Early Childhood Programs

Baking on Bread Day

The Early Childhood classrooms offer warmth, simplicity, and beauty. The child's kinship with nature is honored through story, song, and verse, following the rhythm of each day and the celebration of the seasons.

Children are involved in the real-life work of gardening, grinding grain, baking bread, carding wool, and preparing for shared meals, as well as a weekly rhythm of artistic activities. It is within this wholesome environment that social experience and a sense of community begin to grow.

 

Grinding Corn

The day's activities flow from one to the next in a rhythmical manner, responding to the young child's innate need for consistency. Special care is given to create a beautiful, unhurried and secure play environment. Storytelling and puppetry focus on nature stories and fairy tales to nourish the child's imagination and enhance free play activities.

Our early childhood classrooms are stocked with playthings made of wood, lamb's wool, stones and silk – toys that retain a direct connection with nature and leave plenty of room for children to imaginatively transform them.

Painting day Lighting a candle for the birthday girl

Morning Garden

Morning Garden is a parent and child play group, open to children ages 2-4 and their parents. It is a wonderful way for parents and their children to play and learn together through new stories, activities, crafts and the simple, yet engaging rhythm of the program. To read about Morning Garden from a parent's perspective, please see the article Morning Garden Magic.

Each Friday follows the same general rhythm:

  • snack preparation activities for the children
  • free play and craft work and informal discussion time for the parents
  • children and parents, along with the teacher, set the table and clean up
  • circle time with parents and children participating with the teacher
  • gathering song to come to the table, bless the meal and eat the snack
  • short story, nursery rhyme or lap puppet play by the teacher
  • outside free play, weather permitting

Our Morning Garden Program also serves as a support group for parents, providing an enjoyable opportunity to learn more about parenting and about Waldorf education. Our first session meets Fridays, September 8 – January 26. Our second session meets February 2 through June 1.

This is not the current site of Orchard Valley Waldorf School. I designed the site and maintained it for the school from its founding in 2004 through 2011. I have reproduced it here for historical as well as sentimental reasons, and it includes much out of date material. The school's current site can be found at www.ovws.org. — Numa Haase