Early Childhood Curriculum Overview

PlayOur Idea of Play

Play is not only the child's real work in life, it is the foundation of creativity yet to come. For the young child, play is a way of understanding the world and it is vital for healthy emotional and intellectual development. The inner forces of imagination, creativity, and flexibility, which are developed during play, become the capabilities for later learning in school, career, and life.

TableThe Space

The physical environment plays a central role. The rooms are beautifully decorated and calm. Natural materials in both the decor and toys welcome the children to creative and imaginative play with endless possibilities.

Rhythm

A consistent rhythm of every day life, songs, poems, and circle games enliven and strengthen the children's natural creativity and provide the content for high quality of play. Stories are told, not read, and come to life through the imagination that the children bring to them. Fairy tales and puppet shows allow the children to feel secure in a world where good triumphs over bad.

Seasonal festivals and nature walks foster a meaningful connection with the natural world. The teacher takes special care to have a daily and weekly rhythm of activities that gives the children time for both structure and spontaneity.

Why Play Is So Important

Imaginative play is an essential foundation for future health and success in school and beyond.  Listed below are links to some of the current education research that corroborates what Waldorf Educators have known for almost a century.
  • Kindergarten Cram.  New York Times Sunday Magazine (April 2009) essay by Peggy Orenstein