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Waldorf Playgroup

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm considering starting a Waldorf playgroup (or parent-toddler group) this summer or fall after my dd turns 1.  As far as I know, there is absolutely nothing Waldorf-related in the area - no schools, preschools, homeschool groups... nothing.  So at this point, I don't even know if there would be an interest.

 

But right now, I'm gathering information about Waldorf playgroups.  How they are run, what happens, etc.  Spam me with info!  thumb.gif  Anything you think might be related.  If you've been to a similar playgroup, what was it like?  What did you like and dislike?  Are there any books or other sources of information I should check out?  

post #2 of 7

We did a Waldorf playgroup when Cub was about 15m old. It was weekly for 2 hours. The first 30-45 minutes was open free play while the adults had an objective written on the chalkboard of what to be observant about that day. Some days it was, "observe communication between verbal and non-verbal children", or "unassisted conflict resolution", or "interaction with the environment vs toys". 

Rhythm of the Playgroup

- Free Unstructured Play [indoors or out] 30-45 min

- handwork / baking / craft of the day [very simple ones] 10-15 min

- transition- sing and tidy the space together 10-15 min

- continue songs, sing a few circle time songs and finger games / dances 15-20 min

- everyone wash hands / potty and set up our picnic 5-10 min

- share a snack [host provides fresh fruit, everyone else brings their own picnic foods and water bottles] and while we eat we discuss the day's observation objective, and raise questions if we have anything we'd like input on from the other mamas. 30 min

- song transition / clean up / wash hands 5-10 min

- stories / puppet show, seasonal 10 min

- good bye!

 

 

The group was 10-12 families total for a series of 6 weeks. Children were mostly 18m - 2.5 years. 

 

Ours is now an accredited Waldorf school, but 20 years ago they started as just a few moms with an idea for this playgroup and they each took turns hosting at each others' homes. Now they have a fabulous space and have a nursery program, preschool, and K-1-2 and are still building until they are a K-8 school. 

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  That is very helpful.  One thing I have been wondering is how to engage the parents in some sort of lesson/discussion/whatever without making the atmosphere for the little ones feel too academic or adult.  I like the idea of having a written objective for the adults.  

 

From other things I've read, the craft/handwork is targeted at the parents and the children are free to join in and help as they wish.  What sorts of activities did you do with that age group?

post #4 of 7

I am very interested in this as well

post #5 of 7

My friend (who hosts a Waldorf playgroup) just bought a sheep's worth of wool, and the kids (ages 2-9) helped her card and clean it during our last meeting.

 

Other activities we've done include dyeing Easter eggs with vegetable dyes, hanging up her clothes to dry, mending clothes, grinding buckwheat flour, picking up windfall apples, picking raspberries, making boats, watching sheep shearing, collecting eggs, roasting toast and nuts on a campfire in the snow, exploding cattails in the summer etc.  My friend makes felt animals and she sometimes will tell a story with them for the kids to listen to. The younger kids love this.  It helps a lot that she lives on a farm, but maybe there are farms you could visit, or other special outdoor places. 

 

Mostly, the kids play outside while the mothers work on their crafts and chat, sometimes about Waldorf related ideas, other times about life in general. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

That sounds really nice,  Dovey. Simple little actitivities like that are what I am thinking of.  

 

I came across this book: http://www.amazon.com/Parent-Child-Group-Handbook-Approach/dp/1903458463/ref=pd_ybh_4

 

Has anyone read it?

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok, so after giving this some thought and talking it over with my husband, I decided that since this is my first attempt at running any sort of group or meeting, I am going to start with something simple.  I think to start with, I will try just hosting a small group of parents and children who are involved or interested in Waldorf, but I won't try to have more of an agenda than that for now.  Just a simple playgroup where the children can play while the moms chat.  My daughter will be 1 next month, and I'd love to have a mixed age group for her to play with.  I'm not sure exactly when I will start - I am hoping dd drops her morning nap soon and then the playgroup can be in the mornings once a week (or every other week?).  And then as things progress, maybe I can try a more organized preschool-like playgroup later in the year.  

 

So if anyone is reading this in my area (Pensacola, FL) and is interested in this too, please PM me! smile.gif

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