Blessed Rain for Earth Day

Gift of raindrops on roses Happy Earth Day indeed! #spring #waldorfhome #earthday #earth #rain #roses #California #drought

Happy Earth Day! It’s raining! This is simply the most perfect blessing for California, and I’m so delighted. My heart is high and full of love and compassion, soaring and aching in turns along with loved ones’ hearts, and grateful to have so much abundant beauty and bounteous love and friendship in my life.

I am the beauty of the green earth
And the white moon among the stars
And the mystery of the waters
And the desire of human hearts.

Call unto your soul: Arise and come unto me
For I am the soul of nature who gives
Life to the universe.
From me all things proceed
And unto me all things must return.
—Doreen Valiente


This is the spirit of Earth Day for me: wonder and celebration, joy and protection, and profound gratitude.

#nofilter #roses

This grand show is eternal.
It is always sunrise somewhere:
the dew is never all dried at once:
a shower is forever falling, vapor is ever rising.
Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming,
on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn,
as the round earth rolls.
—John Muir


I do not have to go
To Sacred Places
In far-off lands.
The ground I stand on
Is holy.

Here, in this little garden
I tend
My pilgrimage ends.
The wild honeybees
The hummingbird moths
The flickering fireflies at dusk
Are a microcosm
Of the Universe.
Each seed that grows
Each spade of soil
Is full of miracles.

And I toil and sweat
And watch and wonder
And am full of love.
Living in place
In this place.
For truth and beauty
Dwell here.
—Mary de La Valette


I just couldn’t hold it in. My love and gratitude flies out to all beings—may all of us be blessed with a perfect moment of appreciation for this precious little marble floating in space,  where we live, toil and sweat, and care for each other.

Blessed Be.

P.S. I’m going out now to poke little seeds into soil.

Late Spring Festivals E-Book


This is just a little reminder that my charming coauthor Eileen Straiton and I wrote an e-book on the Late Spring Festivals, which can be found at the Little Acorn Learning website here. It covers Passover, Earth Day, May Day, and Mother’s Day and is chock-full of of Waldorf songs, stories, verses, crafting tutorials and much more to help you celebrate the Late Spring Festivals of Passover, Earth Day, Mother’s Day and May Day with your children!

Passover begins this Friday, April 22, and Friday is also Earth Day! Here’s some ways you can enjoy the holidays from our e-book:


Part One: Passover

Passover Stars Ornament
Hand-painted Seder Plate
Caregiver’s Meditation: Independence

Sprout Babies

Part Two: Earth Day

Celebrating Earth Day
Earth Day Science Projects
Canticle to the Sun and Other Nature Poems
Earth-Oriented Meal Blessings and Gratitude Poems
Earth Day Verses and Fingerplays
Coffee Cup Seed Starters
Nature Bracelets
Earth Day Art Project
Moss Garden Terrarium
Strawberry Zucchini Muffins
Brownie Game
Little Sprout Babies and the Story of Mother Bean
Caregiver Meditation: Remaining Grounded

Flower Prints Art Project

Part Three: May Day

May Day Verses and Fingerplays
May Dance Song
Watercolor May Crown
Ribbon Wristlets for May Day Dancing
The May Queen and Other May Day Poems
May Day Flower Cones
Crochet Hair Flowers
May Pole Floral Centerpiece
Dandelion Crowns
Dandelion Tea
Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups


Part Four: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Tea Party
Mother’s Day Verses and Fingerplays
Homemade Granola Bars
The Nest Circle Game
The White Pebble
Pressed Flower Bookmarks
Pressed Flower Candles
Flower Prints for Mother’s Day
Ideas for Simple Mother’s Day Gifts
Spring Tissue Pouches
Mother and Child Aprons
Caregiver Meditation: Nurturing

Earth Day art #earthday #8yearold #secondgrader


“We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of the inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thundercloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produced freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.”

