Wonder, reverence, and awe are at the heart of the Waldorf Kindergarten experience.
Our Kindergarten program provides a warm and nurturing foundation for young children and allows unhurried time for exploring and learning. We create an inviting, carefully structured and intentional atmosphere in all of our Kindergarten classrooms: The warmth of adults, the tone of voice, an environment that nurtures the senses, free and imaginative play, meaningful activity to be imitated. Vigorous, healthy play and sensory stimulation provide the sensory activity needed for language development, dexterity, math skills, social skills and creative thinking. Circle time movements, along with indoor and outdoor play, strengthen each child’s sense of balance and well-being, confidence, security and touch. This creates a solid foundation for the physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills that will be developed in their ongoing education.
Kimberton Waldorf School offers one of the area’s only full-day, mixed-age kindergarten programs, serving children ages 4 to 6 years old. Our kindergarten program is carefully designed to respond to the developmental needs of the young child through creative, play-based learning. The teachers work closely with parents, and in this way, form a bridge for the child between home and school from the earliest years, creating a sense of security and trust.
Full-Day or Half-Day Options
Our offerings include a half-day kindergarten option or a full-day kindergarten option in both our Rose Kindergarten classrooms as well as in our Forest, Farm and Field Kindergarten. We offer quality after-school childcare to accommodate the needs of working parents. Children may attend for either four or five days.
Children who participate in our full-day program have the option to purchase a healthy, home cooked meal from our organic school lunch program, Food For Thought, or bring a lunch from home. The children then transition into a quiet rest time as they unwind and rest from their morning activities. Following rest time, the children play outside until the full-day program ends at 3:10PM. The day can then extend with the aftercare program until 5:30PM.
Our Kindergarten programs allow children to learn through play, purposeful work, storytelling and puppet shows, and practical and artistic activities. Through joyful engagement in our kindergarten activities, our children develop lifelong capacities for creative thinking, healthy foundational senses, self-confidence, and readiness and excitement for academic learning.
Learn more about our Rose Kindergarten
Our Rose Kindergarten teachers work to establish a familiar daily rhythm that includes creative free play, a focus on domestic activities, and significant time spent outdoors. Drawing, handwork, watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, woodwork, and puppetry all nurture the child’s imagination and preserve the innocence and innate wonder of early childhood. As they care for the classroom, bake, prepare nutritious snacks, lead circle time activities, and tell stories, our teachers lead by example and the children learn naturally through healthy imitation.
Every day the children engage the natural world with reverence through open-ended outdoor play, taking long walks on our beautiful campus and visit our own Applewood Farm and our farm animals.
Early learning is guided by activity and sensory impressions, rather than reflection and thought. It is the role of the kindergarten teacher to model the practical activities of daily life so that the child can participate in them and also imitate these activities in play. The process of learning is integrated into all classroom activities, rather than being a separate component of the school day.
“The task of the kindergarten teacher is to adapt the practical activities of daily life so that they are suitable for the child’s imitation through play. In the kindergarten, the most important thing is to give the children the opportunity to directly imitate life itself.” – Rudolf Steiner, Founder of Waldorf Education
Held outdoors, our Forest Kindergarten program encourages children to play, explore, and immerse themselves in the natural environment of their outdoor classroom. Children use their imaginations, develop critical thinking skills, stretch their muscles, and hone their motor skills on the school’s breathtaking 430-acre campus, with its rolling hills, farm and gardens, conservation trail, bubbling creeks, and wooded areas.
Learn more about the Forest, Field & Farm Kindergarten
Our Forest, Field and Farm Kindergarten program follows the same developmental activities happening in our Rose Kindergarten classrooms and have more similarities than differences. Following daily and weekly rhythms, the children begin with morning free play in their mini classroom in our kindergarten building. Then the class heads off to spend the rest of the morning outside. Some days begin with a visit to the nearby farm or to the school’s garden before making their way into the woods on campus. The curriculum in our Forest Kindergarten grows out of the ever-changing environment. The children are busy working in the garden, observing animals, witnessing changes in the land, crafting, and playing in nature’s playground. These kinds of activities develop a deep sense of wonder about the natural world and lay the foundation for scientific inquiry. Sticks, acorns, leaves, and other treasures become props for imaginative play and implements for counting, sorting, and pattern-recognition. Storytelling, songs, and poems provide a rich, language-based experience.The class’ routine continues with circle time, snack, discoveries
“At a time when children are experiencing less outdoor free-play and parents are concerned with their children’s lack of exposure to nature, we are excited to offer an outdoor early childhood program that focuses on nature-based, hands-on learning. Modeled after similar programs that are gaining in popularity worldwide, our forest kindergarten focuses on outdoor play and early learning experiences that enable young children to develop self-confidence, independence, and resilience. Children are able to run, climb, crawl, balance, and move in a variety of landscapes, fostering physical development — which is essential to healthy cognitive, social, and emotional growth in the years ahead.” – Kevin Hughes, Dean of School.