We are fully human only while playing, and we play only when we are human in the truest sense of the word.
~ Rudolf Steiner ~
Pre-K School Age Guidelines
To attend our pre-k school in September a student must turn 3 by May 31st of the current school year and be toilet trained.
Bluebell Pre-K Class
Our preschool program is designed for 2 and 3 year olds. Classes meet from 8:10 am to 12:30 pm. These classes for children attending either three of five days a week. Five-day children are prioritized in class placement. Three-day students attend Tuesday – Thursday. Families who require a later pick-up time may sign up for Extended Care.
Dandelion, Sunflower, and Rose Mixed-Age Kindergarten Classes
Preschool-age children may also enroll in one of our three mixed-age kindergarten classes–a hallmark of Waldorf education. These classes are for children attending either three or five days a week.
The Benefits of Waldorf Pre-K
A Waldorf Pre-K education can help your child develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Here are some of the benefits of a Waldorf Pre-K education:
A focus on the whole child: Waldorf education is based on the belief that children learn best when they are engaged in activities that are both stimulating and meaningful. Our pre-K classrooms offer a variety of activities that support the development of the whole child, including the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual selves.
Hands-on learning: We believe that children learn best by doing. They use a variety of experiential activities to help children explore the world around them and develop their natural curiosity.
A focus on creativity and imagination: Our teachers believe that creativity and imagination are essential for learning and personal development. Children are given ample free-play time both indoors and outdoors to express their creativity and imagination.
A strong emphasis on the arts: The arts play a central role in Waldorf education. Children are exposed to a variety of art forms, including music, dance, painting, and drawing. This helps them develop their creativity, imagination, and self-expression.
A nurturing environment: Waldorf pre-K classrooms are warm and inviting environments where children feel safe and supported. Teachers are patient and understanding, and they create a positive learning environment where children can thrive.
Here are some specific examples of how Waldorf pedagogy is used in the pre-K classroom:
Circle time: Circle time is an essential part of the pre-literacy program in the Waldorf Pre-K classroom. Students develop their proprioception, a child’s spatial awareness, and gross motor skills through songs, movement and storytelling during the activity.
Artistic activities: Children engage daily in either watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, drawing and fiber arts in order to develop fine motor skills.
Nature-based learning: Our students spend extensive time outdoors in all kinds of weather. Songs and stories in the classroom reflect changes in the seasons. Nature-based toys like wood, stone and wool are found in the classrooms for children to play with.
Why Play-Based Preschools Are Important and More Impactful Than Traditional Schools:
More space for Child-led learning: play-based preschools recognize that children learn best through play and exploration. By allowing children to direct their own learning, teachers can create a rich and engaging environment that fosters creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills.
Abstract concepts are understood better through play: play-based preschools use play to help children learn abstract concepts in a concrete and meaningful way. For example, children might learn about the seasons by playing with seasonal fruits and vegetables, or they might learn about math by building with blocks.
Open-ended play: like Montessori schools, we use a variety of natural and nontraditional materials to help children learn and explore instead of sitting at a desk with a pen or pencil. For example, children might paint with beeswax crayons, play with wooden blocks and silks. These objects help children to develop their fine motor skills, sensory awareness, and fully immerse themselves into their imagination and think outside of the box. This leads to successful critical-thinking and creative problem solving.
Here are some specific examples of how Waldorf preschools use play-based learning:
To teach reading: Using a pre-literacy program, Waldorf preschools use storytelling, puppetry and the arts to help children learn about letters and sounds.
To teach math: Children might learn about counting and addition interwoven in day-to-day activities. They might experience this by helping with chopping vegetables in the kitchen, jumping over stumps and obstacles, and through songs and stories.
To teach science: Science begins by the observation of the natural world. Our preschool children experience this by planting bulbs in the fall, observe the frost in the winter, and see the flowers bloom in the spring. Students are encouraged to engage with science through experiential learning.
Waldorf preschools believe that play-based learning is the most important way for children to grow. By providing a rich and stimulating environment where children can play and explore, Waldorf teachers help children to develop their full potential. If you live in the Newtown, Bethel, Danbury, CT areas or the surrounding region, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School is the pre-k school to enroll in. Contact our friendly staff today for more information!
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Our Nature and Play-Based Preschool
A Waldorf education is like no other pre-k schools. Our students are not confined to desks in classrooms and children who participate in our nature-based preschool and kindergarten program will enjoy many benefits to their physical, mental, and emotional development. Schedule a visit today to learn more about our play-based preschool and why it would be a wonderful fit for your family.
Our families travel from across Connecticut including Newtown, Bethel, and Danbury, CT, as well as Westchester County, New York to enroll in our preschool and kindergarten programs. Contact our admissions office to learn more about the curriculum and programs our private preschool offers or to enroll your child into our independent day school today.