Friday, January 31, 2014

Rainwater Collections

While the rest of the nation is dealing with Global Wierding and cold winter weather California is bracing itself for a serious drought and early fire season. The low to no humidity and Santa Ana winds create the perfect storm for wildfires. California is also gearing up for what the Old Timers call, "Water Wars." 
This sounds like a perfect plot A&E or Lifetime reality show. 

In the mean time how do small farms handle the lack of water?

On the Viking Homestead we started to collect rain water in barrels. We do not have just one barrel on each spout. In total we have about 500 gallons of rainwater stored which we use to water the gardens, provide water to the animals. We also have a 500 gallon cistern that doubles as a fish pond. 

The set up and kits are real easy and anyone can collect their own rain water. Here is how.  

1. Calculation on how much rain will come off the roof?
  • Each area in the nation has different precipitation and humidity factors. Through the use of Google it's easy to discover what your local areas precipitation humidity factors and rain levels are for calculation. For the San Diego County the "rainy season" is February. 
  • Find the area of your roof. That is the area (Length multiplied by width) which also includes the overhangs. Keep in mind that your roofs condition can also effect the amount of rain that is collected. Keeping gutters debris free is also important. 

A well designed system can collect from 75-80% of the water off the roof.
sooooo ... 
Length (in feet) x Width (in feet) x 144 (square inches per square foot) x 0.75 = Area (in square inches)
Be pessimistic and guess only 75% will be successfully collected :(

Check your average rainfall in inches (or for any given rainy day)
Area (in square inches) x rainfall (in inches) / 231 (cubic inches per gallon) = Volume (in gallons)

Annual average rainfall will give you an estimate of what you could collect in a year
Local Storm Report will give you an estimate of what you collect on a rainy day.
You can even purchase a simple rain gauge for your yard to see exactly what fell on your house instead of the county average/estimate. 

2. Barrels. 
  • This is important. DO NO USE barrels that have contained ANY kind of fuel or motor oil. Barrels need to be food grade, rated for water collection and new. Recycled or re-purposed barrels, which we have, must not have had had toxic substance inside but can be used cautiously. Ours once contained food grade coconut or palm oil used in soap making. They can be used but we have had to build a filter system before it went into our cistern. Future post.
  • Barrel materials is personal preference. Our barrels are metal and we determined it by the weather we have in East San Diego County and cost. When deciding what kind of barrel you use keep the weather in mind. Barrel costs can run between $0- 1,000+. 
  • Keep this in mind. The water coming off the roof is not immediately drinkable, it is non-potable. There are too many 'not-good' things (tar, bird poop, mold, soot, you get the idea). Which means you can water your garden, farm and lawn from the barrel, but you need to filter it before you drink it.

3. Rain Barrel Diverters. 

It is up to you if you want the rain water from your gutters to go into one barrel or many. We have diverted the water from the gutters using Fiskars Rain Barrel Diverter Pro from ACE Hardware. Check out their site here. ACE Hardware also has Rain Reserve Rain Water Diverter too. Super easy to install. 

4. Cisterns

Southern California, especially San Diego County, has a very long history on the use of cisterns to collect water. This is a personal decision. We decided to create a cistern. Ours happens to be a converted and re-purposed hot tub. It's not pretty but it holds an additional 500 gallons of water. This Spring we plan on building an additional cistern/pond for the new garden. 

The Diverter on the down spout of the gutter drain
Rain barrels connected to diverter pipes that lead to hoses into each 55 gallon barrel.  When it rains the water is diverted from the gutters down the pipes into each of the barrel.
Barrels sit on re-purposed pallets. It doesn't take long to fill one barrel.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Paleo and Gluten Free Chocolate Pumpkin Coffee Cake/Bars

You don't have to wait for Thanksgiving or the Holidays to make this awesome coffee cake. When I served it recently at a Waldorf event people were licking the sides of the serving dish and wanting more.

Beware the batter is very thick, but that's okay. 

This recipe comes from Edible Harmony- Gluten Free, Grain-Free, All Natural Living. Check out their blog here.


