Programs - Parent & Child
Garden Gate is a parent-child class offered for children from birth through 3 ½ years of age. There is one Fall and one Spring session each school year. The class meets for 2 ½ hours one day a week, for approximately 16 weeks.
Garden Gate provides a gentle step from home to school, a protected place where innocence and wonder are honored and imagination nurtured. Adults and children participate together in circle time, prepare and share a wholesome snack, play outside, and enjoy a short story time or puppet play. Garden Gate serves as a gateway to Waldorf education in a setting similar to the preschool-kindergarten classroom. Parents have an opportunity to meet other parents. They can share parenting experiences and challenges, ask questions, and learn more about the Waldorf approach.
During class, children play with simple, natural materials and toys that enrich their sensory experience and enlarge their imaginative capacities. Circle and story-time reflect the world of nature and seasonal festivals using songs and interactive games. Free-play time affords adults the opportunity to observe as a group how the children move through each major phase of early play: play that arises from the body (sensory-motor play) and play through imitation. Parents can learn to appreciate more deeply the developmental stages of early childhood, supported by the Waldorf philosophy that encourages adults to meet young children where they are, rather than impose on children adult modes of entertainment or developmentally inappropriate activities.