at cauldron of plenty Small family-friendly festival
A special welcome for children
The Cauldron of Plenty is an amazing and wonderful experience for children and teenagers, who are all very much welcome and a central part of the tribe.
The Children's Circle is a dedicated space in a Yurt or Bedouin tent. The aim is to encourage children in a sensitive and supportive way to have a unique experience with their own age group.
The circle will run for in the morning and evening. There will be winding down time/bedtime story before bed. There is usually a separate group for older children and teenagers depending on numbers and enthusiasm.
Please note, all our other events (unless specified), are not suitable for children.
Workshop Leader's Testimonial
Our beloved Fiona Collins held the Children's Circle for many many years, who has now passed this responsibility onto Leila who has taught for many years in Steiner education. Fiona is also a very talented storyteller, author and welsh speaker. Here is Fiona's account of The Children's Circle:
"The Children's Circle is open to all babies, children and young people. We welcome back children who have been coming to the valley since birth, and honour new children, whether last year's babies tasting independence, or others, of any age, coming for the first time.
Each morning and afternoon for two hours, and for about an hour of Evening Storytelling, the Circle offers a space for the children to be together without their parents - though adults are welcome, by the children's invitation. It is not a creche, and exists to benefit the children, rather than their parents.
Our guiding principles are these: the valley itself is our plaything, and we trust the children to know their own limits. What does this mean in practice?
We play in and by the river, across the slopes and on the valley floor. We tell and act out stories both inside and out: sometimes Nature herself contributes, as when a flock of ravens flew over as I told 'The Seven Ravens'. We use river clay for modelling; meadow plants for decorating dolls, hangings, masks and prayer bundles; stones from the riverbed as jewels and decorations for our tent. Adults and young people help the children to light and tend candles and fires safely or use knives to shape wood. It is a very harmonious place.
Of course, we do have quarrels, unkindness and the occasional accident, but the children can often sort out such problems themselves. Where they cannot, wonders can be worked by an ear which truly listens, and a cuddle which really embraces.
Our Opening Circle draws nearly all the children, and may hold more than forty young people. Later in the camp, older children help little ones; teenagers share their skills, or just join us for fun. Sometimes the Children's Circle may hold only a group of the tiniest children, for others are busy with their own adventures, or visiting each other's tents to share secrets and sweets, chat and giggle.
The Evening Story Circles attract a wide age range, and sometimes it feels hard to choose the right story. However, I have seen at Spirit Horse how children take what they need from a story. Younger children will listen contentedly to a story that seems too 'difficult' for them, remembering some apparently small detail and glossing over what might have been expected to trouble them. Similarly, older children will enjoy something babyish once reassured that it is 'for the little ones', and there will be a story 'for them' afterwards.
I tell traditional tales of all kinds, both in the Evening Story Circles, and as a frame to focus or reflect on our craftwork, expeditions and interactions. I share stories of Wales, in English and Welsh, to give the children a sense of the mythology and geography of their surroundings; tales of young people setting out into the world; stories which address issues troubling the group, such as rivalry between siblings, so the children can draw on the wisdom of stories.
I tell animal tales to encourage the children to think about all the beings who share the Earth with us, and stories of gods and goddesses from many cultures, so they can hear different ways of understanding the world. Other storytellers also tell, and of course the children themselves tell stories of their own adventures or their own imagined heroes and heroines. When we discuss stories, in formal Talking Circles or individual conversations, the children's ideas are always accorded respect. We also explore stories physically, so we can take them into our bodies, acting or dancing them, or choosing places in the valley to be their setting."
~ FIONA COLLINS
Bookings and Cancellations Policy
It is really helpful for us when running courses and events if you book in advance.
If we have to cancel an event, we will provide you a full refund without question.
If you need to cancel your booking, you can carry the value of your booking over to another event (subject to availability) or pay £100 admin fee, unless exceptional circumstances.