2 cups of almond flour        (This is different from almond meal, which is coarser.)
¼ cup of coconut flour
6 large eggs
½ cup of coconut oil         (I didn't have coconut oil so I used olive oil. It still came out.)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of honey
½ cup of unsweetened cocoa
½ cup of pumpkin puree
1 large egg
½ tablespoon of pumpkin spice (or 1 ½ tsp of cinnamon,¼ tsp of ground clove,¼ tsp of ground ginger,¼ tsp of ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp of ground cardamom)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Using an electric mixer, food processor, or immersion blender, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, baking soda,  honey and 6 eggs, until well combined.
  • Scoop 2 cups of this batter and place in a separate bowl.
  • Mix in the  2 cups of batter you set aside with the unsweetened cocoa and transfer the chocolate layer into a greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  • Mix in the pumpkin puree, spices and 1 egg with the remaining batter.
  • Pour the pumpkin layer over the chocolate batter.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out dry.

Eat Well, Be Healthy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Seven Arts in the Waldorf Schools

Yes, there are seven arts that students receive instruction in while attending school. The arts are an integral part of the curriculum. This is a stark contrast to the Public Schools and traditional schools where art is separate, in one classroom and for one hour a day or even one hour a month. When a student graduates from a Waldorf school they have had experiences in these seven arts. 

To Rudolf Steiner, who was an artists and scientist himself, the arts were important to him. He lectured extensively on how important it was to develop the Twelve Senses to view and create art. He quietly influenced the art world with his philosophies. 

Note: The Social Sculpture concept is not an original Rudolf Steiner lecture. It was developed after his death

The Seven Arts he influenced are:

1. Architecture

2. Sculpting
3. Painting
4. Music
5. Poetry
6. Dance
7. Social Sculpture

Through the arts we can become closer to the Spiritual World and gain a fuller understanding of who we are as a human being. The arts can convey a truth that can not be proven scientifically. 


While children do not create architecture, they do experience that they are directly affected by the rooms they move and live in. The living-space children grow up in makes a difference. Good architectural design has a positive effect on their souls and therefore contributes to their healthy development.

Student Main Lesson book
Study of Greek Columns and Roman Architecture

The famous Goetheaum


In sculpture, moldable material such as stone, wood, clay or plaster is transformed by the scupltor in a creative process into a three-dimensional- the human or animal form. 

Varied materials place different demands on the artist with respect to working-styles and procedure. Stone is the hardest material with the highest resistance. Wood, in contrast, seems young and soft. Clay and modelling-wax are especially malleable and therefore an ideal sculpturing material for even young children.

For children of all ages, sculpturing is an important activity. It develops their fine motor abilities, improves their sense of touch and demands patience and fantasy. Sculpturing from a model trains their observational capacity and strengthens their sense of reality. In modelling, interaction occurs between material, form, imagination and feeling, which has a direct effect on body and soul.

wax model

Rudolf Steiner's personal project
Sculpture is of wood


Cultural development has been accompanied by pictures since the very beginning. Painting has a spiritual aspect. Theme and composition, light and darkness, use of color and craftsmanship confront both the artist and viewer with personal and contemporary questions

Children are spontaneous painters. Very early in life they express themselves in pictures by drawing elemental symbols. Children first use color as a means of expression, and here it is the feeling of the color that plays an important role. Painting is greatly significant for a child's development. By consciously giving shape to their world of impressions, children deal with and internalize their own experiences. They experience their creative works as confirmation of their abilities


Music and melodic character conceal important keys to understanding the complexities of human nature. They are able to touch the deepest realms of man's soul and can therefore stimulate and set off remarkable healing processes when therapeutically employed.  Music is the universal language in which man can express his/her innermost nature.

Music is considered a social art that promotes the social senses. The musician always relies on others, whether as co-performers or listeners. Children who make music practice social skills. When they play together, it's not only important for them to concentrate on their own voices or instruments, but to be conscious of the other musicians and to fit in correctly to create joint harmony. In this sense, music is an important area for practicing and developing social skills. 


