About Early Childhood
The Bay School offers Waldorf programs for children 18 months to 6 years old. Our Early Childhood programs honor the dream-like consciousness and sense of wonder that live in the young child. Our classrooms are designed in soft colors that reflect the beauty and light of the natural world. Teachers express a joy for life, and children are nurtured by kindness and predictability that allow them to fully experience childhood.
Our early childhood program encourages spatial awareness and fine and gross motor skills while awakening a sense of beauty and connection to the natural world. Through play, meaningful work, imitation, and a consistent daily rhythm these essential dimensions of the child unfold. This enables them to be truly ready for our academic program, which begins in first grade.
Play Play is at the center of our Early Childhood program. Through imaginative play children develop artistic and creative abilities which promote later symbolic thinking and healthy brain development. Simple toys and natural objects encourage children to draw on their imaginations. The power of fantasy allows the children to see endless possibilities in the plain wooden blocks, colorful silks, shells and stones as they become bridges, homes, campfires, wings or streams..
Meaningful Work Every child in the Bay School early childhood program takes part in the care of the classroom. . They may sweep, wash and fold, prepare and serve snack, garden and participate in other tasks of the household. Through the daily care of their environment they develop pride and a sense of interdependence with their teachers and classmates.
Imitation The young child learns through imitation, and teachers strive to be worthy of the child’s imitation through their enthusiasm for their daily work, warmth for the children and compassion for one another.
Rhythm Rhythm is an essential part of our Waldorf Early Childhood program. Each day is balanced, as active times are followed by more quiet times, allowing the children’s day to almost breathe in and out. Nature projects and festivals reflect the rhythms of the seasons, and give the children a sense of security, order and inner strength.