Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nativity Scene - Waldorf Style

Here is the Nativity Scene I made using 15cm wood and wire dolls:

Mary is wearing a red silk dress with a blue cloak and Joseph has a felt tunic and blue felt cloak. Baby Jesus is lying on a manger made from cinnamon sticks. The donkey and ox are made from felt. I put the LED lights inside the stable and around the scene. My son keeps switching it to flashing effects so itlooks like a disco! The "hay" is made from some silver-gold stuff I got from a Christmas shop that is supposed to go on the Christmas tree, but I thought it looked pretty cosmic in the stable (especially with disco lights!):

Here are my three Magi: Baltazar, Kaspar and Melchior. They are dressed in silk, and the camel is made from wool felt:

The shepherds' clothes are made from wool felt and I have knitted small waistcoats for two of them, and a crocheted cap for two of them.

The angel has a dress made from silk and her hair is made from silk tops. She has wings also made from silk:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Gnome

I got the idea for this little fella from the book: Gnomes .
He is made from the 15cm wood and wire doll and dressed in felt clothing. The ears are made from tiny pieces of tricot cut out and stuck to the side of his head.

Waldorf Story Books and Autism

Social impairments are universal with autism. This study looks at why some people's brains are more altruistic, or socially cooperative, than others. "Cooperation does not just mean going with the flow: It involves actively helping others and participating in the reciprocal relationships that make human society possible. People can and will go out of their way to help others, even those not related to them - which seems unremarkable until one realizes that most other animals do not." Researchers then applied the theory to the study of autism: "Maybe autism represents a deficiency in the social parts of the brain that allow altruism and cooperation".
The Little Troll tells the story of a troll, stuck in his biology, where he is doomed to a tribe of trolls that are uncooperative and mean to each other. But this little troll wants something more than this wretched life. He sees the humans and longs to be like them, but doesn't know how. One day, he overhears a man telling a boy that if he doesn't help others and put others before himself, he is nothing better than a troll. The little troll has found the key that will unlock his prison - altruism. He spends the next few years helping humans and animals at every chance. The narrator says: "The more he helped others, the better he became at helping". Slowly he begins to lose his troll-like features and grow more like a human. The ending has him walking into a church where the people all say: "welcome to the world of humans". This is my all time favorite children's book.
Will the practice of altruism and cooperation remediate autism? I believe it will! Since my son was five, we have kept a Book of Good Deeds, recording every good deed he has done. Plus we encourage "random acts of kindness" as a fun thing to do, if only to pull out a weed from a neighbour's lawn. I truly think this has challenged him out of his own little world.