Our kindergartens provide a balanced, comprehensive 2-3 year program for children aged between 3-6 years old that weaves activity and free creative play through a daily rhythm, nurturing inner vitality. We work with the Waldorf/Steiner approach to the Early Years Learning Framework and Foundation year of the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework.

Kindergarten outdoors

  • A variety of practical and artistic activities – cooking, baking, painting, drawing, modeling, gardening and handcrafts, create a rhythm to the week that is coloured by seasonal moods and festival celebrations.

  • Songs, nursery rhymes, stories, puppet plays and the children’s own creative play nourish their feeling life, cultivate language skills, strengthen the power of imagination and are the foundations of literacy.

  • Counting games, finger plays, rhythmic movement games and active physical play help build a strong foundation for on-going learning, develop co-ordination and the ability to concentrate.

  • Natural and beautiful materials; shells, seeds, stones, simple dolls and wooden toys, coloured cloths, planks, branches and play frames encourage a rich fantasy life and creative thinking, and provide an opportunity for constructive, co-operative play.

  • Building, swinging, climbing and balancing, digging, water play, gardening and caring for animals encourage children to feel at home in their body and in their environment.

Bush Kindy

Mount Barker Waldorf School operates a Bush Kindy at the bottom of the school’s picturesque grounds. The Bush Kindy arose as a creative solution developed by a Kindergarten teacher when her class needed to vacate the Nightingale classroom during the renovations in 2009. It was inspired by Forest Kindergartens and by the ‘education in nature’ impulse that is developing throughout Europe and the USA.

Bush Kindy has been very positive for the children, parents and teachers. The teacher observed noticeable changes in the children in their development and relationship to each other and the natural world. This was confirmed by parents’ experiences of their children also. The social and innovative creative play expanded the children’s experiences in all aspects. It complimented the curriculum the children had experienced so far at kindergarten and rounded of the year in a fresh and relaxed atmosphere.

Each of our 3 kindergartens spend one term during the year at Bush Kindy. Bush Kindy is located at the bottom of our picturesque grounds surrounded by tall trees, abundant bird and insect life, a winter flowing creek and a Bush hut.

The morning, from 8.50am-12.30pm, revolves around a strong and predictable rhythm providing play, craft and artistic activities, walks, song and movement, morning tea, story and lunch cooked in our Bush kitchen. Naturally some of these activities are modified for the environment, while others are replaced by activities more in keeping with the natural setting. The focus for the term is on children interacting and building a life-long relationship with nature and the naturally occurring activities that come out of living in this natural ‘paired back’ environment. Their faculties of creative thinking, initiative, cooperation and problem solving are strengthened.

Once at Bush Kindy the children deliver their bags, say good-bye to parents and good morning to their teacher and then stay together in the sandpit. When all the children have arrived they go into free play and the activities of the day. For example, preparing morning tea, feeding the hens and collecting eggs, caring for the guinea pigs, gathering firewood, building a camp fire, clay modelling and grass craft (daisy chains, simple weaving etc).

The day ends in a shady story circle and then walk up to their Kindergarten for the afternoon.