Festivals throughout the Year
Celebrating seasonal festivals is an important part of the curriculum at A Child’s Nature. From an autumn candle-lit lantern walk to a spring play driving away King Winter; from a mid-winter visit by Saint Nicholas to a mid-summer wishing bonfire—the children enjoy being part of the cycle of the year. Instead of abstract multiculturalism, we like to celebrate the diversity living in our community, playing Hanukah games with Jewish friends and teachers, tasting Orthodox Easter food with a Russian child, or welcoming in the the new Year of the Dragon led by a Chinese family.
The festivals are often combined with a Family Soup Night, adding to the community feeling. We also participate in wider-community events, such as the Milford Pumpkin Festival and some Pine Hill Waldorf School celebrations.
Waldorf Festivals - Cycle of the Year
Summer Solstice Festival of Flowers, Fairies, Fruit and Fire
High summer is a time of bright sunshine, energy, growth, and enjoying the natural world outdoors. For our summer solstice festival, the children hear to a story celebrating life and then reach deep into the earth to feel Mother Earth's heartbeat. We have a small fire and send wishes and blessings for a better world high into the sky. “Rise up, O flame. By thy light glowing, show to us beauty, vision, and joy.”
This year in June we also celebrated the one-year anniversary of A Child's Nature being at Pine Hill. As part of the summer festival, we had a traditional summer barbeque with our extended family of children, parents, grandparents, and teachers.
“Hodieh, it is Mid-Summer's Day!
Flowers red as fire;
The sun can go no higher.
Hodieh, it is Mid-Summer's Day!”
Monthly Birthday Celebrations
Birthdays are a special time for children, and we like to recognize the children born in each month with a special ceremony. Parents and siblings of the birthday children are invited to join the preschool or toddler class that morning. For the infants, the celebration is individual and naturally much simplified. In the birthday celebrations, we wish to celebrate life with reverence and joy.
The class listens to a story of how children playing in the starry fields of heaven came down a rainbow bridge to their families on earth, and the birthday children participate in the story. The teacher or parents tell about something that marks each year in the children's lives. A healthy birthday cake baked by the preschool is enjoyed in addition to the usual morning snack. The birthday children each receive an age-apprpriate gift made especially for them by the teachers, for example, a soft wool ball for a baby's first birthday or a felt dress-up crown for a four-year-old.
Birthday Star Song
“In heaven shines a golden star.
An angel brought me from afar,
From heaven down unto the earth,
And brought me to my place of birth.
“Welcome, welcome lovely day,
With sunshine bright and flowers gay,
Where painted birds sing all day long,
And make me kind and good and strong”
March - Spring Equinox Play (King Winter & Lady Spring)
April - Springtime and Easter
May - Maypole Dancing
Community May Day Celebration
June - Summer Solstice (Flowers, Fairies, Fruits & Fire)
Wilton Old Home Days (275 years in 2014)