Today we had our Waldorf Homeschool Co-op Kick-off, and what a wonderful adventure the children had! We created a scavenger hunt in the woods, and every time the items were found, a clue was given leading to where sweet little handmade math gnomes were hidden.
After reading a short story from “The Festival of Stones” by Reg Down, at our Enchanted Cabin, we hiked into the forest on our first mission.
All of our tasks and clues were written on bright pieces of circle paper.
Task Number 1: “One, two, three little nuts on the ground. How many hickory nuts have you found? You find two and I’ll find three; how many hickory nuts will that be?”
We made sure everyone knew what the beautiful shagbark hickories look like, with their tall trunks full of shaggy bark springing up close to each other in groves, and the green nuts falling nearby (if the squirrels don’t find them first!).
After completing their task and finding all five nuts, we read the first clue.
“Where hickory trees grow all around, two tiny treasures can be found.” Sure enough, not far away was a circular formation of several shagbark hickories.
Within the ring, the children found these…
The second task read: “Apples, crabapples, blackberries too; how many fruits grow all around you? Gather them up, be sure to get plenty- to get your next clue you’ve got to find twenty!”
It wasn’t hard to come up with twenty fruits- in just minutes the children excitedly showed us their bounty of crabapples, apples, and berries.
Clue Number Two said, “Chairs and tables for little gnomes; let’s see if we can find their homes! Where tall trees and mushrooms grow, head up the hill; look high and low!”
As we continued, we veered off onto an upward path full of tall trees. There were many mushrooms woven amongst them, playful places for a gnome.
And on to task number three! “Orange and yellow, red and green; how many leaf colors have you seen? Get one of each, and find some flowers; goldenrod and asters grow tall as towers!”
It actually took a little while to find the red and orange, as the leaves are just beginning to change colors, but we managed (and no one had any trouble finding goldenrod and asters!).
Clue Number 3 said: “Fallen logs and branches too- look inside! That is your clue.”
And hidden amongst the fallen logs, in hollows and crevices hid these two sweet gnomes…
The final task instructed: “If you’d like to get your next clue, here is what you have to do; take string and twigs and make a boat upon which little fairies may float.”
With the many twigs the children handed me and some string tucked in my bag, Mama Elisabeth (visiting from far away! so good to have her here) and I created a tiny fairy raft. And the final clue…
“Look all around the fairy lagoon, and you will find your treasures soon.”
Off to the secret spot, the Fairy Lagoon (our swimming hole). All along the banks of the creek, under gnarled limbs and rocky crevices, the children searched and found the last of the gnomes.
Then all the gnomes were traded in for a delicious date bar made by Mama Monica, to reappear later when they were needed in our lessons (ahem, and to help properly redistribute them amongst the First Graders!).
What a wonderful time together- truly as magical for the mamas to plan out as for the kids to seek out!
I also have to give credit where credit is due- the beautiful math gnomes designs come from A Little Garden Flower‘s curriculum instructions with inspiration from the beautiful creations of MamaWestWind…
She also happens to be giving away one of her lovely autumn peg dolls at her blog. Enter by leaving a comment there by October 1st! She is also a member of Cedar Ring Circle Waldorf Supply Co-op… and she made me this custom design- the Tooth Fairy’s Assistant (I know Mama Erin is happy to have her family’s tooth fairy stuffie back- thanks Mama Erin for letting us borrow it for awhile!).
When my little boy discovered the tooth fairy’s assistant, he wiggled all his teeth to see if one was currently loose. Nope. After a moment of quiet, he slowly asked me, “Mama… do you think the tooth fairy’s assistant would notice the difference between a tooth and a small rock?” Hahaha!
Wonder, Magic, and Warmth to you and your family!