Waldorf teachers have been talking about the importance of warmth for almost 100 years, out of the understanding that fostering physical warmth helps a child better integrate on physical, developmental, emotional and spiritual levels. Only when a child is sufficiently warm can their energy be used to support the developing brain, heart, liver, lungs, and other organs. Warmth also supports comfort and connection with ourselves, fosters empathy towards others, and, perhaps most importantly, allows children to meet, digest, and properly transform the world around them. Every child is actively striving to integrate: to learn to feel comfortable in her body, to find the means for expressing outwardly what she feels inwardly, to develop a sense of security and understanding about all the new and unusual experiences brought by the world around her, to bring what is in, out; and to make what is foreign, one’s own. Warmth facilitates these processes.
As we move through these wintry months, building children’s warmth becomes even more vital. Since small children do not accurately sense their own warmth, they may often answer “No!” when you ask them if they are cold, so it is up to their parents and teachers to ensure that their bodies and environments are properly heated. Internal warmth is just one side of the coin; creating a warm and comforting external environment is the other. In our school, we intentionally use color, lighting, texture, and natural materials to build a sense of warmth throughout our classrooms. We are mindful of the warmth we bring forth in our words, gestures, and stories, and shift our snack menu to warm foods and drinks in the colder seasons. All of these “warmths” pour over and merge with each other to create a nurturing environment where children can comfortably grow, adapt, settle into themselves, and learn.
So, what can you do to cultivate your child’s warmth?
Make sure they are really warm when you put them to bed, and dressed so that they can stay that way. Room temperatures usually drop in the early morning hours, just when we are often entering some of our deepest sleep. Covers can be kicked off in the night, but layers on the body can’t.
Dress them each day in extra layers. A good rule of thumb: however many layers of clothes you are comfortable in, a child needs at least one more. Since children lose heat much faster than adults and are still developing the sensory awareness to gauge their own temperature, an extra layer next to their skin (like a silk or merino wool undershirt) along with hat and gloves (even on days that might not seem to you quite cold enough for gloves) help tremendously to stabilize their temperature.
Give them warm foods and drinks, especially in the morning before school. While you enjoy your morning coffee, try offering your child a cup of herbal tea. You might be surprised by how much they like it!
Hug them and love them with all the warmth you can muster. Let your warmth flow through your voice, your embrace, the food you cook, and the home you keep. As the guardian of your child’s warmth, one of the greatest tools you have is the ability to build the world you give her.
March Parent Evenings
Juniper, Willow, & Maple
NEW DATE: Wednesday, March 13
Louise deForest will join all three early childhood lead teachers on the topic of "Setting Boundaries."
Grades 1, 2, & 3
Wednesday, March 20
SAVE THE DATE
Parent/Faculty Talent Show
Thursday, Feb. 14
Friday, Feb. 15
Good coffee. Good conversation. Downstairs after drop-off.
Winter Recess (SCHOOL CLOSED)
Monday, Feb. 18 - Friday, Feb. 22
Monday Morning Eurythmy Mini-Session (for Parents!)
Monday, Feb. 25
A quick 15-minute eurythmy session with Brigida to start your week.
Monday Book Club
Monday, Feb. 25
"Uncovering the Voice" Workshop
Tuesday, Feb. 26
“uncovering the voice”
Tuesday, February 26
3:45 - 6:30pm
For singers and non-singers alike! Christiaan Boele is a world-renowned teacher in the Werbeck method of developing the voice. He will be teaching a private workshop for our school community on Feb. 26th. Pre-registration is requested. Workshop cost is $30 per person. Please join us in welcoming him and taking advantage of this rare opportunity to develop a deeper connection to your children and students by discovering the innate potential of your voice.
“Through uncovering, or unveiling, our voices, we can learn to connect more fully to that which wants to speak through our voices: to our deeper, inner ideals and impulses which we are looking for in our lives.”
Sign up at the front desk!
Summer waldorf courses
for Teachers and Parents
June 23-July 5
Wilton, New Hampshire
Did you know that your Amazon purchases could be raising funds for our school? Shop through Amazon Smile to easily help our school:
1. Go to smile.amazon.com
2. Choose New Amsterdam School as your selected charity
3. Shop as normal and a percentage of what you spend is automatically donated to our school!