Our Waldorf early childhood programs consist of Seedlings Parent & Child classes and Maple two-year-old programs in addition to our Juniper and Willow mixed-aged kindergartens. Each class is tailored to meet the nuanced development of the growing child. Robin’s Nest afternoon program is available to children ages 2.9 - 6 who are enrolled in our early childhood classes, providing families the opportunity of extended care. Our early childhood programs have been certified by WECAN.
"To a healthy child, playing is not only a pleasurable pastime, but also an absolutely serious activity. Play flows in real earnest out of the child’s entire organism."
Upon entering our Waldorf inspired pre-school classroom for the first time, many parents are struck by the peace and beauty of this child-centered environment and experience it as a peaceful sanctuary in the busy city. In this home-like setting, the rhythm of the day is balanced between lively and quiet activities that reflect the child’s need for active play, meaningful social interaction and attentive focus.
Activities in our early childhood programs include free play, songs, movement games, bread-making, cooking and clean-up, seasonal crafts, storytelling, and puppetry. These activities slowly transform children’s sensory experiences into knowledge of themselves and the world around them. Healthy cognitive development is bolstered by the growing knowledge of one’s self and ample opportunities to explore freely.
By participating in the practical work of the classroom, children develop fine and gross motor skills, social skills, concentration, and other skills necessary for later educational and social success. Further, these activities nurture each child’s innate capacity for wonder, reverence, and awe. The seeds planted now will spring forth later as a lifelong love of learning, creative thinking, and an active interest in the world and the lives of others.
Seedlings Parent & Child Program
- Age newborn – 30 months
- Meets Wednesday mornings and afternoons
- 1 hour or 1.5 hours (age dependent)
Maple Two-Year-Olds Programs
- Age 2 - 3
- 2.5 - 3.5 hour classes (age dependent)
- Thursday & Friday, 9:00am - 11:30am
- Monday - Wednesday, 9:00am - 11:30am (12:30pm second semester)
- Age 2.9 years - 6 years
- 5 mornings
- 8:30am - 1:00pm, including lunch time
- Robin's Nest afternoon program available from 1:00pm to as late as 6:00pm
Seedlings Classes for newborn – 30 Months of Age
Seedlings is a warm welcome to Waldorf education and is nurturing for both parent and child. Our classes support the healthy physical, social, and emotional development of the young child through activities specially designed for stages of the very young child. Parents and children will sing songs, play games, learn fingerplays, and enjoy an organic snack in a peaceful and joyful environment. Each class also includes time for conversation and parenting support.
Register for Seedlings Online!
younger Two-year-olds: Sugar Maples
Lead teacher: Ms. Kaori Yamashita
Our Sugar Maples class is designed for children who have not yet turned two years five months by September 2018. This is a wonderful introduction to the Waldorf early childhood classroom curriculum and our school community. Led by an experienced Waldorf teacher, the children take part in free play, bread-baking and snack preparation, and circle time with nursery rhymes, songs, finger plays, and stories. Parents will have the opportunity work on simple crafts and to engage in the study of child development. Children, parents, and teachers will enjoy a nutritious organic snack and outside time together. Parents will stay with their children in the classroom until their child is ready for a bit of separation. At that point, parents may stay in our parent gathering space while their child is in class. Children may stay on their own with their class after they turn two years nine months.
Older Two-Year-Olds: Silver Maples
Lead teacher: Ms. Kaori Yamashita
Our Silver Maples class is designed for children who are two years five months by September 2018. Silver Maples follows a similar program as Sugar Maples, with activities designed for a slightly older child. Beginning in November, parents will start the gentle separation process, spending time together in our parent gathering space. Beginning in January, children will stay with their class on their own and the class will lengthen to end at 12:30pm.
Willow & Juniper Mixed-Aged Kindergartens
Lead teachers: Ms. Patricia Carlin & Mr. Howard Dulaney
The diversity of ages in our mixed-age program gives children an opportunity to learn from one another and inspire growth in each other. The younger ones look up to the older ones with reverence and learn from their example. And the older children are given daily opportunities to help others in need, developing joy and confidence as they do so. This is a gift for all, but particularly for those children without siblings at home.
Children entering our kindergarten classes find a sanctuary where they can confidently move, play and explore in a home-like environment with experienced educators prepared to support their development with a peaceful, caring approach. The care and reverence that teachers bring to their work gives children a worthy example to imitate. The rhythm of the day is balanced between lively and quiet activities that reflect the child’s need for active play, meaningful social interaction, and attentive focus. Free play, songs, movement games, bread-making, snack preparation and cleanup, seasonal crafts such as wet felting and finger-knitting , doll-making, simple woodworking projects, storytelling, and puppetry weave the pattern of the day. The children experience the natural world each day during outside play in El Garden del Paraiso Community Garden, Green Oasis, or Tompkin’s Square Park.