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Early Childhood Category

Tea and Puppets at Ashwood This Spring

Share the magic of an imaginative, colorful puppet play with your young children (ages 2-6 yrs.), enjoy some herbal tea and healthy snacks, meet new friends, and bask in the beauty of Ashwood’s early-childhood center. This spring, we invite you to join us on one morning or many: we’ll be offering programs on March 25, May 12, May 13, May 26, and May 27, all from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Suggested donation is $5.00.

We look forward to seeing you!royal puppets

Let’s Play! Puppets & More.

royal puppets

“The ability to play is one of the principal criteria of mental health.” (Ashley Montagu.)

Play enhances language development, social competence, creativity, imagination, and thinking skills, as well as perceptual-motor abilities, in infants and young children. Play is a vital element of early-childhood education, and a delightful one!

Join Ashwood teacher Beth Lunt in a celebration of play for children ages 2-6 with an adult at venues around the midcoast. Beth will offer a simple puppet show, and lead circle and finger games you can learn and enjoy at home. $5.00 suggested donation.

January
1/8 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Shingebiss
1/21: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Shingebiss

February:
2/4 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Shingebiss
2/11 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
2/25 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: The Turnip
2/12 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
2/26: Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter

March:
3/10: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear
3/11: Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear
3/17: Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
3/24: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
3/31: Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear

April
4/1 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/7 Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/8 Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/14 Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/15 Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit
4/28 Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit
4/29 Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit

Let’s Play! Puppets & More

royal puppets

“The ability to play is one of the principal criteria of mental health.” (Ashley Montagu.)

Play enhances language development, social competence, creativity, imagination, and thinking skills, as well as perceptual-motor abilities, in infants and young children. Play is a vital element of early-childhood education, and a delightful one!

Join Ashwood teacher Beth Lunt in a celebration of play for children ages 2-6 with an adult at venues around the midcoast. Beth will offer a simple puppet show, and lead circle and finger games you can learn and enjoy at home. $5.00 suggested donation.

January
1/8 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Shingebiss
1/21: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Shingebiss

February:
2/4 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Shingebiss
2/11 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
2/25 Ashwood Waldorf School, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: The Turnip
2/12 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
2/26: Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter

March:
3/10: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear
3/11: Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear
3/17: Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
3/24: Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Old Gnome in the Winter
3/31: Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Mashenka and the Bear

April
4/1 Belfast Public Library, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/7 Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/8 Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/14 Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Sun and Rain Fairies
4/15 Toy Library, Rockland, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit
4/28 Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland: 10:30-11:30 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit
4/29 Vose Library, Union, 10:30-11:30 a.m.: The Brave Little Rabbit

New Dollmaking Class, January 2016

An ideal doll for a very young child is the “heavy baby,” a soft doll weighted with millet that little ones love to cuddle, hug, and lug around with them. The doll’s weight provides grounding, and children can both nurture the doll and feel nurtured when it sits on their lap or rests in their arms.

Ashwood Waldorf School is offering a free, four-week workshop where early-childhood teacher, Beth Lunt, will teach participants how to make a “heavy” (or ”bunting”) baby doll. Dates will be January 7, 14, 21, and 28 (all Thursdays), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Register no later than December 30; space is limited. A materials list will be provided when you register.heavy baby flyer

Ashwood at the Farnsworth Art Museum

This fall, Ashwood Waldorf School early-childhood teacher, Beth Lunt, will be offering a series of crafting classes at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland. These classes are for children ages 2-6 with an adult, and feature simple, artistic creations made from natural materials. Meet new friends and gain new skills!

Friday mornings, 10:30-11:30 a.m., beginning September 11 and continuing through November 21.

We request a $5.00 donation per project for materials. Contact us with any questions; we look forward to seeing you!

EC Outreach flyer 2015

Parent-Child Classes Set for 2015-2016

Parent-Child 15-16 fly

Ashwood will be offering five sessions of Parent-Child classes in 2015-16. These gentle, nurturing classes are for children ages 18 months to three years and their accompanying caregiver, and will be led by longtime teacher Marianne Böckli. Each session lasts for five weeks, and the cost is $150 per session. Ask about discounts when you enroll in more than one session. Register no later than one week prior to a session’s start date.

In our parent-child program, children engage in creative play with simple and natural toys provided as the tools for their imaginations. Those parents not engaged in child-led play may work on a craft project provided by the teacher, help with snack preparation, or discuss a reading on an aspect of parenting or child development.

The morning ends with a walk through the woods on one of our trails, culminating on the playground for time to climb and swing. A goodbye song in a circle completes the morning.

Each week the same flow of activities takes place so that even the youngest children observe the weekly rhythms and begin to participate as part of the larger group.

The Parent-Child program nurtures the whole family (moms, dads, babies, toddlers, and grandparents are all welcome) and provides a bridge from home to school. When ready, children may transition to the mixed-age Early Childhood classroom.

Forest Kindergarten’s First Weeks

forest tree
For three glorious Wednesday mornings, Ashwood’s newest Early Childhood program, the Forest Kindergarten, has been going to the woods! When the children arrive at school, they put their backpacks, containing a full water bottle and a change of clothes, on an outside bench, go to the bathroom, then don their rain pants and say goodbye to their parents.

Once everyone has arrived, we say goodbye to Ms. Beth and the children in her group. The children take their backpacks, Jen and I hoist our bags (the teachers’ bags carry a water jug, towels, snack food, ropes, tools…) onto our backs, we sing a gathering song, and head for the woods; one adult in front (usually holding a hand or two), the other at the back.