Through poetry, children cultivate their language and feeling for words. By learning and reciting poems, they train their memory and diction, and by performing theatrically they also learn to master facial expression and the use of gestures.


Dancing is one of man's most elemental means to express spiritual and mental processes in form of body movement. Now days, dancers primarily abandon themselves to rhythm, though the ecstasy expressed in modern dance does also reflect the emotional states of early dance. In eurythmy, on the other hand, the intention is to abandon oneself to the world, which can be experienced in all its fundamental qualities and thereby transformed into inner and outward movement.

 "In eurythmy," remarks Wolfgang Veit, "gestures corresponding to the sounds, words and tones that exist in speech and music - and that can be experienced by inner reflection - are expressed in the dimensions of space and time. Eurythmy makes it possible to visually experience the inner character and living structure of a piece of language or musical work. What becomes visible is then able to be clearly and directly experienced."

Rudolf Steiner created a new art form which unites speech (or music) and movement, the latter serving as a means of expression. This new art form was latter named by his wife, "Eurythmy."  Just as speech is the differentiated expression of human experiences, eurythmy lets movements speak. Speech and music are transformed into visible movements and gestures. The body becomes an instrument of expression.

Dance accommodates a child's natural need to be in motion. When a child dances by itself, its movements have a sense of their own and are not motivated by outside influences. Dancing within a group is subject to given rules, rhythm and music. In a manner similar to music, dancing in a group requires the synchronization of all members. Aside from social skills, dancing also teaches tactfullness. Children learn to take notice of others and treat them with respect and tact.

Social Sculpture

Social sculpture, the vision of the future, was named by Joseph Beuys in the mid 1970's. He believed that, "sculpture is synonymous with humanity." While Social Sculpture was not created by Rudolf Steiner, but was inspired by his lectures on the Three Fold Social Order and the connection between people. 

I have not seen this much in the Waldorf Schools, expect maybe in the higher grades at the high schools or in the adult education. This is a concept that was developed for adults to connect with each other in society. 

Bless Bless
Viking Mom

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Losing Fiction to Common Core-Be Aware!

It is 2014, and many of the school districts in the United States will be implementing the new Common Core Curriculum. Depending on One's point of view, the new guidelines now have a prescribed healthy or lethal dose of nonfiction literature. 

For example, the Common Core now dictates that students devote half of thier reading time in class to historical documents, scientific tracts, maps, and other "informational texts" like recipes, rain schedules and political essays. The Guidelines state that 70% of the 12th grade curriculum will consist of non fiction titles. 

Titles likes John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451, Beowulf, Harper Lee To Kill a Mocking Bird, William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream and Jack London Call of the Wild would be eliminated.  

In favor of: My Body by Andrea Pinnington, The Story of the White House by Marge Kennedy, Let's Read About Cesar Chevez by Jerry Tello and Totally Tolerant: Spotting and Stopping Prejudice by Lauri Mandel and Dianne Webber.  This list comes from Common Core book list by Scholastic Books.

The justification behind the change comes from David Coleman who sits on the College Board and is in charge of standardized testing. In an interview with Kurt Anderson of Studio 360, Coleman states, 

