Who is this I hear
Deep down in the earth
Hacking and cracking the rocks and the stones?
Behold the dwarfs inside the hill–
Their tiny hammers are never still.
They sing and work deep underground,
And as they tap the rocks resound:
Crack, crack, the rock we hack.
Quake, quake, the mountains we shake.
Bang, bang, our hammers clang.
In caverns old we seek the gold.
~ Adapted, from Wynstones
This week we journeyed below the earth. It is here that the dwarfs and gnomes are doing the hard work necessary to keep Mother Earth going until Spring returns. The children hammered and banged their way through circle time, loving the chance to make so much noise! We built gnome homes outside to find crystals appear in them overnight.
We spent a lot of time over the past two weeks working on sewing our own little gnomes. Each child cut the felt, sewed their gnome, and then stuffed him with freshly cleaned wool. I find such joy in watching the children engaged in handwork. Some children sat and finished their gnome in one sitting, only to go on and make another the next day. Other children worked on theirs slowly over the course of two weeks–cutting one day, sewing a little the next. I believe it is important to let the children participate in this work much to their own time frame. While some children need no encouraging, it is helpful to sometimes gently encourage children to return to their work. In the schoolhouse, I frequently draw a child back to his or her handwork when they are encountering difficult with free play. Such work is grounding and centering and often what a child needs if he/she is feeling out of control or showing a lot of undesirable behaviors.
After two weeks of hard work, how proud the children were to watch their handmade gnomes play in our gnome home!