Play-Based Kindergarten
updated February 27, 2016

Celebrating Nature:

Taking a Nature walk every few days is so important. You'll definitely want to set up a Nature table or a Nature corner, bringing in things that you find that represent the season. This can be simple. Often these are decorated with elaborate needle felted scenes but that's not mandatory, and they are a little fragile for kindergarteners to handle. So don't be intimidated!

Earthways by Carol Petrash is a good resource for this as you are getting started.

One of the most beautiful parts of a Waldorf home is the Nature table! Ours is a simple display on two end tables, placed side by side in front of the living room window to create a low bench. Use some of your play silks in seasonal colors as a backdrop to your display. If you don't yet have silks, you can also dye cheesecloth with very nice results.

Clover flower child - on Etsy

This is beautiful, but your Nature table doesn't need to be this elaborate!

A lot of things in Waldorf are Nature-inspired, so they can be considered several "school subjects." For example, a Nature book like Winter, Awake! or puppet show like "A Winter Tale" could be in Stories.

Winter, Awake!
by Linda Kroll

(Note: You definitely want to sign up for Suzanne Down's monthly newsletter. She is a wonderful puppetry teacher and her early childhood stories are gentle and seasonal. I love making little felt finger puppets using her book Around the World with Finger Puppet Animals; she is also the person who taught me how to needle felt people. Which I can teach to you if you want to make larger wool figures.)

So be flexible, and don't worry if you have each activity in the "right" category!

Indoor Gardening Projects:
You can still grow things as part of your Nature activities when it is cold out.

We have done both of these projects this Winter and they work beautifully!

When it comes time to start seeds this Spring, we have had good success with toilet paper tubes. Simply paste a square of unbleached paper towel to the bottom, fill with potting soil, write on the side what seeds you are starting and when, and place on a tray to water. When the seedlings are ready, plant the entire thing.

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