and guidance on how to create beautiful toys for your children. The toys we create ourselves are intrinsically filled with the love we put into them.

A newly crafted 'mushroom child'

Monthly Nature Group

Each month we organise a get together in local parks/bushland reserves. This group is open to all families who are unable to attend our weekly playgroup, as a means of meeting like minded people, sharing some nourishing food together, and giving our children the opportunity for free unhindered play in nature.