 "Coleman maintained that the backlash is a misunderstanding of the numbers – particularly the standard that 70 percent of reading by high school seniors, across all classes, should be nonfiction. “The standards are absolutely clear on the central role that fiction plays and continues to play in the English language arts classroom,” he told Andersen.
According to Coleman, the majority of time in English classes will still be spent on fiction – drama, literature, narrative fiction, and poems. “The only thing that changes is that there’s some portion of time spent on high-quality literary nonfiction,” he said. The standards cite Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham” as an example. Coleman emphasized that the reading should be of “high quality,” not abridgements of classics, or sixth-grade novels used in high school.   
American students are often reading four grade levels behind where they need to be in order to be ready for colleges or careers, Coleman said, and the standards aim to reverse the trend.
“Delivering a generation of kids who can really read at that level is the hope and promise of this work,” he said."
The books that I have seen recently are not what he has described. In fact, many districts are being forced to narrow down their selections to only two or three books a year because the emphasis has been on the non fiction.
Why is David Coleman anti fiction books and stories? Doesn't he understand that it's these kind of books that enrich critical thinking. 
Save the Deep Readers!!!
The article by Annie Murphy Paul contradicts David Coleman's assertation that children don't need "deep reading." 
She writes, "When a minaret dating from the twelfth century was toppled in the fighting between rebels and government forces in Aleppo, Syria, earlier this spring, we recognized that more than a building had been lost. The destruction of irreplaceable artifacts—like the massive Buddha statues dynamited in the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan in 2001 and the ancient texts burned and looted in Iraq in 2003—leaves us less equipped to understand ourselves and where we came from, less able to enlarge ourselves with the awe and pleasure that these creations once evoked.
Which is why we should care about the survival of a human treasure threatened right here at home: the deep reader. “Deep reading”—as opposed to the often superficial reading we do on the web—is an endangered practice, one we ought to take steps to preserve as we would a historic building or a significant work of art. Its disappearance would imperil the intellectual and emotional development of generations growing up online, as well as the perpetuation of a critical part of our culture: the novels, poems and other kinds of literature that can be appreciated only by readers whose brains, quite literally, have been trained to apprehend them.
Recent research in cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience has demonstrated that deep reading—slow, immersive, rich in sensory detail and emotional and moral complexity—is a distinctive experience, different in kind from the mere decoding of words. Although deep reading does not, strictly speaking, require a conventional book, the built-in limits of the printed page are uniquely conducive to the deep reading experience. A book’s lack of hyperlinks, for example, frees the reader from making decisions—Should I click on this link or not?—allowing her to remain fully immersed in the narrative.
That immersion is supported by the way the brain handles language rich in detail, allusion and metaphor: by creating a mental representation that draws on the same brain regions that would be active if the scene were unfolding in real life. The emotional situations and moral dilemmas that are the stuff of literature are also vigorous exercise for the brain, propelling us inside the heads of fictional characters and even, studies suggest, increasing our real-life capacity for empathy.
None of this is likely to happen when we’re scrolling through Although we call the activity by the same name, the deep reading of books and the information-driven reading we do on the web are very different, both in the experience they produce and in the capacities they develop. A growing body of evidence suggests that online reading may be less engaging and less satisfying, even for the “digital natives” for whom it is so familiar. Last month, for example, Britain’s National Literacy Trust released the results of a study of 34,910 young people aged eight to sixteen. Researchers reported that 39% of children and teens read daily using electronic devices, but only 28% read printed materials every day. Those who read only onscreen were three times less likely to say they enjoy reading very much, and a third less likely to have a favorite book. The study also found that young people who read daily only onscreen were nearly two times less likely to be above-average readers than those who read daily in print or both in print and onscreen.
To understand why we should be concerned about how young people read, and not just whether they’re reading at all, it helps to know something about the way the ability to read evolved. “Human beings were never born to read,” notes Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University and author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. Unlike the ability to understand and produce spoken language, which under normal circumstances will unfold according to a program dictated by our genes, the ability to read must be painstakingly acquired by each individual. The “reading circuits” we construct are recruited from structures in the brain that evolved for other purposes—and these circuits can be feeble or they can be robust, depending on how often and how vigorously we use them.
The deep reader, protected from distractions and attuned to the nuances of language, enters a state that psychologist Victor Nell, in a study of the psychology of pleasure reading, likens to a hypnotic trance. Nell found that when readers are enjoying the experience the most, the pace of their reading actually slows. The combination of fast, fluent decoding of words and slow, unhurried progress on the page gives deep readers time to enrich their reading with reflection, analysis, and their own memories and opinions. It gives them time to establish an intimate relationship with the author, the two of them engaged in an extended and ardent conversation like people falling in love."

One of my deepest concern about the Common Core curriculum is the lost of cultural identity and heritage. This nations need to compete unrealistically with other nations test scores and its obsession over test scores is this nation losing sight of its cultural identity. Students will no longer read the rich rhythm of Hemingway's, Old Man and the Sea  or be inspired to travel to the gold fields of Alaska after reading Jack London's books, or identify with the struggles of the common man through John Steinbeck. Or take the time and watch a leaf flutter down from its branch like Walt Witman shared in Walden's Pond. 
Viking Dad and I have a long on going discussion. What two books did Professor H. George Wells take at the end of The Time Machine? Unless we train the younger generation to engage in deep reading, will we have a Professor H. George Wells to teach the future how to read?

