Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Many people remember Johanna Spyri's book Heidi from childhood. I was given a copy as a little girl, by one of my aunts, and still treasure this rather battered book. I have been looking forward to reading it to Youngest Daughter for some time and this January, decided the time had come.

Heidi is a little Swiss orphan to is taken to live with her reclusive grandfather high on a mountain. She has a happy life until she is forceably taken, by an aunt, to Frankfurt as a companion for an invalid girl, Clara. Heidi's time in Frankfurt is bitterly marred by homesickness. After dramatic events, she is returned to the mountains and her grandfather. Grandfather is able to seek peace with God and man. Heidi, and her visitors and friends, thrive in the beautiful Alps and Heidi is able to look back on her difficult time in Frankfurt and realise that she learnt important lessons there.

I wanted to link the book into some activities so we have

  • found Switzerland and Frankfurt, in Germany on the map.

  • heard the story of William Tell and listened to the William Tell overture by Rossini. We didn't try to act out William Tell!

  • talked about mountains having names and the names of the highest peaks in the United Kingdom.

  • made towers to represent the different heights of Ben Nevis and the Jungfrau. Jungfrau on the left Ben Nevis on the right.

  • In the story, Heidi wants the Grandmother to have white rolls. We made some and also some rye bread. The children, like the Grandmother in the story, prefer the white rolls. I prefer the rye bread. We also ate some goats cheese. Youngest Daughter didn't agree with Heidi about the merits of this.
Heavy rye dough
Much lighter white bread dough
The finished product-I forgot to take a picture until most of the white rolls had been consumed.
Goat's cheese
  • Like Heidi's Grandfather, my Grandfather also made household items out of wood. We found a round bowl he had made and wondered whether the drinking bowl made for Heidi was similar.
  • We collected some of the other items he had made and looked at these. Great Grandfather died before Youngest Daughter was born and she hadn't appreciated before that he had made all these items.

  • Youngest Daughter drew a picture of Heidi, Goat Peter and the Doctor and wrote about this.

  • We talked about the parable of the Prodigal Son which features in Grandfather's role in the story.
We've haven't quite finished Heidi yet. Youngest Daughter has appreciated this read aloud. I hope that she, like me, will have happy childhood memories of this book.

This is linked to Monday Kid CornerThe children's bookshelf, History and Geography at All things beautiful and Living Life Intentionally.


  1. Cute idea to tie it all together with the book Heidi :-) Thanks for sharing on Monday Kid Corner ( Looking forward to what you post next on the Linky!

  2. The think I remember most about Heidi is that the bread and cheese she ate always sounded so delicious. Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.

  3. Those are great activities to go with Heidi! I love the picture in the book, and I absolutely love all the wooden bowls and the like. Beautiful treasures!

  4. Thank you, Phyllis. Hope your treatment is going well.