—Henry David Thoreau

Mother Earth, Mother Earth.
Take our seed and give it birth.
Father Sun, Gleam and glow,
Until the root begins to grow.
Sister Rain, Sister Rain.
Shed thy tear to swell the grain.
Brother Wind, breathe and blow,
Then the blade all green will grow.
Earth and Sun and Wind and Rain,
Turn to gold the living grain.

—Eileen Hutchins

Simple Earth Art

2015-04-22 17.53.36

I’ve posted about this before, and offered an easy tutorial. The last time we did this project it was with Lucas and his friend from school. But it’s too good to do only once, and this time I was hoping to get Lucas, Asher, and the neighborhood boys to play with me. Alas, basketball won out over my idea.

Still, Asher and I had fun. (He’s sweet to still sometimes do stuff with me.)


This time, I enjoyed writing messages on my earths. Cheesy, maybe, but I like them.

2015-04-22 17.54.25


Here’s how they turned out. I think they’re awesome. I’m making one for the bathroom that says “Save water.” Maybe it will remind us to cut down on our shower times.

Earth Day art #earthday #8yearold #secondgrader

Asher made this lovely Mars, too. Why not? He does live in the future, after all. Maybe someday the Earth won’t be our only home … Maybe future humans will get to choose.

2015-04-23 10.17.28


Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day.  May we all make the world a better place with our amazing cleverness, cooperation, and compassion. Sending love and blessings to all.

Happy Earth Day!

Our little patch of Earth is presently covered in flowers. All of my beautiful plants are laughing uproariously in color. It makes me happy.


No filter Aurora, I think

California is experiencing a very serious drought. And I’m conflicted about having a garden at all. I’ve been building and growing and tending this little oasis of ours for 16 years now. I think often about taking out my lawn, but then I watch my children playing in our yard and feel so grateful that we have a place to play! I am withholding water from these plants. I’m taking Navy showers (brrr!) and saving every drop of rainwater I can capture whenever water does come from the sky.

I promise to bathe my children rarely. I promise to make them wear the same pajamas several nights in a row. I promise to save shower water. I promise to let the yellow mellow at night. I promise to eat less meat. I promise to plant only drought-tolerant plants. I promise I will only drink coffee and champagne from now on if I can keep my garden alive this summer!

Foxgloves are coming

So far, the yard is doing pretty well on water rations, but the temperatures are still cool.


Last week Asher asked if we could make a cactus garden. I bought him three little cactuses and brought a few more from my kitchen window out so he could make this. He painted the vine wreath with green and red paint, and then we buried it into the little garden so it looks like an arch now.

2015-04-15 15.50.52

2015-04-15 16.23.16

We also planted a tiny vegetable garden. I debated about this, but figured it was a good cause, especially since the drip watering system will be watering this box anyway. We planted 2 sungold tomatoes, 1 rainbow tomato (that might be the name), two types of cucumber (one is a lemon cucumber), 1 summer squash, 1 Japanese eggplant, 2 purple basil, 2 sweet basil. (We like to make pesto.)

Today, after school, I’m going to see if I can get the boys to plant some seeds with me and do some art for Earth Day.

And now poetry:

The Robin’s Song

God bless the field and bless the furrow,
Stream and branch and rabbit burrow,
Hill and stone and flower and tree,
From Bristol town to Wetherby –
Bless the sun and bless the sleet,
Bless the land and bless the street,
Bless the night and bless the day,
From Somerset and all the way
To the meadows of Cathay;
Bless the minnow, bless the whale,
Bless the rainbow and the hail,
Bless the nest and bless the leaf,
Bless the righteous and the thief,
Bless the wing and bless the fin,
Bless the air I travel in,
Bless the mill and bless the mouse,
Bless the miller’s bricken house,
Bless the earth and bless the sea,
God bless you and God bless me!
—Old English Rhyme