Bless Bless
Viking Mom

Friday, January 24, 2014

Homesteading in the Desert- Part I

When Viking Dad and I decided to "Homestead" in San Diego County a huge adjustment Viking Dad had to face was California's infamous water conservation measures. He's from Wisconsin, originally. The State of Million lakes, ponds, water....

For the Dune fans--- I grew up on Arrakis and he grew up in Calaadan. 
Water is life.....

 A majority of California is semi-arid or desert. While the soil and climate is awesome for growing all year the lack of water posses a problem and challenge. Surprisingly, the a majority of the water Californians use is pumped from out of state and brought in through acquaducts. This can make water bills astronomical! Water is also collected in reservoirs all over the state. During the Drought Season these reservoirs can look very haunted when drained. 

California San Joaquin Valley Acqaduct

History tells us that people have lived in San Diego County for hundreds of years. The Spanish brought their own knowledge of water conservation from Spain to California in the form of cisterns. California experiences drought. Every seven years California will experience what is called La Nina which occurs when the weather will cycle the moisture away from California.  While the rest of the Nation was experiencing the Polar Vortex which plummeted states into the subarctic temperatures, California has been experiencing a drought. 

The 2014, Polar Vortex that blasted the Midwest and East Coast

Meanwhile, California is dealing with a drought.
The Old Timers, including my Grandfather, would talk about gathering and saving rainwater and runoff into cisterns. 
Desert Homestead Cistern from a farmhouse in Anzo Borrego Springs, California.
The homestead was built in the 1930's

One of San Diego Counties Cisterns dating from the 1930's
As California grew and the demand for water grew, especially by the Farmers, heavy use drained many of the reservoirs in California. These reservoirs are haunting images.

California's aquaduct system.

Boat floats in Folsom Reservoir

Car from at the bottom of a drained reservoir.

What can a small scale homestead do in such a situations. LOTS!!! 

Stay tuned....

Bless Bless

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Paleo and Gluten Free Hand Sanitizer

When I waitressed in college my hands had a constant dryness and sometimes a very painful red, raised and bumpy rash. It was easy to hide the dryness but when the rash appeared it became a challenge. Little did I know that I was contact sensitive to the alcohol in the soaps and hand sanitizer we were required to use in the restaurants. I didn't discover this until years later. My current career and working with barn animals requires a lot of hand washing, too. 

All except a few of the leading brand hand sanitizers and soaps are alcohol based and it is that alcohol that is made of wheat.... Yes, they are not gluten free!!!!

Recently, I found two companies that are gluten free!

1. Clean Well Check out their website here
2. California Baby Check out their website here.

For the brave of heart. Try out this gluten free and paleo hand sanitizer. Our Viking Grandmothers knew a few things about herbs. 


  • 4 ounce glass bottle. Essential oils can break down plastic.
  • water- I use filtered rain water but you can use purified water. Just don't use tap water.
  • Organic Witch Hazel
  • 2 teaspoon of Fractionated coconut oil. (Vitamin E is actually wheat germ and is not gluten free)
  • 25 drops of doTerra OnGuard Essential Oil ( Not all essential oils are gluten free so double check the brands if you can't find doTerra.)
  • 10 drops of doTerra Lemon Essential Oil

  1. Fill bottle up half way with water
  2. Add the fractionated coconut oil
  3. Add the essential oils
  4. Top off with Witch Hazel
  5. Shake before each use!

To purchase doTerra essential oils or learn more about doTerra check out Paleo Mama store here.  doTerra is worth the expense and the peace of mind. 

Bless Bless
Viking Mom

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Why there is Art in Waldorf Schools Part II

Why there is Art in Waldorf Schools Part II- The Use of the Twelve Senses in Art.

