Sweet Peas Garden
Next Session Begins: April 12 and goes through May 24 (skipping April 26th).
*Before sending an application, please call to make certain that the class has not filled.*
A Morning with You and Your Child, on Saturdays, with Ms. Monika Eichler, Waldorf trained early childhood teacher
Several times a year, Prairie Moon Waldorf School, offers a 6-week session on Saturday mornings between 9:15-11am.
Parents all over the world have gathered together with their children by their sides since the beginning of time. Adults come together to work and play and to share life’s delights and dilemmas. Their children move in a constant rhythm of venturing forth and returning again for a little help or reassurance.
In Sweet Peas Garden, families are welcomed into our Waldorf “home” one day a week to share a relaxed morning together. It’s an opportunity to get to know the school, to meet each other and to experience the Waldorf approach to the early years of childhood.
Some parents come looking for time with adults in their child-centered week, and some come for a chance to share special time with their child at the end of a busy workweek. The children come looking to explore the world inside and out, secure in knowing that their parent is nearby. Many needs can be met in many different ways in the course of a full morning together.
Families arrive gradually with some little ones hiding behind their parents’ legs and some needing to be encouraged to take off their coats and boots before rushing straight for the toys in the play area. The more hesitant ones often warm up by helping to make a morning snack or sitting on their parent’s lap watching the others at play. Soon they are busy exploring the room, trying out toys and trying out social encounters.
After helping their children settle in, their parents are free to begin their work. They gather around the big table to ‘create something out of nothing’ for their children. The possibilities for using simple craft materials are limitless. We’ve created dolls, felted balls, puppets, plant dyed materials, and knitted animals. Many parents are surprised to discover how easy and satisfying it is to take the time to make things with one’s own hands. The children show great interest in their parent’s projects encouraging them to finish them quickly so they can be taken home and played with.
The flow of the morning is guided by singing—a song for cleanup, a song for handwashing and another when we light the candle for snack. With the regular rhythm of the day and the adults taking the lead it only take a few sessions for the children to know what’s coming next and to happily move from one activity to the next.
A song brings everyone together for circle time for some simple seasonal songs and nursery rhymes. It is such a delight to see the joy children experience in the sound, rhythm and movement in language and music. Their eyes shine, they laugh and they remind us how much fun it is to recite and sign and move together.
Our last song takes us from the circle to wash our hands to get ready for snack-time. The hearty oatmeal is greatly anticipated and many a parent has claimed that their child eats much better in the group than they do at home!
During the class, parent experiences are shared and sometimes questions arise from the readings from a book that the class shares in reading.
Then it is time for a simple story with felted puppets. As they watch from their parent’s lap, they are mesmerized by the repeated story week after week and want to so much participate by holding the puppets.
Our last song leads us to outside playtime to see the trees and much, much more. Once they step out of the door each and every one of them knows exactly what to do without fail. Whatever the weather they are quickly engaged, climbing the playset, digging in the sand, walking on logs, moving stones, catching rain in buckets or jumping in puddles.
With a little encouragement parents are soon bringing their own warm and weather proof clothing so they can keep up with their children’s love of the outdoors.
It is always a heart-warming, life affirming gathering at our Sweet Peas “home” with time to breathe, to get to know each other and to watch the children grow.
Class sessions are generally held three times per year, 2 in the Spring semester and one in the Fall semester.