Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting Ready for First Grade: Math Gnomes

These are some lovely gnomes hand knitted by our own Linda from the Earthschooling group. Her shop is Mamma 4 Earth and she makes the most incredible knitted treasures with all natural materials. I have raved about her before, most notably regarding Norman the Storytelling Gnome and Lily our Easter rabbit (and we have yet to introduce Seamus the Sea Turtle)...

Anyway, I purchased Linda's beautiful knitted gnomes many months ago in preparation for first grade. The girls took to them immediately, as they seem to take to all handmade goodies and the gnomes have been enjoying free play with the twins.

Well, in preparation for our first grade year, the girls wanted to make math gnomes of their own and with a little help from Mom, that's what they did. We originally were going to cut felt and glue it around a wooden peg person, but Charley had so much fun painting our Sprites from Syrendell that she immediately asked to paint the gnomes instead. These peg people can be purchased through most crafting shops, like Beverly's or Michaels.

The girls painted them first...

We measured and cut out pieces of felt to make caps and capes...

Elena had fun putting the cap on backwards...her gnome looked cute so we might make some other characters like this :)

We sewed the caps and then the girls polished the dried gnomes after we painted the four processes on them.

I just love this serene picture of my Charley...she wanted to stay by the window to polish her gnomes because she was so intent on watching our hummingbirds fly around and feed.

And voila! The capes were stitched on, the hats were put on and the girls declared they were "just right" :) We might go back and add wool beards to them, but for now the girls wanted them beardless - I think inspired by Linda's originals :)

And we even had some curious visitors checking out our creations...I think this is Rudy, one of our sweet twin ratties...Rudy particularly LOVED the Eco-Twig House pictured with the gnomes, also handmade by the incredible artists at Syrendell. It will be instrumental in our Three Day Rhythm as a playhouse for retelling our stories. I will be blogging about how we use it soon!

This project took all morning to complete, but it was so satisfying. I can't wait to use them in our maths blocks this year!

In preparation for our First Grade, I am going to be posting about our journey & am excited to read the blogs of others on this path. I know Donna in the Earthschooling group is documenting her first grade experiences, as well. It helps to have a community to tap into since Waldorf education is so different than the traditional educations most of us received. So please leave me a comment with a link to your blog if you're also doing first grade work so I can join your site.

We're also starting Story of the World, as history nuts, in the afternoons so I hope to have lots of fun activities blogged about as we proceed through the Ancients.

My next blog will be about our beanbags for maths! Stay tuned!


  1. Such cute gnomes! They look at home in the twig house, surrounded by the sprites. What a great project to get prepared for 1st grade! :)

  2. Elena and Charley are going to have a wonderful year with you as their teacher extraordinaire!

  3. Hi Jen,
    It was so wonderful to click on your blog and see these little Maths Gnomes that travelled so far from us here in South Africa to you :) I am so glad they have settled in to their new home and that they are so loved :) Your girls did make beautiful gnomes, they are absolutely perfect! Rudy your rat is so cute and I love the Eco Friendly twig house made by Syrendell :)

    Thanks so much for becoming a follower of my blof Jen, it is lovely to see you there :) And thanks so much for linking to my knitted toy shop, you are most kind my dear friend.

    Have a wonderful weekend,



  4. Thank you guys for the nice comments. We had a lot of fun making the gnomes and have been inspired by the surrounding creativity on this journey. :) We also LOVE our treasures from your shops, Linda & Jennifer/Rick (can you tell) lol!

  5. Jen

    Awesomely cute gnomes!! We may try something like it. I hadn't thought to paint them first. We are gearing up here as well! Received new block crayons and paper and getting them "ready".. When do you start? We are staring Aug.31



  6. Hey Donna! We started yesterday, which was a bit of a mistake because we have been entertaining family and other summer committments that resulted in two very over stimulated and over tired newly first graders - lol! We're easing into it with two weeks of Form Drawing before we really kick start. I'm going to be blogging about it this week :) What block are you starting with?

  7. If I had cute little gnomes like this for math lessons when I was in first grade I might have actually tuned in and paid attention to the lesson. I love them! My girls would love making these -- we'll add it to our crafty to-do list!!
    Thanks for sharing : )