Listado de la etiqueta: waldorf curriculum

Great Games for Kids

Written by Cristin Howard from Smart Parents Advice

Children get bored easily, and keeping them entertained can be hard work. Great games for kids can spike up a birthday party with friends. In a family setting, they can also create special moments and fantastic memories for years to come.

Regardless of your child’s age, you should find the perfect games that your little one will love. Some of them can be homemade, while others can be found in most children’s stores.

Old-School Games

Our dear old-school games can sometimes be much more fun than the newest ones on the block. This is, of course, if you don’t tell your kid they’re vintage.

What we love about these games is that they’re accessible to anyone, anytime. You don’t need to purchase any equipment or supplies. Here are our favorite ones.

The Telephone Game

This game is suitable for kids of all ages and will generally provoke lots of laughter. You will need at least several kiddos or family members to play this game—the more, the better. Place them sitting down, forming a straight line.

The first child whispers a word to his or her neighbor’s ear, who then repeats the word to the next person sitting beside them. The whisper continues until it reaches the last child, who then says what they’ve heard. For more of a challenge, pass on a sentence instead of a word!

Musical Chairs

To play this game, you’ll only need chairs—one less than the number of kids playing. If five little ones are participating, only set up four chairs. Position them in a circle, with the backs towards the center.

Let them walk, run, or dance around the chairs to music. At your signal, when you pause the music, they’ll have to rush and sit on one. One child will remain standing and will be removed from the game.

Remove one chair and repeat until you have a winner!

Active Games

Physical activity is crucial for any child and at all ages. If you’d like your little one to get some exercise while playing, there are plenty of excellent options.

Hide And Seek

“Hide and Seek” is a classic and never disappoints. It can be done both indoors and outdoors and is a popular game for all children. Plus, it can be played with any number of kids or adults you have at home.

The only element this game requires is good hiding spots!

Indoor Obstacle Course

This game should also get your child moving. It consists of placing objects on the floor and around the house to create an obstacle course. Parents then create rules around each item.

For instance, children would have to crawl under a chair, balance along a piece of tape on the floor, then use a hula hoop. Kids who reach the finish line with all obstacles completed the right way get a point. The game can last as long as your kiddos’ endurance!

Scavenger Hunt

You’ll find scavenger hunts to purchase that are ready-to-play, but you can also make your own. Kids have a list of items to find in various rooms of the house or garden. The one who finds them all first wins the game.

These types of games require some thinking and independence. While they’re best suited for older kids, young ones can team up to take part.

Sports

Organized sports can be a blast as well. Soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball are all great team sports. Then there are individual sports like tennis. These sports can teach kids about teamwork and competition too.

Memory Games

Memory games are fantastic activities to work children’s brain function and learn to store information. Most of them can also introduce new vocabulary.

Memory Cards

You’ll find many card games featuring popular illustrations such as Disney characters or superheroes. If you’re looking for a more educational memory game, some of them display animals, birds, or plants.

You could also make some DIY cards at home by printing the same pictures twice. Your child may be thrilled to play with a custom dinosaur or truck memory game. Some parents even use photos of family members.

What’s Missing?

This game can be played anywhere, anytime on the fly. Not only does it test a child’s memory, but young toddlers should be able to learn new words. You could create the game with fruit, toiletries, or even regular home objects.

Start by placing several items on a tray. The longer you talk about each object—colors, shape, purpose—the easier it is for the child to find the missing object.

Let your child observe each of them for a minute. Then ask them to cover or close their eyes and remove one of them. Your kiddo will have to guess which one is missing.

To increase the challenge, start adding more objects. You could even remove more than one object at a time.

Intellectual Games

Great games for kids also include those that’ll make your child think and build strategies.

Connect 4

Connect 4 is another classic game that withstood time and fashion waves. It’s also a game that can easily pass from one generation to the next.

The concept of this game is simple. It comes with a vertical grill and red and yellow disks. The winner is the one who can place four discs of the same color in a row, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally without being blocked by the opponent.

This teaches your child how to create a strategy. Your kid will also have to watch the opponent’s game, planning for the next move.

Battleship

Although Battleship can be played by all kids, it’s very popular among the boys. Your child places ships of various sizes on a grid—showcasing numbers horizontally and letters vertically.

Players need to call a boat by guessing its exact position—such as A7. They’ll then have to figure out the length of each ship to sink it entirely. It’s a fantastic strategy game that also allows kids to practice tactics, numbers, and letters.