Canticle to the Sun

Praised be God for brother Sun,
Who shines with splendid glow,
He brings the golden day to us,
Thy glory does he show!
Praised be God for sister Moon
And every twinkling star;
They shine in heaven most bright and clear,
All glorious they are.
Praised be God for brother Wind
That storms across the skies,
And then grows still, and silent moves
And sweetly sings and sighs.
Praised be God for Water pure,
Her usefulness we tell,
So humble, precious, clean and good,
She works for us so well.
Praised be God for brother Fire
Friendly and wild and tame,
Tender and warm, mighty and strong,
A flashing, flaring flame.
Praised be to God for mother Earth,
Who keeps us safe and well,
Whose mother heart all warm with love,
Dark in her depths doth dwell.
—St. Francis of Assisi

Here are a few links I’ve enjoyed this week, and thought you might like them too:

Plantable gift wrapping paper

Plantable paper earths with seeds

Crochet earth ball pattern. I wish I could make this but I can’t crochet!

Recycle your Crayola markers

Green gifts from National Resources Defense Council

Elemental play book

Finally, our Late Spring Festivals E-Book is on sale for 50% off at Little Acorn Learning. It’s only $12.50 until 4/24/15.

OK. This was a rambling post. It’s what I get for trying to cram weeks of living into one blog. So, back to the message:

Happy Earth Day to all beings near and far, finned and furry, scaly and feathered, mossy and green. May we humans all make the world a better place with our amazing cleverness, cooperation, and compassion. Sending love and blessings to all. ~~~~

Happy Earth Day!

Forest Floor and Ferns

“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.”

~ Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation


Mother Earth, Mother Earth.

Take our seed and give it birth.

Father Sun, Gleam and glow,

Until the root begins to grow.

Sister Rain, Sister Rain.

Shed thy tear to swell the grain.

Brother Wind, breathe and blow,

Then the blade all green will grow.

Earth and Sun and Wind and Rain,

Turn to gold the living grain.

—Eileen Hutchins


Happy Earth Day everyone!

I hope this little list will inspire you to do something good for Mother Earth and all her children. Start small, start anywhere, just start.

1. Release ladybugs in your garden.

2. Start an herb garden and maintain it organically.

3. Go for a bike ride and picnic in a green space.

4. Write a poem. What does the earth mean to you? Show it to teachers, at church, or send it in to the local newspaper.

5. Make a birdbath so our feathered friends have a source of clean water.

6. Participate in a community cleanup; or just walk through your neighborhood with a trash bag and pick up (safe) trash you see along the walk.

7. Make natural soap or shampoo without chemicals. It’s good for your body and good for our waters.

8. Buy something you need at a garage sale or a thrift store, instead of buying a new item at a department store.

9. Symbolically adopt an animal at your local zoo or favorite wildlife conservation organization.

10. Teach your children well. Teach them about stewardship and never be afraid to express your love of nature. Let them see your love of the earth in action.


Blessed be.

Earth Day Moss Garden Terrarium Tutorial

Finished Moss Terrarium

Here is a simple way to celebrate the earth, and bring a little of it inside your home. This moss garden terrarium is easy and inexpensive to make. Children of any age can help with this project and may especially enjoy finding such treasures of the earth. Noticing the small things in nature can be so rewarding, and it feels good to sink our hands in the soil.

Materials for Moss Terrarium


  • a wide-mouthed glass container (goldfish bowl, candle holder, or jar; you may find something appropriate a thrift store)
  • gathered moss (gently lift from soil or rock, bringing the soil on which it grows with you)
  • about ½ to 1 cup small gravel or pebbles (look for pretty pebbles in your yard)
  • about 1 cup loamy garden soil (or more if your glass container is large)
  • interesting rocks, bark, twigs, or gemstones
  • spray bottle with water

Optional Materials

  • a small plant that requires little water (perhaps a jade plant or other succulent)
  • beeswax for modeling or a small figurine
  • crystals, glass gems, small twigs

Gathered Moss



Begin by gathering your materials. You may be able to gather most of the materials you’ll need from your yard or nature walk. (Be sure not to remove items from protected nature areas.) Take a soup spoon or small shovel and a gathering basket along on your walk. Look along creeks and in shady, moist areas.

When you find mosses, stop and consider them a moment. Moss is a delightful, soft plant. It gets it’s nutrients from the air, rather than the soil, and requires shade and only a little water. It makes a perfect plant for a terrarium that gets only indirect sunlight in your home.

