Young children at Spring Garden spend their day in a place that honors their imagination and innocence while feeding their minds, bodies and spirits. Rhythm and routine are so essential for the well being of a child which is why the early childhood day is focused on comfort and predictability.
- The day begins as children come inside after outdoor play. They put on their indoor shoes, wash their hands, and, after a softly sung greeting, sit in their circle to begin the morning routine.
- Children then take part in a structured artistic activity such as wet-on-wet watercolor, crayon drawing, baking, making soup or handwork.
- From there, the children move to free play with simple materials that inspire the imagination. During this time, children may be encouraged to sew or be selected to help with a classroom task such as folding laundry
- Then comes snack time — one of the most exciting points of the child’s day. Each day of the week has an assigned food, the highlight for most is bread day, when they knead and shape the dough that is then served fresh and warm with butter and honey. Children help prepare the food each day, set the table and recite the blessing before enjoying their healthy snack. As snack time finishes, the children wash and dry their own dishes.
- Now the children listen to a story – told not from a book, but by the teacher, who tells the same tale repeatedly. The children never tire of hearing the story because interactions are added via puppets and role playing. In this way, the children create a mental picture of the story, absorb and comprehend it fully. This helps prepare them for first grade by teaching them how to learn lesson material in depth. The stories lengthen and become very detailed as the year progresses. This also helps develop the children’s attention spans, focus on details and memory.
- After story, it’s time to go back outside in rain or shine, warm or cold. Fresh air and active play are not optional activities in the Waldorf kindergarten. Outdoor time is essential for the growth and stimulation of young children’s minds and bodies.
- Then the day comes to close with a simple verse:
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye we say.
Tomorrow, tomorrow again we will play.
And, when the children return tomorrow to learn, they know exactly what to expect in their familiar, peaceful world.