Joan Almon, former Waldorf teacher and co-founder of the Waldorf School of Baltimore, as well as the Alliance for Childhood, was a passionate and life-long advocate for play-based preschools and kindergartens. Almon defined play as an activity that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. It is play, not teacher-motivated instruction, she asserted, that is the cornerstone of the child developing a spirit of creativity.
Creativity. It’s a word, perhaps even a virtue, you often hear in Waldorf Schools, and for good reason. Creativity is a vitally important facet of human development. Now make no mistake, Waldorf believes in an unhurried childhood, where education is not a race or an outcome or job security, but rather a process of discovery, and yet it is at least interesting to note that the World Economic Forum called creativity “the one skill that will future-proof you for the job market.”
In the preschool and kindergarten classes at the Waldorf School of Baltimore you will find ample time dedicated on child directed free play where the foundations of life-long creativity and social success are built. Toys here are made of natural materials, are pleasing to the senses, intentionally simple, and encourage open-ended play using lots of imagination. A play silk, for example, may become a scarf to dance with, soup to stir in a pot, a cozy hideaway or a baby doll’s sling. A favorite saying of Almon’s was “a good toy is 90% child, 10% toy”.
Waldorf education, in the earliest years and sometimes in the simplest of ways, fosters the creative capacities, strengths, skills, and inner qualities that children will require for adult life in a rapidly-changing world.
For more information on Waldorf School of Baltimore, inquire today. Priority admission deadline for 2023/24 is February 1.