Play-Based Preschool Program
updated November 3, 2016

Waldorf Method

The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy by Rudolf Steiner
The spiritual reasoning behind the Waldorf education method

WECAN: Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America website

What is Waldorf Early Childhood Education?
International Association for Steiner/Waldorf Early Childhood Education

Why Waldorf Works: From a Neuroscience Perspective
by Dr. Regalena Melrose

Developing Child: The First Seven Years
edited by Susan Howard, published by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association

What Are the Needs of Five Year Olds?
article by Joan Almon

An Overview of the Waldorf Kindergarten
edited by Joan Almon, published by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association

A Tale of Two Preschools: Comparing Montessori and Waldorf
blog post

Take Home Lessons from a Waldorf Preschool
blog post - Simple Homeschool

Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia
Early Childhood Research and Practice
article by Carolyn Pope Edwards

Waldorf is so beautiful!!! So many people are initially drawn to it simply for this reason:

The Autumn Corner
blog post - A Small Tribe

More Helpful Information

Waldorf Today
sign up for the free weekly newsletter

Juniper Tree School of Puppetry Arts - Suzanne Down
sign up for the free monthly newsletter (early childhood - storytelling and puppetry)

American Journal of Play
excellent peer reviewed academic journal with research on the value of play
past and current issues available online for free - sign up for emails when the new one comes out!

AMAZING collection of Waldorf books available online for FREE
The online Waldorf library has 200+ books converted into PDF ebooks available for download.
A fantastic project of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education.

A Grain a Day article

Outdoor Easels, Sensory Tables, and the Clay Question in Kindergarten blog post

*NEW* Waldorf Dolls blog post
Bella Luna Toys

Wishing Jar pin

Birthday Ring pin

*NEW* 12 Things You Didn't Know Your Preschooler Could Do In the Kitchen blog post

Planning the School Day

9 am to 3 pm

9 am to 12 pm

AT-A-GLANCE Undated Teacher's Planner
This is the one I used for Preschool and Kindergarten.

I had the following "subject areas" which I used mentally to help me keep the school day balanced, and to give me an organized way to write down different types of ideas. They were Music & Movement, Art, Nature, Cooking, Play, Handwork, Helping, Stories.

I didn't make an official planbook row for Circle Time -- I broke it out into Music & Movement (a song or fingerplay, for example), Nature (add something to the nature table, learn a nature poem), Art (then do a wet on wet watercolor painting based on the poem), etc. because thinking in activity categories was what worked best for me.

If we were doing an activity from one of my Waldorf early childhood books, in the square I would write the name of the book and the page number, so I knew what to refer to as we went through our day.

I like having a blank row at the bottom for Notes -- observations of the children (Natalie needs more fine motor activities), field trip ideas (we should go to the zoo), things I need to buy for school (get modeling beeswax), what supplies are needed for that day's activities (Homemade Sidewalk Chalk), whatever. By the way, the two games on the blog post with the sidewalk chalk recipe -- "Poor Kitty" and "Jellyroll" -- are both fun ones!

Two or three activities a day in your planbook is plenty at this age, plus a picture book or story.

Waldorf Indications for 2 to 4 Year Olds

imaginative free play
wooden blocks
fairy tales
magic wool
shells, pinecones, stones
wet felting
seasonal table
modeling beeswax
play silks
grinding grain
nursery rhymes
finger plays
movement games
baking bread
making soup
watercolor painting
beeswax crayons
nature walks
natural materials
poems & verses

*NEW* Some potential language for parents... check out the Little Bluestem Learning Cooperative Handbook, a Waldorf-inspired preschool group in Dallas TX.

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