Feathery soft, your green so bright,

preferring deep shade to the light,

quietly sitting, waiting, spreading,

it’s hard to tell which way you’re heading.

I will touch your velvet softness.

Moss, I love your gentle mossness.


You make a lovely velvet bed

for a Fairy Queen to rest her head,

who sleeps in afternoons for rest

and dreams of forests nightly blessed.

We creatures great and creatures small

find you the tenderest plant of all.


Thank the earth for growing such lovely mosses and gently dig up some patches. Don’t take more than you need to fill your terrarium container, and you’ll likely need to take only an inch of soil or less.

Garden Stones in the Bowl

Now place your gravel or pebbles into your glass terrarium. These are at the bottom for drainage of water away from the soil. Add your garden soil to the container. It will probably cover your pebbles completely. You may wish to grade your soil so that some areas are higher than others. This will add interest to your finished terrarium.

Side View

Arrange your mosses (in patches) in your terrarium. Try to keep your clumps of moss mostly intact to make a contiguous, soft carpet. Alternatively, you could place moss in only part of your terrarium, and decorate the other areas with a plant, pretty pebbles, or glass gems.

Mosses In

Add your decorative rocks, bark, or crystals. I happened to find a small chuck of old concrete that had more moss growing on it, so I added it to my terrarium. What will you add? Crystals? Twigs? Polished stones? A ceramic figurine of a deer or a rabbit? A butterfly? A gnome or a Fairy Queen in repose? Perhaps you’ll change your terrarium decorations with the holidays.

Spray to Keep Moist

Spray your moss garden with some water. Your mosses may need spraying once or twice a day to stay green and living. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight.

Beeswax Gnome

I turned to our modeling beeswax to fashion a tiny gnome. I think he’ll make an excellent caregiver for my moss garden terrarium. Gnomes are kind custodians of the earth.

Finished Moss Terrarium

Be a good caregiver of your moss garden terrarium, spray it gently every day, and be careful not to saturate it with too much water. (Once again, the direct sunlight you see in this photo is too hot and bright for your moss. Be sure not to keep your terrarium in such a sunny location.)

Now add your terrarium to your nature table, your dinner table for an Earth Day celebration, or anywhere in your home that needs a small reminder of the earth’s beauty.

Tutorial: Earth Day Art Project

Finished Earth Art

We did a lickety-split Earth Day art project today. This is a quick, fun project for all ages. It couldn’t be easier and chances are pretty good you have these items on hand.


paper coffee filters
washable markers
spray bottle with water


Using washable marker pens in blues and greens, color your coffee filter with continents and oceans. Although it can be fun to think about the shapes of the Earth’s real continents and try to draw them accurately, this isn’t at all important. You just want to create a “blue-green marble,” like our planet as seen from outer space.

Earth Day Art Project

Marker ink seeps quickly into the coffee filter, which is meant to absorb moisture. You don’t even have to worry about the white space in between marker pen strokes.

Earth Day Art Project

When you are satisfied with your continents and oceans, lay your coffee filter down flat on your table surface and spray it lightly with water from the spray bottle.

Earth Day Art Project

The ink will begin to run together and spread, like a watercolor painting.

Earth Art

I recommend that you don’t spray too much water on the earth; if you do, the colors may get very mixed and muddy. Stop while you’re ahead, as soon as the earth is saturated. This is difficult for children, because spraying is so much fun! My kids kept picking up their earth. I think this contributed to their colors mixing so much.

Earth Art

Leave your wet earth on the table top to dry. We did ours outside and they were dry within 20 minutes or so. As they dry, they may try to blow away.

As soon as your earths are dry, they can be taped up in a window. If they are too wrinkly for your taste, gently iron them on medium heat (and without any water spray or steam). Of course, you may wish to make a whole solar system, or perhaps yet-to-be discovered planets of your children’s own invention. Have fun!