The Sense of Hearing

Through the Sense of Hearing we are able to perceive noises, tones, sounds and words. Through the Sense of Hearing we are able not only to hear but to listen, to hear each other, to listen to each other. 

The Sense of Hearing builds bridges to one another; and this is why hearing brings a social element into our culture.

The tone reveals the "soul of a body... the tone expresses the individual nature and the personal note of a body so that it contributes to the sensation" (Rudolf Steiner).

Through music trains the Sense of Hearing, but also listening to language, like in poems. Students are taught to playing instruments, perform in theatrical plays, dancing, eurythmy, and recitation of poems.

The Sense of Speech

Using our Sense of Speech we perceive the thoughts of other persons. Speech consists of sounds and contents. 

Children distinguish the meanings of the sounds of words before understanding the language itself. Later on, they learn to express own opinions by means of language.

To better understand the sense of speech we can imagine how a scream of pain lets us directly experience the person's pain although there is no language to judge it by.

 "Also gestures, facial expressions and physiognomy express something simple and direct that falls just as much in the sense of speech category as does the content of the audible sound" (Rudolf Steiner).

This is why students in the Waldorf Schools put on plays and theatrical performances to experience the Sense of Speech. 

The Sense of Thought

When we understand a person who expresses himself/herself by speaking, it is the Thought Sense in which enables us to understand. All the things we hear can be transformed into thoughts and ideas, and in this way, ideas are present in speech. In a thought or idea the innermost character of a person, animal or object can be expressed.

A person comes closer to the truth by understanding the thoughts and ideas of other people. 

Working with the arts helps to develop and sharpen our judging abilities. In order to discover the meaning and idea of a work of art, it is necessary to examine it and to reflect upon it. This kind of activity with works of art is practised in school when paintings are evaluated or when poetry or plays are interpreted.

Children and adolescents also face the challenge of judging, correcting and comprehending when dealing with their own artistic works. This fosters independence and originality and provides the basis for healthy judgement.

The Sense of Ego or Sense of Self Awareness

Sense of Self-Awareness also known as the Sense of Ego. The Sense of Ego is the organ in which enables us to perceive another person's individuality. When we perceive someone's ego - the heart of his/her being - we don't perceive only his physical body or judge him on the basis of his appearance.
This is a tough concept to understand since our society tends to be more "Judge by the Book By Its Cover" and places labels based on judgement calls. 

To perceive an ego involves paying time and attention to it, and accepting it; ultimately it means aiding the person in his individual development. Slow down and really get to know the individual. 

In all group-orientated arts, the social aspect is particularly obvious in the act of doing things together and depending on one another. Children learn on the one hand to relate to other individuals, and on the other to understand and accept others in the group. By striving to achieve harmony between itself and a group a child has close personal encounters and learns take on social responsibility. 

This also occurs when playing music, singing, reciting poetry, acting, dancing and playing games.

The Sense of Sight

Veil Painting

Through the Sense of Sight we perceive the world of forms and colors. Rudolf Steiner lectured that how we perceive color is through the light. Watch one day how the world changes during a sunrise.  We do not only perceive objects around us because they reveal themselves by means of their individual shape and coloring.

 The eye is the most comprehensive sensory organ. The optical nerve is directly connected to the brain.  Using our eyes we sense if the object we're looking at is pleasant or unpleasant; we "feel" an object with our eyes. 

Through the arts, the things we visually experience are transformed into visual impressions that have an influence on our feelings. When painting, drawing, modelling or acting we have experiences and gain knowledge that enrich our emotional world and stimulate our thinking.

The Sense of Taste

The Sense of Taste penetrates deeper into matter than does the Sense of Smell. A person ingests food and dissolves it with the help of saliva; he changes it into another state and through his sense of taste becomes aware of its characteristics: it tastes sweet, hot, bitter, mild, sour, tangy, unripe, bad, etc.

Rudolf Steiner believed that the human body needed healthy and nutritious food to maintain Ones stamina. He introduced to the world Biodynaimic farming in 1924, through a series of lectures to European Farmers. He lectured that having stronger healthier, and tastier food would make stronger bodies. 