The morning walk is a very social time. Children have many stories to tell, usually triggered by something we see. Looking at tracks: “Oh, I wonder which animal passed through this muddy puddle?” Stories emerge from the children, often based on their observations or experiences and always enriched by their imagination.

On our way we greet “grandfather maple tree”; we notice his little round holes from the sap collected in past winters (an occasion for children to tell about maple syrup experiences, pancake breakfasts, etc.) We tell him how we look forward to collecting some of his sap late next winter. We notice “squirrels’ restaurants,” stumps covered in acorn or pinecone debris; see how this week there are many more yellow leaves…. Marvel at how Big Rock sits all alone at the edge of the woods…. Many of those passing remarks and the stories we create and tell are foundations for future scientific learning. In the Forest Kindergarten we observe, marvel, wonder, and learn to feel at home in the woods.

When we arrive to our “home clearing” by the stream, we have a short greeting and seasonal circle, a game or two, and then the children take off to play. During that time the teachers, always with some children’s help, occupy themselves at preparing our snack; tying colored strings between trees to mark the boundaries; fixing tools; building a temporary shelter (ropes and a tarp, until we have a permanent one). These activities render our space more hospitable and allow us teachers to roam close by without hovering over the children. We influence or transform (if necessary) the children’s play without words, just by imitation. The children play in total freedom and safety!

With a flute song, the children are called to snack. Mud-covered hands are roughly washed in some puddles before a real tub wash, a rinse with clear water from our jug, and drying. We sit on the leafy ground, around a tablecloth, sing a grace in French, eat our snack, and return to play until story time, at the end of the morning. Then we go back to Rosewood, dirty, hungry, and tired. What a treat to arrive to a classroom where the table is set and lunch smells SO GOOD! The “indoor” kindergarteners and their teacher have been busy! The Forest Kindergarten day ends with cleaning up, changing into clean clothes, and sitting at the table for a lunch of delicious soup!
-Marianne Bockli

Seasonal Handwork Workshops

Creating beautiful handwork can enrich our connection with the changing seasons. Cherry Short-Lee, longtime parent-child class leader and one of Ashwood’s founders, has offered to share her enthusiasm and expertise with parents of children ages 18-36 months, with or without their children, this fall. In three sessions, October 7, 14, and 21, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., learn to create grapevine wreaths and decorate them with natural materials to reflect the changing seasons. Sessions are free of charge; fee for materials is $5.00.

Register no later than October 2 by phoning or emailing Judith Soleil: 236-8021 ext. 105; info@ashwoodwaldorf.org
spiral-bittersweet-wreath

Parent-Child Classes: Register Now for Fall 2014

Marianne Böckli, Ashwood Waldorf School’s Forest Kindergarten teacher, will lead Ashwood’s Parent-Child classes this fall. Classes will be offered on six Tuesday mornings from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., beginning October 28. Cost for the six sessions is $150, and you must register by October 21.

Parent-child classes are a gentle and nurturing program for children ages 18 months to three years and their accompanying caregiver.

While children engage in creative play with simple, natural toys, adults may work on a craft project provided by the teacher, help with snack preparation, or discuss parenting or child development. A walk through the woods on one of our trails, time on the playground to climb and swing, and a goodbye song together complete the morning.

Ashwood’s Parent-Child program nurtures the whole family (moms, dads, babies, toddlers, and grandparents are all welcome) and provides a bridge from home to school. When ready, young children may transition to Ashwood’s mixed-age Early Childhood classroom.

Contact Judith Soleil: jsoleil@ashwoodwaldorf.org 207.236.8021

Parent-Child Classes Fall 2014

Ashwood Waldorf School’s Parent-Child program offers a sanctuary of safe play for children and an oasis of peace and friendship for parents. The children play freely, enjoying simple group activities while their parents are nearby making toys or crafts and sharing their concerns and questions as parents of young children. This will be a valuable opportunity to meet other parents with similar questions, ideas, and resources.

Share your questions and explore the importance of nutrition, routine, and stages of development with other parents and our experienced facilitator within our friendly and informal setting. Parent-Child classes are specially designed for children 18 to 36 months old with an accompanying parent or caregiver.

This fall’s six-week session will meet on Tuesdays from 9 to 11:00 a.m., October 28 – December 9, 2014.

Ashwood Waldorf School’s Parent-Child program offers a sanctuary of safe play for children and an oasis of peace and friendship for parents. The children play freely, enjoying simple group activities while their parents are nearby making toys or crafts and sharing their concerns and questions as parents of young children. This will be a valuable opportunity to meet other parents with similar questions, ideas, and resources.

Classes are led by early-childhood educator Marianne Böckli, who has decades of experience as a Waldorf teacher and mother.

The fee for each six-week session is $150. Infant siblings are welcome at no extra charge. A sibling over six months old may be enrolled for half of the tuition. Enrollment deadline is Tuesday, October 21. For more information, or to receive a registration form, please contact Judith Soleil at info@ashwoodwaldorf.org or 207-236-8021 or go to: www.ashwoodwaldorf.org/parent-child to download a registration form.

Located on Park Street in Rockport, Ashwood Waldorf School is an accredited independent school serving children 18 months through eighth grade. At Ashwood, children grow and learn gracefully in an unhurried way, gaining strength and skills through the joy of play in their earliest years and meeting increasingly complex physical, social, and academic challenges as they mature. Ashwood has had a presence in midcoast Maine for 27 years, educating children from Damariscotta to Belfast and beyond. For more information about Ashwood Waldorf School please call the office at 207-236-8021, email info@ashwoodwaldorf.org or visit www.ashwoodwaldorf.org.