Play is at the heart of the Waldorf Early Childhood Program. Children develop the capacity for creative thinking, problem-solving and social skills through their free imaginative play. Simple, natural materials – pieces of wood, seashells, beeswax and handcrafted toys – encourage children to form their own games and stories.
Free play is balanced with structured activities as the children engage in watercolor painting, handwork, seasonal crafts and movement opportunities such as circle time and eurythmy. Following the seasons, they are often led on nature walks and enjoy free play outdoors every day.
Hearing stories told aloud and watching puppet plays cultivate the imagination and strengthen the ability to listen and communicate. Songs and nursery rhymes inspire a love of language and of music. Preparing snacks together, baking bread and cleaning up afterward encourage cooperation and sense of responsibility. Skills foundations are also being laid for academics such as math and reading. All these activities enrich the early childhood experience in daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms that create a bridge from home to school.
Chicago Waldorf Early Childhood Program strives to honor and respect the beauty of being a child. The environment allows children to be children in rooms that are warm, colorful and filled with nature’s beauty and variety. It is a place where children can let their imaginations roam and where their natural sense of wonder can flourish.
Good morning dear Earth
Good morning dear sun
Good morning dear trees
And the flowers, every one
Good morning, dear bees
And the birds in the trees
Good morning to you
And good morning to me