Lets Talk Lets Play

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     Let’s Talk

     Let’s Play

    Helping Children Learn

    How to Learn from Life 

    by 

    Jane Winslow Eliot

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    Helping Children Learn How to Learn from Life

    by 

    Jane Winslow Eliot

     Let’s Talk

     Let’s Play

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    Published by:

    Waldorf Publications at the

    Research Institute for Waldorf Education

    38 Main Street

    Chatham, NY 12037

    Title: Let’s Talk, Let’s Play 

    Author: Jane Winslow Eliot

    Editor: David Mitchell

    Layout: Ann Erwin

    Proofreaders: Nancy Jane, Ann Erwin

    Original edition © 1997 AWSNA

    ISBN# 0-9623978-9-X 

    2nd Edition © 2016 Waldorf Publications

    ISBN# 978-1-936367-94-8

    Curriculum Series

    Te Publications Committee of the Research Institute is

    pleased to bring forward this publication as part of its

    Curriculum Series. Te thoughts and ideas represented

    herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily

    represent any implied criteria set by Waldorf Publications. It

    is our intention to stimulate as much writing and thinking as possible about our curriculum, including diverse views. Please

    contact us at patrice@waldorf-research.org with feedback on

    this publication as well as requests for future work.

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    Contents

     Part One: Let’s Talk 

    Rhythm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Uses of Poetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Wonder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Repetition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Listening and Hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 S e l e c t i o n s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 8 O r i g i n a l i t y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9 When to Begin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Mother Goose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Spring Moon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Quick Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Alphabet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

    Counting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Temperaments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Rhythm of the Day. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Family and Festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 One Last Poem for You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

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     Part Two: Let’s Play

    Let’s Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Motion and Inner Motion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Visual Thinking and Imagination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Practice for You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

    The Forces of Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Interruptions and Completions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

    Ring Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 I m i t a t i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 7 S u g g e s t i o n s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 1 A Word about Chants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

    Choices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Seed Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

    Aspects of Seed Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Uses of Story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 I n d i v i d u a l i z i n g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 4

    Spiral Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Your Own Spiral Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

    Songs Ring around the Roses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Sally Go Round the Sun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Looby Loo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. . . . . . . 82 A Tisket, A Tasket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

    The Farmer’s in the Dell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Oranges and Lemons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85–86 London Bridge Is Falling Down . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

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     Part One: Let’s Talk 

    Rhythm

    In one year the earth circles the sun. The moon orbits the earth in twenty-eight days. The earth rotates in a twenty-four hour spin. These orbits, and uncountable others, are held in a wheel which takes thousands of years to whirl around just once. And yet all these motions roll in rhythm and affect us.

    An adult who wishes to guide a child into this world with the least damage possible can do no better than to choose to work with rhythm. When you place

     your children in rhythm with the universe, they are well

    prepared to behave harmoniously. Later, they will seek original and individual ways to contribute to the ongoing adventure of the human race—creating their own new circles while still remaining in synch.

    Rhythm is one of the most useful tools a parent or teacher will ever come across because rhythm helps to

    contain a person, just like a glass shapes water, no matter how scattery or how willful water can potentially be.

    By rhythm I don’t mean music only, although music is included in all world rhythms. Songs have lately taken over from books as the form in which many ideas meet the growing child. However, when you seek out as many

    rhythms as you can, you store magical tools with which to work with your children. Think of the rhythms of the day, that is, day and night—a twenty-four hour segment. It is the time it takes for the earth to revolve just once, and the

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    8

    sun to rise, then set, just once. Familiarity with these facts, not just intellectually, and not merely through picture books, but through experience in their daily lives, helps

    children harmonize with the dominant rhythms of our globe. When they are in tune with such motions, they feel the deep reassurance that cosmic harmonies bring about.

    Imagine it first yourself.

    For instance, note the differences in the kind of

    energy at a child’s disposal. See how children tend tobounce into the world each morning with enough energy to zonk an elephant—often on your chest. It’s called the dawn effect. If all goes well, it will have been used up during the day and will need to be replenished that night in sleep. Between waking and sleeping, that is between high-energy times and low ones, the parent may notice

    something very simple: Active children need outlets for all that energy. Well, just because that fact tends to be ignored doesn’t mean it isn’t obvious.

    What is less obvious is that the energy changes many times throughout a day. For instance, children tend to learn more in the morning. Their brains are ready to ac-

    cept new information, they can help around the housewith greater vigor, and they play outside with courage. Their will is fresh. Awakening to a new day, they come prepared to meet life as if it had purpose. As the sun crosses the heights of heaven, a change takes place. A dreamier side takes over. “Let’s pretend” games, maybe a nap, a picture book on a bed, or a quiet painting time

    is welcomed. Later still, seemingly pointless, formlessactivities with friends, or outdoor play, baking with a grownup, humorous activities, little playlets—all make for afternoon fun.

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    As the sun’s energies are shielded behind the earth and bedtime approaches, evening lulls their loosening wills. Children are pulled towards separation from their

    earth-bound bodies. Then pleasant times with elders and quiet gentling into sleep are in order. Song, poetry, prayer, comforting stories, and simple rituals reassure the nodding child. The little beings who have held themselves intact all day long are easily scattered now. It is hard for them to hold themselves together. Their need to replen- ish energies is apparent. If you let things slip and become turbulent at this time, children may find it difficult to edge through the window of sleep that opens so narrowly and so softly.

    Ritual 

    Ritual is a form of rhythm. Ritual repeats events and

    allows for confidence in the expected. Ritual, like rhythm, tends to