In breathing, grace may two-fold be.
We breathe air in, we
set it free.
The in-breath binds, the out unwinds
And thus, with marvels,
Then thanks to God when we are pressed
And thank Him when
he gives us rest.
'A key part of working with the young child's need for activity is to understand
that activity must be held with a sense of rhythm. You, as the parent, can form
your child's days, weeks and seasons so that there is a healthy balance between
activity and rest. Think of a beating heart - sometimes it is faster, other
times slower. But, in health, it is always rhythmical. So, for health, a young
child needs time to run and shout and be exuberant as well as times of
listening, resting and being quiet. In Steiner inspired settings and groups this is often expressed in terms of out-breath and in-breath.'
'As human beings, we are creatures of rhythm—from the moment we are born,
our hearts beat, our blood pulses, and our lungs beat to a steady rhythm.
We give children a gift and nourish their healthy development by being
mindful of a young child’s need for rhythm, and offering them consistency, and
the comfort of knowing what comes next, as we move through our days, weeks, and
years together with them.
Names of the days of the week are a meaningless abstraction for young
children, but the children in my class knew that Rice Day was always
followed by Soup Day, and then in turn comes Bread Day, Millet Day and Oatmeal
The children also knew that on Rice Day we painted, on Soup Day we chopped
vegetables, on Bread Day we kneaded dough, on Millet Day we colored with beeswax
crayons, and on Fridays we polished and cleaned our classroom. It was all part
of the “Rhythm of the Week.”
Seasonally, the children would experience the “Rhythm of the
Year” by preparing for and celebrating the festivals of the
year—Michaelmas in September, All Hallow’s Eve, Martinmas, Advent, St. Nicholas
Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and May Day. Festivals are a
much more meaningful way for a child to mark the passage of a year than dates on
a calendar.' (Sarah Baldwin)
'The children go through the day in alternate periods of concentration and
expansion, as if in a breathing rhythm where there is inhaling and exhaling.
In the inhaling or breathing-in phase the child directs his attention to an
activity that basically relates him to himself. For little children each
breathing-in period (drawing, water painting, and knitting, eating…) is very
short because little children can only concentrate for short periods of time. In
the exhaling or breathing-out period, the child relates mainly to the
surrounding world (free play, free running etc.). For each breathing-in period
the child needs a breathing-out period and so a pattern is established. This
rhythm is something that you can bring into your home. You have to try to find
out when the children breathes-in and when they breathe-out. And when the
children are in the breathing-in period, you have to make sure you are present,
so the child feels ah, here I feel my parents, they are there for
me. After that, for very short time, you can do what you have to do at home
and you can tell your child you have to wait because I need to do this.
And this will be all right because you know you have been present with the
Resources and more reading on this subject:
Acorns: a gentle nurturing environment for babies and young children.