Puzzles

Puzzles are a great game to get your little one thinking. They enhance hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills for the youngest ones. It can also teach patience and logic.

There are different types of puzzles designed for all ages. Models aimed at young toddlers are typically made of wood and come with knobs for little hands to grab.

Toddlers can also try out two-piece puzzles before pushing the challenge to more complicated models. Puzzles can easily turn into a hobby that continues into adulthood.

Creative Games

Other activities are fantastic to develop our kiddos’ creativity, imagination, and artistic side. They generally make excellent family games, bringing laughter and building bonds.

Pictionary

Who hasn’t played Pictionary at one point in their life? This game can also be made at home by creating cards from which kids pick. The goal is to draw the word well enough for the rest of the players to guess it.

This game may uncover real talents and little artists!

Charades

If your child isn’t about drawing, what about acting? This game consists of describing a word only with movements, without speaking, and in a set amount of time.

It’s a good method to get your child to think outside of the box. It also encourages self-expression and is engaging even for older kids—and adults.

You’ll find charade games ready to play. Other parents print pictures and fold them up before placing them in a bucket for kids to choose from. Either way, it should bring entertainment for everyone!

Board Games

If you’re looking for games to play on vacation or to create quality family time, there are a few worth considering.

Monopoly

Monopoly can’t be ignored, although young kids may need to be teamed up with someone older. While my favorite remains the classic model, it now comes in “Avenger,” “Lion King,” or even “Star Wars” versions.

Labyrinth

This is another popular game that can be played in a family setting with up to four players. The characters need to find the fastest route through the labyrinth to reach the final line.

Game Over

If you’re looking for a great game for kids, there are plenty to choose from. Some can be created using objects at home, while others are popular games available to purchase in-store or online. Either way, they create fantastic memories, whether playing with friends or family.

These games are generally educational and should keep your kiddo away from electronic devices. What better ways to combine learning and fun?

What Are The Benefits of Crafts?

Written by Julie Moon

As Ingun Schneider remarks in her article “Supporting the development of the hand,” many children today are using their hands almost exclusively to manipulate electronic devices such as computer mice, and are increasingly unable to hold a pen/pencil with any confidence or skill. Traditional craft skills such as knitting, are not widely practiced. The consequences of this are alarming. A great deal of research is published today which makes a clear case for the link between ‘nimble fingers, nimble minds’- that is, the relationship between healthy neurological development and the engagement of the fingers in fine motor activities. The more we take into account that intellect develops from the movements of the limbs, from dexterity and skills, the better it will be (Rudolf Steiner, The Renewal of Education).

Working with this picture of human development- that thinking grows out of movement and dexterous skills developed through activities such as craft- Waldorf educators work to bring craft throughout the curriculum. Our craftwork includes knitting, weaving, sewing, and woodwork.

The brain discovers what the fingers explore. The density of nerve endings in our fingertips is enormous. If we don’t use our fingers, if, in childhood and youth, we become finger-blind, this rich network of nerves is impoverished – which represents a huge loss to the brain and thwarts the individual’s all-around development.

If we neglect to develop and train our children’s fingers and the creative form-building capacity of their hand muscles, then we neglect to develop their understanding of the unity of things; we thwart their aesthetic and creative powers. Today Western civilization, an information-obsessed society that overvalues science and undervalues true worth, has forgotten this (Matti Bergstrom, professor and neurophysiologist).

Recent neurological research tends to confirm that mobility and dexterity in fine motor muscles, especially in the hand, may stimulate cellular development in the brain, and so strengthen the physical instrument of thinking.

Craft begins in the early years with the children consciously using their hands, and refining the movements of their fingers – improving fine motor skills. Finger knitting is the beginning of the knitting curriculum; sewing is refined year-by-year (Margaret Skerry – a former teacher at Sophia Mundi school).

The crafts of ancient peoples were part of everyday life and they were made with a disciplined attention to detail, loving care, and artistry. Joy seemed to be in the making and our children also find joy, challenges, and a sense of achievement in their craft lessons!

Sometimes we might get the sense that crafts are a waste of time and would like to see our child more involved in information-involved activities but we have to keep in mind the amazing neurological impact that it has on our child.

How to Explain Fractions to A Child?

How do you introduce your children to fractions? To do so, we will begin with a story. Please grab an apple, and a knife, and tell your children the following story. Ask him/her to cut the apple as the story evolves. Helpful tip, I encourage you to change the names of the children in the story to the names of friends of your child. Have a pen and paper to write down the names of his friends so he/she can distribute the pieces between his friends.

