Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Classes
Starting in Nursery and Kindergarten, through a play-based curriculum, Waldorf lays the foundation of skills that are needed to succeed later on in academic studies. Through daily rhythms of free play, outdoor time, circle time, story time, visual arts, handwork and practical activities, children exercise their creative muscles, develop their fine motor skills and create a strong foundation for their emerging literacy skills.
In our Nature Kindergarten class, most of the day is spent outside on the playground and on nature walks.
In Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, we offer mixed-age classes for children ages 4½ to 6-½. These classrooms are vibrant communities of young learners who accomplish so much each day. Classes are 5-days a week and begin at 8:10 am and end at 1 pm, with aftercare available until 2:40 pm or 5:30 pm.
Please scroll to learn more about our daily rhythm.
Story Time & Puppetry
Countering the noise of digital media, our teachers practice the arts of storytelling and puppetry. Creative adults inspire the same qualities in the children around them. The teller’s pacing, intonation, gestures and expression all support the children’s growing vocabulary, listening comprehension and attention span. When children are told a story, they develop an ability to listen, to remember, to sequence the elements of a story, to hear the subtleties of characterization, and perhaps most important, to imagine. As they listen they, “think the pictures,” creating a strong foundation for their emerging literacy skills.
Young children come to know and understand the world around them through movement. Our kindergarten circle time lets the children shift naturally into their joy of movement, while stimulating their imagination. Woven out of familiar daily activities and experiences of nature, the rhymes and songs of our circle time nourish the child’s language development, stimulate their natural delight in singing and invite them to participate in a flowing rhythm.
Outdoor Work and Play
Waldorf School at Moraine Farm’s Nature Kindergarten continues to deepen students’ connection to nature as we spend most of our day outside. Daily walks, extensive gardening activities and circle and story time all take place outdoors on our beautiful Moraine Farm campus. Our two classrooms shelter us in extreme weather and when we paint, bake bread and engage in other nurturing activities.
At the heart of our early childhood program is our understanding that self-initiated play and hands-on learning is critical to the healthy development of all young children, so we allow ample time for creative play each morning. We provide children with simple toys made from natural materials, like silk scarves, knitted wool puppets, wooden blocks, shells, acorns and even stones collected from their nature walks. These materials nourish the child’s developing senses, exercise their creative muscles and help develop their emerging fine motor skills. Structures that they can move, crawl over and into, and explore with their whole bodies help develop gross motor coordination.
Visual Arts, Handwork and Practical Activities
Painting, coloring, beeswax modeling, wet wool felting, sewing and finger knitting are just a few examples of the artistic activities in our program. Practical activities include snack preparation, washing and chopping vegetables, baking bread, watering plants, polishing toys, mending, and repairing and making toys. These hands-on experiences are often connected to the seasons, and carried out with as much independence by the children as possible.