Founded in 1919 in Germany by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist and philosopher, the Waldorf educational approach is now found worldwide in schools that offer grade levels from preschool through high school. Steiner believed in a unity of spirit, soul, and body, and Waldorf schools reflect that in their common theme of heart, head, and hands.
A Waldorf preschool strives to offer a warm, beautiful and loving home-like environment, which is protective and secure and where things happen in a predictable, regular manner. The structure that the schedule provides for the children reinforces the safe environment that stimulates their creativity and exploration. Social interactions and transitions are learning opportunities. Even the routine tasks of living and how the school implements them are incorporated into the program as a means of furthering children’s learning, self-help, and social skills. Teachers also develop a sense of wonder in their students, with the goal of instilling a lifelong love of learning, by allowing preschool children to fully explore their imagination and fantasy world.
At Heart and Hands, true to the Waldorf philosophy, we honor the child’s innate capacities for play and imagination. They are not only crucial to a child’s sense of well being but also the path to envisioning possibilities and discovering new ideas. Perhaps it is part of the genius of childhood to weave play and imagination into one seamless activity—a way in which our minds, bodies and spirits are integrated and in dialog with each other.