Nursery & Kindergarten

Children in play-based kindergartens have a double advantage: they end up equally good or better at reading and intellectual skills and they are more likely to become well adjusted, healthy people.
— David Elkind, Child Psychologist and Professor at Tufts University Author of The Hurried Child and The Power of Play

Early Childhood Curriculum

Our Early Childhood curriculum is designed for nursery and kindergarten age children. It is appropriate to the stage of development of the young child and promotes a reverence for nature, a joy in living and a sense of wonder about life.

Creating Space for Joyful Creative Play

In our classrooms, we surround the child with beauty and simplicity.  We provide a warm and loving place where children feel comfortable and at home.  Special care is given to the selection of toys, the quality natural materials and the seasonal displays. The children’s play is open-ended and imaginative.

Outdoor Play

Outside playtime is a regular part of the Waldorf Preschool and Kindergarten programs regardless of the season. This time outside fosters an appreciation for the natural world. When children are outdoors, nature can provide the the toys. Moss, bark, sand, and grass are transformed into playthings by tiny hands and imagination. All of these creations promote the fine motor skill of dexterity while vigorous outdoor play encourages a wide variety of imaginary activities.

Promoting Healthy Development

During the first seven years of childhood, children are building up their physical bodies through large whole body movements such as crawling, running, skipping, balancing and swinging. These essential gross-motor movements support brain development and are the foundations for executive function later in life.

Imagination, Social Skills, and Life-Long Learning

Stories are carefully chosen and presented to help nurture a child's developing imagination. We perform puppet plays with props or tell a story which help encourage the child to create their own inner pictures.  This ability to form elaborate mental pictures support early language development and comprehension. Throughout the day, language development is enhanced through songs, verses and movement games. Learning is a whole body activity.

Learning Through Imitation

During class the teacher engages in purposeful work, such as cooking, making crafts, tidying the room, baking bread or making soup.  The children naturally imitate these activities by either joining in or assimilating them into their play thus learning the value of work.

Daily and Weekly Seasonal Classroom Rhythms

Through weekly routines (rhythms) at home and school, children are able to relax into a balance of activity, play and quiet time.


If you'd like to experience a Waldorf Early Childhood Class, visit our Garden's Gate Parent-Child Classes at the beginning of each new session. The first two classes of each session are open classroom days. There are age-appropriate classes from toddler through age 5.  Registration is required 508-420-1005. 

We also have a number of story and craft workshops throughout the year. Please call this office to inquire.

Tea & play with an Early Childhood teacher can also be arranged by appointment with our Enrollment Director. Call the school at 508-420-1005. Information about upcoming Early Childhood Events may also be found on our Facebook page.

Sample Daily Rhythm

  • 8:30 AM - Outdoor Play
  • 9:45 AM - Circle Time - songs rhymes, movement
  • 10:00 AM - Snack
  • 10:30 AM - Rest
  • 10:45 AM - Indoor Activities - painting, baking, building, sewing
  • 11:45 AM - Lunch
  • 12:10 PM - Story
  • 12:30 AM - Goodbye Circle

Early Childhood Program Options

2- Day AM Nursery

3-Day AM Nursery/Kindergarten
8:30-12:30 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)

3-Day Full Day Nursery/Kindergarten
8:30-3:05 (with option to stay until 5pm on Monday and Wednesday and 5:30pm on Tuesday)

5-Day AM Nursery/Kindergarten
8:30-12:30 (Monday through Friday)

5-Day Full Day Nursery/Kindergarten
8:30-3:05 (with option to stay until 5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and until 5:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday)

At Waldorf we know that our children’s teachers’ care for them, know them deeply, and appreciate their uniqueness. Our children are given the freedom to develop their individuality within the loving structure of clearly communicated social expectations. We appreciate being part of a like-minded community; teachers, staff, parents, and grandparents who are thoughtful about the role of media in our children’s lives, who understand the importance of wholesome nutritious food, who embrace creative play and time spent outdoors. We are convinced that there is no better model for Early Childhood education than Waldorf.
— Kate Dunigan-Atlee, Waldorf Parent and Librarian at Sturgis Charter Public High School, Hyannis MA