“For a child, it is in the simplicity of play that the complexity of life is sorted like puzzle pieces joined together to make sense of the world.” – L.R Knost
Inspired by the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, our sessions are designed around the three main educational principles of “rhythm”, “repetition” and “imitation”. Action (free-play outside) alternates with concentration (ring-time) reflecting our own physicality and the environment around us.
The consistent form of the designated space and the order of the sessions, the repetition of songs, verses and stories help children to feel secure and at home and enables them to go with the flow of the session. In this way we can leave children in their own world and yet guide them.
Children at this age are great imitators. It is their main instrument of learning. We make use of this fact by being good examples in word, action and deed. We invite you as parents to support us in this way in order to create a positive atmosphere for the children. One way you can do this is by joining in with the songs at ring-time and do not worry if you are not a confident singer, the songs are all simple to learn and sing. The children will enjoy this part of the session much more if the adult who has brought them joins in with the singing.
Equipment and the contents of the sessions are inspired by nature. As we gradually go through the year, the changing seasons are reflected in songs and verses and craft activities. We strive to make use of natural materials as much as possible with the craft activities. Often children are encouraged to gather materials in the woodland for the craft activity and puppet play.
We do not provide toys as the natural environment offers the opportunity for multi-sensory exploration for the child to connect with living creatures and objects from nature. This also allows space for the child’s own developing imagination, enables social interaction with other children and deepens their inherent connection to nature.
With any session in an outside space we appreciate that there are additional risks of a naturally evolving environment. However we feel the benefits to children experiencing these small manageable risks are crucial for their healthy development. Deep respect is paid to the natural elements: fire is respected through the lighting of a lantern and the use of a fire bowl in cooking activities; water is used sparingly during hand washing and the earth is nurtured through our considerate care using only materials which have fallen to the ground. Children and adults directly experience wind, rain, sunshine, and both warmth and cold. With these aspects, reverence for the natural world flourishes and the children’s sense of wonder is nurtured.
We strive to create an atmosphere of calm and beauty, which will give you the space in which to relax, to be with yourself, your child and other adults. It is our aim to also offer an open, supportive space for parents where all parenting methods are respected and you feel supported and strengthened in your important job of parenting.