If a child plays so that they are satisfied, they will have the foundation for health, and the ability to do what they need to do in later life.
Rudolf Steiner: The Spiritual Ground of Education, 1922
The Young Child
“The young child up to the age of 6 or 7 years is characterised by a gesture of trust and openness toward the world. This includes the capacity of the child to absorb sense impressions right into their being without the reflective or analytic skills of the older student or adult.” Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework
Our Kindergarten environment and program is structured to meet the needs of each individual child, as they make the transition between pre-school and the formal learning environment of the primary school. At this age, the young child wants to be physically active, learns by imitation, and lives in a world of “doing” – of will activity. For this reason, in the Kindergarten, learning through imitation is a fundamental key to our work with children. The children are given the time and opportunity to practise new skills: engaging in authentic home and garden activities… cleaning, sweeping, digging, weeding, building, kneading… all the things that they would see done and wish to imitate in the home.
In our Kindergartens, children engage in various artistic experiences, including water-colour painting, beeswax modeling, singing games and rhymes, story-telling, puppetry, sewing and wool crafts. They also have a joyous experience of the seasons and special occasions through family festival celebrations.
“The materials and toys in a Steiner kindergarten stimulate the children to use their powers of imagination and fantasy. As these powers are developed, children become able to transform natural materials into any kind of toy. They can use pieces of wood that have been left in their natural shapes as tools, musical instruments, telephones, vehicles, tickets to a performance, food for a feast, or the gold and jewels of a buried treasure hidden by pirates.” Robert Trostoli, ‘Rhythms of Learning’
We maintain a healthy balance between structured group activities and self-directed play in the kindergarten. The children are given the time to play, and materials to play with, which allow them to engage in rich, imaginative play. Our play materials include items that have their origin in nature, such as wood, shells, seed pods and pine cones, simple toys such as dolls and puppets, carved wooden animals, simple pieces of furniture and hand-crafted objects. The children create and build from these materials, houses and cubbies, shops, hospitals, factories, machines, rafts and boats, forests and mountains.
True observation of man sees in the growing human being a work of divine creation.
Rudolf Steiner. A Modern Art of Education. 1923
Play is the work of childhood. When children play they are experiencing the world with their entire being…