The story was taken from the book The Teaching of Arithmetic and the Waldorf School Plan by Hermann von Baravalle, Ph.D

apple

Picture from Hometown Harvest.

Have an Apple!

Melinda came to school with an apple. She was just about to eat it when Christopher arrived and saw it. She wouldn´t keep it all to herself so she cut it into two pieces and gave half of the apple to Christopher. Just then Jeanne and Ralph came in. Melinda and Christopher cut their halves in half. At that time the apple was in 4 pieces. Each person had one-fourth. Before they could eat the fourths, Donald, Lisa, John, and Linda came in. Now the fourths were cut in two and there were eight pieces for eight children. The apple had been divided into eighths that were about to be gobbled up when Claude, Francis, Erich, Olivia, Miriam, Max, Michaela, and Hilary busted into the room. Now they had to cut each of the eight pieces of apple in two, to make sixteen pieces, very tiny, each piece being one-sixteenth of the apple. They were all so small.

Before, there was one piece. Now there were sixteen pieces; but though 16 is a larger number than 1, each piece was smaller, by far, than the 1 apple.

We started with one apple. To share it, we cut it into 2 equal pieces.

fractions

Each piece is one-half of the apple. As the 2 halves of the apple make one whole, they are related to the whole by the number 2 but we have to allow that 1 is divided into 2 pieces.

fraction in two

What would be a good way to show that in writing? We can use the knife-cut line as a divider line and if we write it, it could read «1 divided by 2» or «one half».

learning math

Now you are ready to teach your child how to add fractions!

How to Establish a Daily Rhythm

We know the importance of having a daily rhythm, especially in this circumstance that we need to stay at home. Today is the day you will get your daily rhythm created and mapped out! We are going to help you. We are sharing with you this article where you will find great ideas and tips on how to create your daily rhythm. 

Excerpt from Save your Homeschooling Day document written by Jean from Waldorf Homeschool Simplify.

Waldorf –Inspired Learning. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through 2 simple steps to help you. Plus, I’ll share some great visuals with you for creating your own rhythm chart! The answer is to start with the basics of rhythm and build from there. And in this guide, I’m going to show you how that’s done so you can start small and grow as you go. 

“Have fun with rhythm because rhythm is your friend”, Jean

What is Rhythm? Rhythm is simply your daily routine of what you do first, and then next, and then next. I’m going to help you discover your own rhythm to provide a structure for your days so that your children can feel secure in knowing what to expect. This actually makes daily life with children easier for everyone – you and your children! 

With a sense of rhythm, you can move throughout your day with alternating activities of inward focus and outward focus, much like the rhythm of breathing, inhaling, and exhaling. So a pattern is established. And then repeated. 

Rhythm is more about sequencing and grouping activities than it is about a schedule with time slots. 

Why Daily Rhythm?

It is important to build patterns and routines, before planning, customizing, and implementing the activities. 

Rhythm is natural, Do you struggle with rhythm? Or have a resistance to it? Here is a great place to begin – with an image of how the naturally occurring rhythms within us connect with the naturally occurring rhythms all around us. 

Picture a warm, glowing heart in your mind. It represents love but it also represents the rhythm of your heartbeat. 

Rhythm is “a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound.” A steady rhythm can be a steady beat, a recurring sound, or a repetitive activity. We can think of not only our heartbeat but also our breath, in and out. These are the natural rhythms that live inside our bodies. We can also observe external rhythms. There is the rhythm of day and night, the rhythm of the days of the week, the rhythm of the months, and the rhythm of the seasons. 

All of these rhythms are part of our lives. Their repetition brings us comfort because they are regular and expected. Rhythm provides an anchor and especially helps children, who have little control over their environments, to feel secure. 

Steiner even said, “Rhythm can take the place of strength and will.” Rhythm is the reason why Rudolf Steiner suggested warming up at the start of our lessons with verse recitation, speech exercises, or singing. He even began each of his lectures to the very first Waldorf teachers-in-training with speech exercises and verse recitation to help regulate everyone’s breathing, their natural in-breath and out-breath their internal, natural rhythm. He reasoned that this practice teaches us flexibility and helps to ground us in the present moment. That’s what a strong rhythm can do. 

