Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

“Sensory integration.” In Waldorf philosophy

In Waldorf philosophy the emphasis is on educating the whole child, that includes the senses too, commonly called “Sensory integration.”

A Waldorf kindergarten environment encourages children to move freely and gives enough scope for open-ended play. The natural fabrics, wood, etc used in a Waldorf kindergarten gives them natural sensory stimulation. 

The same is done through variety of activities given below- 

1. Gardening – In our Waldorf Kindergarten we give a lot of importance to Gardening as it helps children in many ways it connects them to nature. The children touch and smell the soil, they find pebbles, they crush hard soil and prepare it for the plants. 

2. Handwork – Several activities are taken under handwork- Fishing rope with natural cotton yarn, deseeding cotton, playing with potter’s clay, working/playing with Bees wax, coconut scraping, paper mache, and much more, all these are fine motor skills and sensory activities. These activities prepare the children for grade 1 where they are required to start writing. 

3. Painting – Wet on wet watercolour painting is an introduction to the beautiful world of colour for the young child. There are many ways to paint, but wet-on-wet painting is a dreamy, fluid, mostly formless painting method that allows to experience colours. It is perfect for the process-oriented kindergarten child. The intent is to give young children an experience of colour, not form. Because the wet paint is laid on wet paper, the colours flow, blending into one another in beautiful, unexpected ways.

4. Cooking – Cooking is an integral part of our Kindergarten at Kalpavruksha. It is a treat to all the senses. Activities like dough kneading stimulates tactile skills. 

5. Meal times – You may think why meal time is included as a sensory activity! In Waldorf Kindergartens each day a child brings wholesome, homemade healthy food for the whole class. The food is rich and gives exposure to different textures, smells and tastes to young ones. At “Kalpavruksha, Steiner Inspired School“, strong emphasis is laid on community meal times, children eat together the same home cooked food. Children are encouraged to use their hands for eating. The food exposes them to variety of textures, tastes and smell. 

Getting messy is never discouraged in Waldorf schools, it is necessary to develop tactile senses, at our school “Kalpavruksha children develop tactile senses through sand play, play with Clay, walk in rain, jumping in the puddles and much more.

We would like to emphasize that sensory activities are key in building flexibility, mobility, spatial awareness, motor skills, tactile sense, and the sensory integration.

Pooja Chukkala

(Kindergarten Teacher)

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