The quality of the physical environment of a Waldorf Early Childhood class is integral to our educational goals for the children - it is a sanctuary where all the child's senses are protected and nurtured. One can breathe easily, relax and play according to the impulses of one's heart. Waldorf teachers strive to preserve the innocence and innate wonder of early childhood for the sake of healthy physical, intellectual and emotional development, and work to create an environment filled with activities worthy of imitation by the young child.
Waldorf teachers work consciously with rhythm - the great rhythms of the seasons, as well as the smaller rhythms of the weeks and days. Through story, verse, song, and movement, we live with seasonal moods and experience subtle changes. The daily rhythm of activities includes time for imaginative free-play, preparation and sharing of nourishing snacks and lunch, artistic activities, stories told by the teacher, seasonal songs and verses accompanied by movement, outdoor play, and gardening. Weekly rhythms include watercolor painting, bread baking, and soup making. Through these activities and others, a vessel of security and predictability is created in which each child can relax and grow with confidence.
Creative play is at the heart of our early childhood and kindergarten programs. Through imaginative play, children learn to experience and integrate the possibilities of life. Self-initiated play fosters children’s abilities to think creatively, problem solve, and develop social relationships, practicing and testing their skills as they tackle more and more difficult tasks. Using the simplest of materials from nature to construct worlds, children flex their imaginations, which grow strong and active; open-ended toys allow children to imitate and transform activities of everyday human life. Participating in play cultivates and strengthens the child’s comprehension, memory, and imagination, as well as their growing body.
During the first seven years of a child’s life, an astonishing range of human capacities develop. As they awaken to the world, learn to walk and talk, master their bodies, and begin to understand their relationship to others, young children observe and absorb the environment around them and imitate the movements and interactions they see. Our early childhood program offers support for children and families during these critical early years based on Rudolf Steiner’s insights into birth and early child development and provides an introduction to Waldorf education.
The preschool and kindergarten is combined and offered for children ages 2 to 6 years, with parent evenings held regularly.
In a life-enriching, caring environment, the children learn through imitation, nurturing sense impressions, purposeful play, storytelling, and practical and artistic activities. Learning in the preschool and kindergarten fosters a strong sense of self and relationship to the world, as well as capacities for creative thinking and healthy movement.
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