10 Earth Day Activities for Families

Pink Dogwood

Earth Day is Friday, April 22—tomorrow! Even if this holiday isn’t something you grew up celebrating, you can bet that your kids are aware of it and eager to participate. Over the last few years, we’ve been doing a bit more to honor the ideals of this day and our kids just eat it up. Here are a few ideas from our family to yours.

1. Plant a tree: This is every bit as appropriate on Earth Day as Arbor Day. This year we’re planting a tree for two reasons: My great-aunt Nana passed away last fall, and we will plant a tree in her honor and in honor of Earth Day. We have chosen a beautiful pink dogwood for our back yard.

2. Make a terrarium or a dish garden: I wrote a tutorial about how to make a moss terrarium for Little Acorn Learning’s April Afterschool Enrichment Guide, which is full of amazing activities, recipes, poems, and much more. You can find it here:  Here is an in-progress shot of the dish garden we made yesterday. We used moss we collected on a recent trip to the foothills and wheat grass seeds. Lucas included a spiral of small stones we found in our yard. We are adding beeswax bunnies and Easter eggs to it.

Dish Garden in Progress: Lucas Making a Stone Spiral

3. Go on a hike, take along a trash bag, and pick up any garbage you may spot along the way. (Kitchen or latex gloves come in handy for this activity.) Recycle those things that you can. Note: don’t let children pick up certain kinds of trash, especially anything that looks like it might be medical waste. Many communities have park or creek cleanup days that need volunteers.

4. Do a science experiment. For young children, seed projects are great because they are fast. Here’s what we did last year. Some of our pumpkin seedlings even survived the transfer out into our summer garden and we harvested pumpkins in the fall from our Earth Day experiment! I don’t know about you, but I love cycles like that.

5. Start a worm farm: All you need is a boxy container (a styrofoam cooler does the trick nicely—I know styrofoam is lame, but it works well for this project), and a container full of red worms from the bait store, or else dig up the worms yourself. Put some normal garden soil into your container, shred some newspaper into small strips, wet it all down, and add your worms. Poke a few holes into the container for air circulation. Then put in your vegetable kitchen scraps daily. Stir once in a while and keep it moist but not wet. Before long you’ll have loads of worms (and worm babies!) and great soil for your garden. (It helps to have a plastic or metal container underneath the whole worm bin, to catch any drippings. These drippings make excellent fertilizer.)

Worm Farm: Compost on Bottom Layer

6. Learn about the weather or the water cycle. Check your local parks and recreation department for children’s nature classes or day camps. Try this page of links at The Water Project for science experiments for kids.

7. Read books about caring for the environment with your kids. Last April, I wrote about quite a few children’s books we recommend for Earth Day. Adults can check out the works of Richard Louv, Rachel Carson, David Sobel, Robert Micahel Pyle, and Bernd Heinrich.

More Favorite Books for Earth Day

8. Start a vegetable garden! Good Friday (also Earth Day this year) is a traditional day for planting seeds and seed potatoes. Lucas is outside preparing his garden plot. We have worked into it our soil full of worm castings  from last’s year’s worm farm. That should give our garden a good start!

9. Make space in your yard for wild creatures: add a birdbath, places wild creatures can use for cover, and plants that attract bees, butterflies, and birds. This spring I’ve seen birds actually bathing in and drinking from my birdbath. It was very cool!

Robin Bathing March 1

10. Take your recyclables in and redeem them for cash; donate your family’s proceeds to a charity such as NRDC or National Wildlife Federation, or any number of other worthy charities. Better yet, if you can support wildlife and habitat restoration efforts in your own community, do that.

That’s 10. I bet you can think of dozens more. If you have a nifty idea to share, please do so! Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day Science

Earth Day was last week, you know. In past years, we have planted trees in honor of Earth Day. This year we decided to do a little science experiment and care for one of our more unusual housemates.

Earth Day: Feed the Plant

Lucas and Daddy feed the Venus flytrap plant a tiny bug.

Feed Me! —Venus Fly Trap

It’s tricky work, imitating a bug so that the plant will close its leaf around the meal.