When painting and modelling children deal with colors and shapes in an artistic process that are then brought together into harmony. By so doing, they develop a feeling for beauty and goodness. 

This occurs as well when playing instruments, reciting and listening to poetry, dancing and in eurythmy

The Sense of Smell

With our Sense of Smell we are able to perceive the ethereal state of natural matter when it is present in the air. A rose reveals its finest essence in its perfume. Through our Sense of Smell we come closest to matter in its outward, physical form.

The human Sense of Smell is quite underdeveloped. While there are people who are visually and audibly orientated, a highly developed sense of smell is rare.

The younger the child, the more intensively it perceives things with all its senses. All materials it works with - paints, modelling wax, pencils or paper - should therefore be pleasant and appealing to its sense of smell.

The Sense of Warmth

Walking into a Waldorf kindergarten One notices that the walls are painted in soft hues, the furniture is all wood and it is warm, inviting, and peaceful. One parent described it as, "peaceful." 
One gains deep insight into materials through our Sense of Warmth. A world that is full of light but without warmth would ossify completely. Without warmth, no change could take place. Time would stand still.

The essence of warmth is enthusiasm. When we become enthused about doing something, we're personally stimulated to carry out an activity ourselves or with others. The Sense of Warmth makes us "interested" beings who develop fondness, sympathy and love for our fellow men. That's why we talk about "warming up" to an idea or a "warm-hearted" person.

Children who grow up without the warmth of their mother or other close persons often suffer emotional damage.

All forms of art train the Sense of Warmth that involve working with materials that change once they become warm, such as modelling with wax, clay and wax foils or painting with warm colors.

The Sense of Balance

Through our Sense of Balance, we establish ourselves in a certain relationship to the space around us. If our Sense of balance is upset, we get dizzy and lose our spatial orientation. When a young child gets up for the very first time and tries to find his/her balance and takes its very first step, it's a significant moment in its human development.

There is no other living creature besides man that walks erect. Being balanced means feeling good, taking a stand and knowing where we stand.

All kinds of symmetrical exercises train balance, such as painting, modelling or carving balanced shapes such as balls or eggs. A child also trains its Sense of Balance when it recognizes rhythmical sequences of musical notes, shades of color, words or movements.

The Sense of Proper Motion 

We need movement to discover the perception of our inner life that we experience through our Sense of Life.

The ability to move enables us to meet others, to establish contacts. And this motion takes place from birth to death. So our sense of movement leads us to pursue our individual destinies in life.

Children learn movement through eurythmy (an art of movement), by walking patterns and by dancing. Rhythmical games train their sense of rhythm. Drawing shapes, painting and modelling help to develop tactfulness, teamspirit and personal initiative.

The Sense of Life

Our Sense of Life gives us a feeling of being alive and a sense of well-being. We are not usually conscious of it unless we begin to feel bad or ill.

Our sense of life is spread throughout our whole body and constantly controls what happens there. Children experience the change from stress to relaxation or tiredness to alertness through their Sense of Life.

Everything that has a harmonizing or strengthening effect on our well-being at the same time strengthens our our sense of life. This is achieved through all forms of art, music, speech, colors, rhythm, etc.

The Sense of Touch

By the act of touching we become aware of pressure, resistance, hardness or softness. Through this process we do not necessarily recognize an object immediately, but it can make us shrink back, exert counterpressure or overcome resistance.

Through the Sense of Touch, a child comes in touch contact with the world, but also experiences limits. By touching things a child ascertains that the objects are not part of itself but separate and different. This experience helps the child to distance itself from the cosmos, of which it was an integral part. Thus, the child experiences limits but at the same time gains self-awareness through these. 

The way in which a child makes contact with the world is of utmost importance. Handling natural materials provides many differentiated tangible impressions. It's also significant that it's possible to feel not only with the hands, but also with the eyes and even with the ears.

Sculpture is the artistic discipline which trains these skills in a special way. The child models and discovers materials with its hands and shapes forms which it "felt" before with its eyes, and it invents and creates new things as well.

Meditate and give all this a deep thought.

Bless Bless