In Waldorf education, we often take a threefold approach to our humanness. One example is “walking, speaking and thinking.” Steiner often quoted a man who said we accomplish the three greatest things in our first three years – walking, speaking and thinking. When we think of walking, we also must think of all the pre-walking…

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Can you do what I do?

All of us are imitative beings (I see this in community dance), but children are especially imitative! Whether it’s because of mirror neurons or limbic resonance or something else entirely, children are the greatest copiers! Let’s put this to use and have some fun! One game you can try is simply called, Can you do…

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Why nursery rhymes?

Songs are threefold. They have a rhythm (the beat, like the beat of footsteps), the melody (the mood that touches our soul) and the lyrics (the meaning of the words). The first one – rhythm – plays right into the work of earliest childhood with its focus on movement, rhythm and the body. Nursery rhymes…

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Everyone views inbreaths and outbreaths differently. The important thing is to go between them in a rhythmical sequence so the little children aren’t caught holding their breath. These are all metaphors, of course, but excellent ones for understanding children and what causes overwhelm or meltdown, and also joy or exuberance. For me, freeplay outdoors is…

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Complex toy combinations

Sometimes you need your little child to play contentedly nearby while you do some work. To the rescue: complex toy combinations. Early childhood teachers, parents and grandparents too, have noticed that the more complex the play materials, the longer the children will play. The rule of thumb is more than three items. My all-time favorite…

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Movement journey

Take a movement journey with your little child. Adults can lead with the children following, then switch roles once the children get the hang of it. Unlike an obstacle course, you don’t have to set anything up. You just take off and start jumping over things, walking along things, climbing over things, rolling under things,…

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We all fall down

We like to think of our children as coming to us from the starry heavens. This means we are extremely blessed to be in the presence of little beings so much nearer to this heavenly realm than we are. What a blessing children are to their teachers and caregivers. But journeying from the heavens down…

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Watch where you’re going!

Children don’t “watch where they’re going,” and they rarely “look out.” Spend some time observing them. Their feet know what to do while their attention is elsewhere. Observe yourself as well. Isn’t this the same for adults? We aren’t very good at looking out.

Children are capable

We often do things for our little children that they are capable of doing themselves – things such as climbing or rolling over or crawling or walking or getting up on things. We often try to help them or do it for them. But they are safest and most embodied when they are allowed to…

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Build an obstacle course

This week, build an obstacle course! It could be a course built by an adult for one child or a course built together for the whole family! It could be a course for a toy animal. Or a course for a toy vehicle. An indoor course or an outdoor course. Can you find something to…

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