Early Childhood in Waldorf Education
Early Childhood Curriculum
The curriculum is based on the importance of play and imagination. The teacher works with the young child first by creating a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment, which is protective and secure and where things happen in a predictable, regular manner. The developing child is responded to in two basic ways. Firstly, the teacher engages in domestic, practical and artistic activities which the children can readily imitate (for example, baking, painting, gardening and handicrafts) adapting the work to the changing seasons and festivals of the year. Secondly, the teacher nurtures the children’s power of imagination particular to the age. This is done so by telling carefully selected stories and by encouraging free play. When toys are used they are made of natural materials.
The child’s day includes outdoor and indoor cooperative play, music and movement, storytelling, puppet shows and reenactment by the children, artistic activities such as watercolor painting, beeswax modeling and baking. Handwork activities, such as finger crochet and sewing, are done weekly. The beauty and comfort of the Early Childhood environment plants the seeds of reverence for all that surrounds us, and provides a place of joy, comfort and loving spirit in which the young child can explore, work with others and gain confidence and security in their world.
Sequencing, sensory integration, eye-hand coordination tracking, appreciating the beauty of language and other basic skills necessary for the foundation of academic excellence are fostered in the kindergarten. In this truly natural, loving and creative environment, the children are given a range of activities and the structure that help prepare them for the next phase of school life.