Cedar Ring Mama

Taking My Cues From Mother Earth

The North Wind Doth Blow!


We had a blast (haha ;)) celebrating the North Wind this week.  During circle time, I told the Chippewa legend of Shingebiss, from the Wynstones Press “Winter” book.  You can also find the story on the web (MainLesson.com has it here).  I thought the Winter version was wonderful, and my children have been chanting “North Wind, North Wind, fierce in feature you are still my fellow creature” all week!  They also loved trying to pull up reeds from the neighbors’ frozen pond (after much running and sliding about on it!), just like Shingebiss did as he sought to catch fish for dinner beneath the ice of his pond.

We sang “The North Wind Doth Blow”, a traditional nursery rhyme song. I learned the song from The Singing Year, a wonderful book and CD set which has about 100 songs to sing throughout the year to commemorate the seasons and holidays.  I scoured the web for a good version, but all of them seemed too fast or just not quite the same as the way we sing it- so here is the tune sung by me (and set to my lovely artwork- haha!). There are many different verses, and of course you can make up more of your own! We love acting out the verses, so we hide our heads under an arm as the robin does with his wing, fly around the room like the swallow, curl up in a ball like the dormouse…

The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow

And what will the robin do then, poor thing?

He’ll sit in the barn, and keep himself warm

And hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow

And what will the swallow do then, poor thing?

Oh did you not know, he’s gone long ago

To a country much warmer than ours.

The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow

And what will the dormouse do then, poor thing?

Curled up in a ball, in her nest snug and small

She’ll sleep til the winter has passed, poor thing.

The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow

And what will the squirrel do then, poor thing?

He’ll climb up a tree, and look out to see

And nibble on all of his food, poor thing.

The North Wind doth blow, and we shall have snow

And what will the rabbit do then, poor thing?

She’ll hop and she’ll jump, she won’t want to stop

For that’s how she keeps herself warm, poor thing.

 Another great story choice would be Aesop’s fable The North Wind and the Sun.

On Monday, we do wet-on-wet watercoloring.  I am no great artist, but here is my representation of the North Wind, which we set on the seasonal table for the week.

For modelling day (Tuesday) I tried making homemade playdough again this week, and unlike previous no-cook recipes that I wasn’t really crazy about, I loved this one which involves cooking over low heat.  There is also a gluten free recipe using rice flour and cornstarch, which I’d like to try another time (I found it on this blog ). Using food coloring and essential oils, our lovely aromatherapy playdough smelled like  pine (green), lavendar (purple), lemon (yellow), sweet orange (orange), and peppermint (red/pink).  I used about 15-20 drops of oils per color. Playdough really does come in handy during cold winter weather when we are inside more often than we’d like to be!

I left some plain, and we used it to create North Wind Faces, using circular cake and pie pans to hold our forms and then bake them hard to paint with non-toxic acrylic paints.  Mama Monica and her boys joined us for this.  Here are some of our faces, before and after painting. Next time I think I’d bake them with a thin wire inserted to be able to hang them on the wall. Also, please note this playdough will sort of melt and form weird masses if you do not place it in a form and fill the form (so use all of the cake or pie pan, and the weird melty part will stay underneath the face). Or you could use modeling clay!

We also made these incredibly fun and easy masks using old milk jugs.  I got the idea from a library book about masks, and adapted it to resemble my idea of the North Wind.  A total kid-pleaser!

To make the mask, peel off any labels.  One of mine peeled off easily, another took some persuasion in the form of an abrasive scrubber and a rub with sunflower oil to remove the leftover glue residue.

Flip your jug upside down and cut off the top and the side opposite the handle.

Now cut uniform slits all around where the face will be, for hair.

Cut enough of a slit on each side of the spout to enable you to fold it upwards, and cut wavy slits underneath the spout for a beard.

Hold your mask up to your child’s face and trace where the eyes should go.  I used dry erase marker so I could just wipe any traces of it away after cutting. It is easier to cut the eyeholes out from the back side.

Then, I punched two holes near each side of the head and inserted some sewing elastic, securing by knotting it.  String will do in a pinch!

We also used the masks to make glowing, icy North Wind luminaries outside. I submerged a mask in water in a dishpan, weighed it down (it floated) with another dishpan, and set it outside to freeze.  Then, I set the basin in warm water to melt it a wee bit so I could pop it out easily, and ran some hot water over the eyeholes to melt the ice over them, and propped the face up in the snow with a candle in a mason jar behind it to cast a glow (used a bit of playdough in the bottom of the jar to hold the candle in place).

I think it would be neat to do it in a circular container for a rounder face- maybe my canning pot?- but being no Martha Stewart, I was happy with the results of our first attempt. 😉

We read Willa And The Wind this week, and I highly recommend it!  Such a fun book, and if you can’t find it in the library it is definitely worth buying.

We also talked a bit about wind currents and looked at pictures of the jet stream.  The winds’ paths over the earth are a good form to use for form drawing and helped satisfy our state’s geography requirements as we watched the way the wind flows around the globe.

My goal in this block was to give my children a strong inner sense of the wind as an element, and I think the activities we did really helped.  Although the cold blasts of icy wind in winter can seem unforgiving and harsh, the story of Shingebiss inspires courage in the face of the onslaught and the story of Willa encourages a sense of justice within it all- “I am an honorable wind”.  I also liked the idea of the North Wind and the air currents having purpose and not simply blowing chaoticly about- a trait I hope my sanguine child will emulate.   Being sanguine myself, I am holding this image and meditating on it a lot as the sanguine temperament correlates with the air element.

(This post is part of the Seasonal Celebration Sunday linky party on the Natural Mothering Network. Check it out for more fun ideas to celebrate the seasons naturally!)

10 thoughts on “The North Wind Doth Blow!

  1. What a fun you all had and thank you so much for sharing the song you sang and all the wonderful projects!! I can’t wait to try using a milk jug to make masks with my children 🙂

  2. Fantastic projects!! Funnily enough we used the exact same story last week for my kindy boy and sang the same song too!

  3. Becca,

    Love your Ice Masks! Wish is was cold enough here to do it! (maybe) lol


  4. Love all your activities! We’ll have to do the story you recommend from the Winter book. The plastic jug masks are awesome! My boys would love that!

  5. Wonderful! I especially love the milk carton masks!

  6. Amazing masks! What a neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a beautiful process! The masks and activities are amazing! Thank you for sharing this!

  8. I love these ideas! Looks you all had a great time. 🙂

  9. Becca You’ve been featured on Seasonal celebration! Pop over to pick up your ‘featured badge”
    Rebecca x

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