Sense of Smell


Sense of Smell

This week we will continue to explore our theme of the four middle senses. The first of the middle senses is the sense of smell. Right now, take a deep breath in through your nose. What do you sense? Notice how you feel and also if any memories are triggered. If you can't smell anything in particular right now, try thinking back to a time when you smelled something strong. You probably had an emotional reaction, even if was subtle. The sense of smell, as one of the middle senses, nourishes and connects us to our feeling life. Interestingly, it can also connect us to our past. We can be back walking up the front path to our grandparents' house the instant we smell a fragrant boxwood hedge. Smell is so strongly bound to our memories that it can connect us instantly to a past experience.

Nourishing a subtle sense of smell can be so enjoyable! And it allows you to slow down and be mindful too. How do Meyer lemons and Eureka lemons differ in scent? Roasting pine nuts versus walnuts? Rose cream from Dr. Hauschka and Weleda? You can liken this experience to developing a sensitivity to different shades of blue in the sky or in a painting, for example. We take this kind of sensory education for granted, but not so with smell. Some shades of blue make us feel somber, some others reverent, and some others content. If we know that our sense of smell can be cultivated to appreciate the subtleties, we can consciously cultivate a more subtle feeling life as well. The Waldorf elementary students experience this in their curriculum, but we adults can do this now, it is not too late! Take some time this week to stop and smell the flowers, even if the ones you find are dried and perfuming your tea.

-Jennifer Chace

Essential Oils in the Home


Entering the Parent/Child and Kindergarten classrooms at New Amsterdam can sometimes feel like walking into a different world- a relaxing, warm, and slow-paced haven in the middle of the city. You may have noticed that along with intentional natural materials, soothing colors, and open-ended toys, the rooms seem to perpetually hold comforting scents. Our teachers are unprofessed alchemists when it comes to essential oils and use them regularly for safely cleaning and infusing comfort into the children’s space throughout the year.

Below are some tried and true blends that you can use in your own home. As always, when purchasing essential oils, pay attention to quality (we use organic oils sourced from Vitacost), and be sure to safely dilute them or use a diffuser.

Immunity blend (great for cold and flu season): 1 drop each of Rosemary, Clove, Eucalyptus, & Orange.

Stress Blend: 4 drops lavender, 3 drops clary sage, 2 drops Ylang Ylang, 1 drop Marjoram.

Wellbeing Blend: 2 drops orange, 3 drops grapefruit, 1 drops lemon, 1 drop Palo Santo.

A Note From NAPA

Greetings, Parents!  The New Amsterdam Parent's Association (NAPA) is thrilled to add a message to this week's Villager, and highlight a few ways we can share ourselves with our beloved school this month.  As we slowly march through this month's final breath of cold winter weather, there are rich opportunities to create and feel warmth within our community.  

The NAPA co-chairs meet monthly as a group with the parent reps from each classroom.  This is a vibrant time of sharing, planning, and support, where we discuss the individual and collective needs, changes, questions, and initiatives of the parent and school community. We welcome any and all parents to join in this conversation.  If you have questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share, we welcome you to our next scheduled meeting Friday, March 8th at 2pm.  Email to let us know you plan to attend!

NAPA hosts a monthly nourishing potluck for teachers and staff that has welcomed a caring, warm, rhythm to our school!  So many parents have participated this year, and the staff truly looks forward to the generous spread each and every month.  Food made from the heart creates warmth and generosity, and if you haven't had a chance to give thanks to our tireless staff in this delicious way, join this month's meal.  

The next potluck will be held Tuesday, March 26th and you can sign up to participate here:

Details coming shortly for a community wide meeting at the end of the month.  We will be reinvigorating committee participation, talking about the bright future of NAS, and planning how to best support our school wide growth.  We need all voices, hands, and creative minds during this seminal time of creation and expansion--our children will live in the community we create! 

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


Grades 2/3 Parenting Support Group
Friday, March 8 • 9:30-10:30am
Wednesday, March 13 • 8:30-9:30am
Hosted by Wendy. Parents may attend either meeting.

Coffee Friday
Friday, March 8

Good coffee. Good conversation. Downstairs after drop-off.

Monday Morning Eurythmy Mini-Session (for Parents!)
Monday, March 11

A quick 15-minute eurythmy session with Brigida to start your week.

Monday Book Club
Monday, March 11

Parent/Teacher Conference Day (SCHOOL CLOSED)
Friday, March 15
Please sign up for a time slot with your class teacher.

Kim John Payne Lecture: The Overwhelm of Boys
Wednesday, March 21

In The News

“One might surmise that highly creative people explore relationships that other people miss. Children who are given an open-ended problem are more apt to explore a variety of relationships and patterns, unlike when they are given a toy with preset instructions or uses. “The ‘thing’ should not be dictating the activity,” Dr. Bilder said of toys. “The person dictates the activity.”

From The New York Times article, “States Consider Longer School Recess, and the Adults Aren’t Complaining.”

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

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! 

Belle Savransky