EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Beauty, Wonder, and Rhythm
When children step into a Waldorf preschool or kindergarten, they enter a place of beauty and adventure. Furniture and toys are shaped from natural materials, and walls are painted in the warm colors of the dawning day. One side of the classroom holds large tables for work time and snack time; the other side is carpeted for imaginative play and storytelling.
Our Early Childhood program fosters the development of the whole child by design. Each classroom is warm, inviting, orderly, and intentionally filled with beautiful, natural materials. These organic elements encourage children to create their own games and stories, nourishing their minds and senses. The Early Childhood room is a gentle place where children can imagine freely, while feeling safe and comfortable.
PLAY IS AT THE HEART OF THE WALDORF EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM
The structured and supported use of play in our Early Childhood program lays a strong foundation for your child's future academic success. In play, children develop their creative thinking, problem solving, and social skills through their imaginative interactions and in teacher directed activities. The children listen to fairy tales and folktales, they watch puppet plays, and they engage in dramatic play—all of which strengthens their powers of memory, comprehension, and imagination. Stories, songs, and nursery rhymes told in class also inspire their love of language and of learning. The children play counting games and perform rhythmic activities. They help bake bread, cook other simple dishes, and set the table, all of which provide the basis for learning mathematics, sequencing, and number skills. Children learn about the physical world through activities that develop fine and gross motor skills, and through imitative play. These pursuits prepare them for a wide range of subject study: sciences, arts and humanities.
All learning activities in the Early Childhood program follow daily and seasonal rhythms that connect the children to the world around them and instill a sense of gratitude and reverence for nature.
SIX KEY ELEMENTS OF THE WALDORF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CURRICULUM
AMPLE TIME AND SPACE
The first essential component of a Waldorf early childhood education is to provide time and space for joyful creative play and imagination.
The second crucial component of a Waldorf early childhood education is to create caring environments that nourish the senses.
The third essential component of Waldorf early childhood education is to establish consistent rhythms that promote health, security, and trust.
The fourth cornerstone of a Waldorf early childhood education is to engage children in real life activities that evoke reverence for the wonders of the world.
RELATIONSHIPS BASED ON LOVE
The fifth essential element of a Waldorf early childhood education is to foster relationships based on love, respect, and care for each child as unique in body, soul, and spirit.
The sixth vital component of a Waldorf early childhood education is educators who are committed to self-development and collaboration in community with others.