AS YOU EXPLORE RHYTHM… 

A word to the wise as you develop your own rhythm: Be yourself. Be authentic. Waldorf Rhythm is not about doing what you’re supposed to do, doing what I suggest you do, doing what other mamas are doing on Instagram… 

This process of laying the foundation for your daily and weekly rhythm is about you and your family. Stay connected to your own unique life and do what is best for you, and no one else. Courage comes from being willing to be who you are! Don’t wait until you’re confident to show up. You have everything you need right now and can show up just as you are. Now let’s dive in! 

2 Steps to Create Your Daily Rhythm 

Step One: Design a Daily Rhythm that Works for You

Now it’s time to create your daily rhythm! Start by thinking of the rhythm of the week, where each weekday has a different flavor and often different activities. Like pizza on Saturday nights, or errands and grocery shopping on Thursday afternoons after lunch. These are activities that we do regularly and repeatedly. They are not necessarily assigned a particular time, but more of a general time slot or relationship to another activity. While some activities might vary from day to day, there are other activities that you repeat daily. 

Think about what you do each and every day. Start by making a list of your daily activities from the time you wake up until you go to sleep at night. Include chores, mealtimes, rest times, and bedtime – plus lessons and activities. 

Be gentle with yourself and breathe into your daily rhythm. No need to include the exact time unless you want to. Just start with Wake Up and end with Bedtime. Add in Meal Times, Lesson Time, and Rest Time, and you have your basic structure. These provide anchor points or pillars in your day that form the basis of your rhythm. On the next page are a few time chunks in your day to reflect on as you craft your daily rhythm. 

YOU TIME

What do you need to do before your children get up and ready for the day? Even just 15 minutes to yourself to listen to a meditation, recite a verse by heart, light a candle, or sit quietly can nourish you before the day begins. 

MORNINGS

Make a list of what you and your children will do together. On this list, you can include breakfast, chore time, circle time, lesson time, and outdoor time…you can even include the specific steps of lesson time if you have children in the grades. 

MEAL TIME

Regular mealtimes help to provide anchor points in your day. And when you sing or recite a blessing before eating, you’re adding a ritual that can make this daily activity even more special. 

REST TIME

Keep rest or nap time going as long as possible as your children grow older! Even pre-teens can benefit from quiet alone time each day. And so can we! In my family, this was a good time to encourage my boys to separate for a while each afternoon. 

TIME IN NATURE

Time in nature helps to ground us in beauty while giving us and our children extra space. Try making time for unstructured play outdoors each day after breakfast or lunch. 

AFTERNOONS

Don’t forget about the afternoons. Aside from daily quiet time or time to play outside, consider doing handwork, reading aloud, painting, cooking, or baking in the afternoons. This can also be a good time for errands or other outside-of-the-house activities. 

EVENINGS

Evenings are a great time to consider a family activity such as reading aloud, a game, or making music together that can include everyone. Here is an example of a simple daily rhythm: 

Wake Up Morning Chores Breakfast Morning Activity or Main Lesson Lunch Play Outside Read Chapter Book Rest Prepare Dinner & Eat Playtime Get Ready for Bed. The Waldorf approach is really very simple. 

Not always easy (especially in today’s world where so much swirling all around us is a-rhythmic, meaning you can access just about anything any time of day or season you want)…but simple. And we can give ourselves permission to let it be easy! 

I invite you to embrace the simplicity. And to allow yourself to experiment and get comfortable not knowing everything before you begin. So truthfully, gosh darn it, rhythm is always the answer when things go awry or seem utterly chaotic. The beauty of rhythm is that it’s comforting. It helps us all know what to expect and frees up our brain space and our will so we can do good work. Make rhythm your friend!

Step Two: Create a Visual Reminder 

And finally, I encourage you to make some kind of visual chart of this daily rhythm. No need to get too elaborate, but it really helps to create something clear and colorful to hang up for everyone in the family to see. You could create a chart to hang on the wall. Or you might simply write your daily rhythm on a chalkboard. Or write your activities on cards that can be moved around. 

This visual reminder will help you remember your plan and stay committed to it. It’s also nice to have a basic rhythm to go back to when things get off track instead of inventing one as you go! Now for some examples. I want to show you a few different ways some of the parents in the Waldorf community have created a visual for themselves. 

On the next page is an example of starting with the activities written on cards. You could hang these on a long ribbon, or add magnets to the backs of the cards and arrange them daily or weekly. 

