I woke up this morning after an awful rainy day yesterday to a lovely sight – sun! Birds chirping! “What a lovely day!” I sang to the children despite having had way too little sleep. About ten minutes later an apocalyptic darkness descended on our apartment. We looked out to the beach only to see the biggest, blackest cloud I have ever seen move across the sky. It was black outside and children waiting for their school buses were screaming and carrying on. Obviously it was just a matter of time before apocalyptic rain came to the party. Soon enough we couldn’t hear each other speaking and the streets were flooding and it was all very exciting but, equally, depressing.
I am not going to whine, I swear, but Hong Kong I am just about done with your grey skies and their direct affect on mood. DONE!
Needless to say my disposition soon reflected the cloud. I was tired and cranky and facing the prospect of yet another morning stuck indoors with a two year old. J was equally gloomy and didn’t want to go to work despite looming deadlines. I think it was seeing him moody that kicked me into gear. I gave him a semi-sarcastic pep talk about being a winner that was also directed at myself, dragged myself off the bed where I was having a Mummy tantrum, and got started on my day.
Yesterday we got a big delivery of gorgeous Waldorf toys from my sister in law in Germany. A bit of a hand-me-down/birthday present for Walt. We are SO lucky to have been gifted so many of these toys as they are all hand painted and beautiful and quite expensive. The kids were wrapt and there was a dolphin in the mix that has conspicuously gone missing but I expect has found a home in someone’s doll house full of precious/random objects.
I decided to set up a little activity with Walt where we would sort through the animals and separate them into groups – farm animals, zoo animals, pets etc. – and then photograph them to set up some matching activities. Walt had a great time playing as we were setting up the activity – I think sometimes just separating a few select toys from all the other crap gets them more engaged, and it inspired me to do a big toy rotation which was very satisfying!
Now if this were a true Montessori activity the animals would be little Schleich animals or similar, as there is a focus on “reality” rather than imagination, but I’m very flexible with that aspect as I still believe in fostering imagination (how can I not with the craziest little daughter ever) and I’m also part of a very clever and creative Waldorf extended family, so have to see it has so many merits.
This is a really easy activity to set up, all you need is a camera, a printer and a tray of some sort. You can use any materials you like; rocks, leaves, shells, flowers. You can also cater it to something your child is learning or struggling with e.g. colours. I plan to leave one tray on our toy shelf for a week so both the kids can have a play around with it (although Heike is too old for it, I can imagine she will still like it and enjoy showing us all how easily she can do it), then I’ll rotate it out with something similar.
Right now I’m going to have another fresh pikelet and sit on the window sill with Walt watching the rain. See, rainy days aren’t all bad*.
What are you up to today?
*GO AWAY RAIN