In Steiner Education the story is told to the children rather than read. It is often but not allways accompanied by a puppet show such as that seen in the images below. The teacher will learn the story by heart and then tell it to the children, without too much intonation or drama, leaving the rest to the child's imagination. If you feel you have the space in your life to learn the story and then tell it to your child this will be a great gift to your child but given the circumstances it is not expected for you to do so. Simply reading the story will be highly valuable to your child. The children are very good at creating story scenes. You will see that the first activity for the children is to create a wax gnome. This can then be used in the story set up, which you can create together by collecting bark, sticks etc. from the garden to make a house for the gnome and a scene for him to live within. This can then be recreated each day or left out somewhere special for your child to come back to throughout the days. The first story is only being told for two weeks as it is quite a short story for this age group.. This story will help to support your child through the tumultuous times that we are living in at present and will help to give them a sense that 'this too shall pass'. If you feel after the two weeks that your child would benefit from a longer telling of it please feel free to continue with this story for longer.

Week 1 & 2
The Little Gnome Who Had to Stay Home

by Susan Perrow

Week 3 & 4

The Sweet Porridge

by Brothers Grimm

This is a small Grimm's Fairy Tale that will help children to feel supported during this time, in the knowledge that they have what they need and are protected. This story can be told quite beautiful using a pot with some yellow or plain sheep fleece or silk cloth in it, which makes it's way out as the story proceeds. Children will then love to imitate this in their play or may do the actions for the story while you tell or read it to them.

Once upon a time there was a poor but pious girl who lived alone with her mother. When they had nothing left to eat, the girl went out into the forest, where she met an old woman who already knew about her troubles and gave her a small pot. She instructed the girl to say to it “Little pot, cook,” for it would then make a good, sweet millet porridge. And the girl was to say “Little pot, stop!” to make it stop cooking.

The girl brought the pot home to her mother, and it put an end to their poverty and hunger. From then on they ate sweet porridge as often as they liked. One day, when the girl had gone out, the mother said, “Little pot, cook,” and it began cooking. After she had eaten her fill, she wanted the pot to stop, but she had forgotten the right words. So the pot continued to cook, and the porridge ran over the rim and proceeded to fill the kitchen and the whole house, then the next house and the street, as if it wanted to feed the entire world.


The situation was desperate, and nobody knew what to do. Finally, when only one house was left standing without any porridge in it, the girl returned home and merely said, “Little pot, stop!” It stopped cooking, and whoever sought to go back into the town had to eat his way through

Week 5-7

Little Briar Rose

by Brothers Grimm

as found in "The brothers Grimm The Complete Fairy Tales Wordsworth Editions LTD 1997 with introduction by Padraic Colum p237-241

© March 2020 written to read to or tell young children who are required to stay home during the current C-19 pandemic


Little gnome was confused.

Why did he have to stay home?

Didn’t everyone know how little gnomes loved to roam.

He couldn’t go to gnome school, he couldn’t play with his friends in the forest, and hisfriends couldn’t visit him.

Little gnome was stuck in his tree-root home.

At least he could look out his window through the rocks and the tree roots. He was surprised that there was so much to see. Little ants were scurrying by, brightly coloured beetles were climbing up and down the fallen leaves and floppy eared rabbits were hopping in and out their burrows.

But even with all these things to watch, little gnome was growing impatient. Why did he have to keep on staying home? It didn’t make sense to him why he could not roam.

Then Mother Tree whispered to him:

‘Things are not as they used to be - but trust me - soon you will be free - trust me, trust me.’

Little gnome knew in his heart that he could always trust Mother Tree.

Mother Tree carried the wisdom of the whole forest.

Mother Tree knew all about everything. The birds and the wind were her friends and messengers. They visited her every day sharing the news of the big wide world.

Little gnome could hear when the birds came by. He could hear them singing high up in the branches of Mother Tree.

Little gnome could also see when the wind was visiting. He could see the branches swaying this way and that. He sometimes had to close his window to keep out the leaves and dust stirred up by this busy friend!

Everyday Mother Tree continued to whisper to him:
‘Things are not as they used to be - but trust me - soon you will be free - trust me, trust me.’

So little gnome had to trust, and little gnome had to wait. Soon he knew he would be free again to leave his home amongst the tree roots. Soon he knew he would be free again to roam once again in the big wide world.

And while he waited, he was surprised how many things he could find to do in his cosy little tree root home.


Little gnome could dance
Little gnome could sing
Little gnome could paint and draw

And do somersaults across the floor

Little gnome could dance
Little gnome could sing
Little gnome could clean and cook

And curl up with a picture book

Little gnome could dance
Little gnome could sing
Little gnome could ...............................

And ........................................................

Little gnome could dance
Little gnome could sing
Little gnome could ...............................

And ........................................................

Little gnome could dance
Little gnome could sing
Little gnome could ...............................

And ........................................................

© Little Yarra Steiner School 2020