Earth Day Table Setting and Venus Fly Trap Feeding

Our Earth Day dinner table setting, complete with wayside dandelions, and the boys eagerly watching the feeding project.

Earth Day Seed Experiment: Window Seeds

Thanks to Parnasus for this great idea! We have a simple science experiment of window seed germination going. We have three types of seeds (wheat, corn, and pumpkin) in plastic bags filled with moist cotton balls and taped to the sliding glass door.  (I’m bummed about that branding all over our experiment, but oh well.) The seeds are getting several hours of bright morning sunshine each day.

Earth Day Seed Experiment: Wheat

See the tiny wheat berries germinating? One or two have a little leaf already. This photo was taken only two and a half days after we put the seeds into the bags and taped them up! By using cotton balls instead of soil, we can see both the roots and shoots!

Earth Day Books for Young Children

It’s so easy to fall in love with nature in the springtime. I do every year. I know not everybody is into Earth Day and I know that the problems that face us as caretakers of this planet are vast—sometimes too grim to contemplate. We all make choices every day and I know I do not always make the best ones. And yet I think the first step to solving some of these massive issues is to instill in our children a love of this amazing world we live in, to cultivate a sense of reverence for the nature that is all around us.

Teaching children to appreciate nature is really not necessary; they already love it, wonder at it, learn from it. Children love animals, rocks, sticks, butterflies, flowers. Children need to splash in puddles, dig in the earth, and run their hands across the bark of a tree. They do this without our prompting, as long as we allow them to, discovering all along, unearthing small mysteries and miracles every day.

There is a wealth of children’s books about the earth. More are being published every day and your local bookstore or online retailer is sure to have a display or special on such books in honor of Earth Day. Some have a clear, scientific slant and some have a cute, cuddly animal slant. Honestly, there are so many that no single family could possibly explore them all!

What is a trifle harder to find are books with a reverent stance, that are poetic or provide a global ecological stance without being ALARMING. Here are a few we enjoy:


Frank Ash’s The Earth and I — A simple, rainbow-hued story of a boy who loves the earth and cares for her; perfect for preschoolers.

Graeme Base’s Uno’s Garden — A story of people moving into an unspoiled Eden and ruining it, and then the gradual return of the marvelous creatures and plants that lived there. Eventually they achieve balance with nature. It is also a mathematics story. Asher loves the creatures and the challenge of finding the Snortlepig. Lucas likes the pictures and the math.

Nancy Luenn’s Mother Earth — A beautiful and poetic personifcation of the earth, with a message that we should enjoy all that the earth has to offer and give back to her, too. I found this at the library and then scoured the Internet to find a copy for our home. I think it may be out of print, but you can still find copies.

Linda Glaser’s Our Big Home: An Earth Poem — Illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Elisa Kleven, this book is intricate and stunning: “We all live here. People, ants, elephants, trees, lizards, lichen, turtles, bees. We all share the same big home.”

Tony Johnston’s The Whole Green World — Also illustrated by Kleven. A girl counts her many blessings: shoes, a dog, a stick, a sack of seeds, a watering can, the sun, birds, ladybugs and ants, breezes, cake, a book, the moon, flowers and trees.

From Mother Earth.

From Our Big Home: An Earth Poem.

Shari Halpern’s My River — A used bookstore find published by Scholastic. Perfect for little ones. It shows how the river belongs to all creatures equally.

Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children — This book is a good investment and one I’m sure we’ll keep for many years.

Joseph Bruchac’s Between Earth & Sky: Legends of Native American Sacred Places — For slightly older kids, this book tells of earth legends from various native peoples. The oil painting illustrations are lovely.

Nature Crafts for Kids — This is where I first saw the Easter eggs with the negative prints of leaves and flowers. Make a barometer, a birdbath, pressed flowers, candied violets, a sundial, baskets, evergreen garlands, and much more. Another keeper.

If you like what you see here and choose to purchase one of these books for your family, click the links here—my family will be supported just a tad by your purchase.

What’s in your Earth Day book basket?

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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