Early Childhood | PS-K
Imagine a Preschool or Kindergarten bursting with color; where children bake, sing, paint, and explore the wonders of nature in every season. A Waldorf early childhood experience is so much more than just learning skills. It is an education steeped in wonder and imagination—an education that nurtures your child's physical, social and emotional life while preparing them for the academic years ahead.
Get a glimpse into our Early Childhood program below, or schedule a visit with Admissions Coordinator, Brent Poole.
Artistic and Craft Activity
Wet-on-wet watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, crayon drawing, finger crocheting, simple sewing, working with wool and wood are done as group activities or individually. High-quality materials are used for these activities which develop fine motor skills, encourage the child’s natural sense of beauty, color, and form, and lay the groundwork for artistic techniques needed in later years.
The children are brought together to sing seasonal songs, recite nursery rhymes, play circle games, participate in gesture games, and experience puppet plays. Repeating and remembering verses sets the stage for memory work and is the foundation for healthy brain development. Rhyming and alliteration in poems and songs educate the ear, forming the beginning of phonics. Language development and vocabulary are gained.
The children are encouraged to imagine and play with a variety of natural materials and playthings, following their own initiative. During this time, the teacher may prepare the snack, sew, clean, or make toys—activities in which the children are welcome to participate.
The children eat together as a group with their teacher. It is likely that the children have helped prepare the food with care and love, using fresh organic foods whenever possible. An emphasis on gratitude for the food and on table manners sets the stage for lifelong social skills and supports healthy eating habits, digestion, and organ development.
Each day, usually before lunch, the children gather to hear a special story. It might be a nature story, a sequential tale, a puppet play, or perhaps a fairy tale filled with wonder and imagination. After two or three weeks of hearing the story, the children might “perform” it for one another. Gradually, the children learn to listen for a sustained period of time. They cultivate fluid expression and build vocabulary.
Part of the daily experience involves tending to domestic life (cooking, cleaning, repairing, and gardening) and self-care (toileting, hand washing, and dressing oneself). Involving children in these practical activities lays the foundation for organizational skills needed in adult life.
Children journey outdoors daily to experience the natural world. In addition to playing in areas with climbing structures and swings, the children go for long walks, exploring the larger campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Gardening is also a valued part of each day. Extensive outdoor experience hones a child’s observation skills and breeds a deep, comfortable relationship with nature.
Singing is woven throughout the day and is often used for transitioning from one activity to another. Music is a soothing influence in these formative years helping to establish a foundation for musical appreciation and participation.
Ongoing seasonal celebrations might include a harvest celebration in autumn, the creation of a holiday Advent garden, the planting of grass for Easter baskets in the spring, or a May Faire parade. Festivals from the various families’ religious and social cultures also are honored.