rhythmic support for the growing child
"Nature has a way of reminding us that all things, great and small, ebb and flow in rhythm with the heartbeat of her call"
Our daily activities move through a healthy rhythm of in-breathing and out-breathing, focus and expansion, activity and rest, echoing the rhythms of the natural world around us. Morning circle time brings everyone together to enjoy songs, movement, and finger plays that weave together the rhythmic cycles of the year. Cooking and preparation of the daily snack provide focus for busy hands and develop fine motor skills in a purposeful way. Outdoor exploration and indoor free play provide an expansive release after the focus of circle time or meal preparation. Story-time and rest offer the 'in-breath' of restful warmth and quiet presence-ing after more active parts of the day.
A weekly cycle of painting, modeling, nature crafts, weave together the days of the week, as do the snacks for each day: Monday/oatmeal; Tuesday/bread; Wednesday/rice; Thursday/soup. Children organically develop an embodied, multi-sensory recognition of the days of the week through activities, experiences and nourishment. Story time is a favorite for all young children. Traditional folk, fairy and nature tales are shared through the teacher's voice (not read from a book), and elaborated through movement and puppetry. The tale begins with an introduction on day one, and develops each day, all through the week, until children begin to anticipate what happens next, and can joyfully participate in the re-telling. Simple classroom chores also mark the days of the week, as each child rotates responsibilities with their play-mates.
Earth's sacred, perpetual rhythms hold and nurture the growing child, and embrace them in abiding ecological belonging that will accompany them long after kindergarten. Our Kinderforest teachers bring activities that celebrate the falling leaves, honor the icy winds of Winter, anticipate the blossoms of Spring, and announce the arrival of Summer. Children learn seasonally inspired rhymes, verses and songs alongside accompanying movements, which build in complexity and length as they absorb and repeat gestures and melodies. Indoors, the seasonal transitions that occur in the natural world are beautifully represented through simple crafts, activities, and the 'nature table' that occupies sacred space in the classroom. And of course, each day also brings plenty of time for outdoor exploration and immersive experience of seasonal delights in our pristine learning environment of orchards, creeks, fields, farm and forest!