Tiffany LovegroveJanuary 27, 2023
We love this beautifully handcrafted 7 Moons from Grapat, for how it naturally builds in the young child a sense for the rhythm of the week.
First a bit about why this is important, and then some more about how 7 Moons fits in!
Rhythm is the foundation of life. It is all around us: the rhythmic pulsing from our inner circulation, the seasons which come and go, the circadian rhythms underpinning sleep arising from the change of light to dark with the movement of the planets; the tides ebbing from high to low; birthdays and special cultural festivals return at the same time, and form part of our individual story.
For young children, an experience of rhythm helps to create a secure, predictable world – it supports their growth and development. They love to know that certain activities will happen at the same time, such as a story before bedtime, or creating a seasonal table to welcome the beginning of a new season, or visiting a grandparent on a particular day of the week. A rhythmic flow of activities which breathe in and out is a formative pedagogical principle informing Steiner/Waldorf education and is expressed in how each day and week unfolds.
These are the rhythms that hold us and provide stability, a firm anchor that strengthen us inwardly so that we can flex when the winds of change arrive. How do you create daily, weekly, monthly or yearly rhythms?
Of course little children cannot grasp concepts of time as an intellectual understanding – this comes later. We love the Grapat 7 Moons because it offers children an appropriate way of coming to understand the rhythm of the week: the colourful moons each represent a day of the week, the days go around and around in a circular gesture.
In many Waldorf kindergartens, the days of the week are represented by the colour associated with their respective planetary qualities:
Sometimes the kinder teacher wears a purple tunic on Monday, a red apron on Tuesday and so on. In the same way, children may eat a particular grain in kindergarten and know that on Wednesdays they eat millet cakes, on Thursdays it’s rye bread, and Friday’s is barley. Rhythm creates order and a steady foundation upon which young children thrive.
Your young child will naturally want to pick up the moons, each one a colourful symbol of the day of the week! Each new day, the corresponding Nin pops out of the container and sits on top, saying “it’s my day today!” If it’s the green Nin we know it’s Friday and we have our walk today.
We recommend the Grapat 7 Moons as a focus for offering children a meaningful learning experience of rhythmic time!
Our beautiful images are kindly provided by Danielle Harbison: Steiner teacher, Homeschool educator and author. @wattlecreekfarm.
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