Here’s what this mom said about her rhythm chart: “I have the rhythm that I created with your Plan It Out course inside my kitchen cabinet. I don’t follow it every day. But it is WONDERFUL to have right there on days that I am tired or confused. The answer to what to do next is ALWAYS waiting for me. It is such a comfort.” 

Here are some other great examples of rhythm charts to inspire you to create your own! 

Daily Rhythm

And one more from a parent of three children. 

Daily Rhythm

Another example.

daily rhythm

estructura

See how different each of these rhythm charts is? 

You really can experiment with rhythm and make it your own. 

Now it’s your turn to use your imagination and create a daily rhythm chart that’s just right for you and your family. 

LET RHYTHM BE A COMFORT! 

Sometimes we get stuck on how to keep the rhythm going. Either life gets busier or something comes up to throw our rhythm off. Or we might even get bored with it! 

Don’t stress. Let go of some things. Be mindful. Choose intentionally. 

Establish a family rhythm and revisit it from time to time to tweak and adjust as needed. Be kind to yourself. 

It’s important to know what to do when you start to feel like your rhythm needs tweaking or even a complete overhaul. It’s OK to change your daily rhythm as a new season arrives or your circumstances change. And it’s also OK to mix it up some days. 

The daily rhythm you create is not meant to hem you in, but to offer you a sense of freedom – knowing what comes next but also knowing that there’s flexibility. 

When your rhythm goes off the rails (and it will from time to time), how do you get back on track? 

Scale back until your rhythm is working again, and build from there. 

Start with three anchor points: morning chores, mealtimes, and bedtime. When these feel solid, add more activities and lessons back in. 

Less is more, I promise! 

Remember… make rhythm your friend so you can relax and enjoy. 

Guiding Children to Solve Problems

What is the role of adults in the lives of children?  Many times we wonder about this. How are we disciplining them when they do not make the right choice?  Here are some tips suggested by «Love and Logic Institute» an entity created during the early 1980s to research the area of discipline and behavior management.

Love and logic

Power is a major issue between children and adults.  While still very young, some kids realize they don’t have much control over anything.  A toddler unconsciously thinks, «I’m the smallest. They tell me what to do, and I don’t get to make decisions. I need to find a way to get some control.»  Then, winning the power struggle becomes all-important, more important than making good decisions.

When we offer children a choice instead of making a demand, no power struggle ever begins.  When we make a demand, we make the wise choice, leaving the child with only one way to win the power struggle, by making a fool choice.  Given a range of choices, a child will have endless opportunities to choose wisely in the future.

  1. Always be sure to select choices that you like.  Never provide one you like and one you don’t, because a child seems to have a sixth sense in selecting the one you don’t like.
  2. Never give a choice unless you are willing to allow the child to experience the consequence of that choice.
  3. Never give choices when the child is in danger
  4. Never give choices unless you are willing to make the choice for the child in the event he/she does not choose within ten seconds.
  5. The way you present the choice is important.  Try to start sentences with:
  • You’re welcome to _______ or _______.
  • Feel free to ________ or ________.
  • Would you rather ________ or ______?
  • What would be best for you ______ or _______?

Children learn from their mistakes when:

  • They experience the consequences of their mistakes; and
  • Adults in their environment provide empathy

Bad choices have natural consequences.  If David fails to wear a coat, he gets cold.  If Jan misses the school bus, she stays home with an unexcused absence for the day.

As adults we are tempted to scold and reprimand, but may be surprised to learn that children actually learn best from consequences when adults empathize:

  • «I’m sorry you’re cold, David»
  • «What a bummer that you missed an after-school party on the day you were absent, Jan»

If adults reprimand them, children may transform sorrow over their choice into anger with the adult, and the lesson may be lost.

If adults express sorrow, children have a significant learning opportunity.  David may think, «Tomorrow I’ll wear a coat.» Jan may decide, «I’ll get up fifteen minutes earlier tomorrow.»

These are a few tips to consider this week.   Start by trying to implement them. Little by little you will see the transformation in your child’s behavior.    Next week’s article will address more issues and will give you more tips to build a stronger discipline plan to help you guide your child.   

¿Por qué empezamos a enseñar historia y geografía en 4to grado?

En el video que te compartimos a continuación, Rene Petersen explica la razón por la que empezamos a enseñar historia y geografía en 4to grado. Es impresionante cómo todo el currículo Waldorf está enfocado en cuándo es el mejor momento de enseñarles a los niños, basado en su desarrollo.

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