Sweet Pea Parent-Child Program
Our Sweet Pea Parent-Child Program, designed for infants and children through four years of age, welcomes little ones with their parents into a warm and beautiful environment full of play, song, meaningful work, and community.
Sweet Pea is both an intimate playgroup for parents with young children, as well as an introduction to Waldorf Education in its earliest classroom setting. Our sessions are arranged to create a balance between imaginative free-play, in which the children use their own initiative, and structured activities, in which the whole group participates. All transitions between activities are graced with a song as we create a rhythm of quiet and active experiences for the children.
Parents are also given the opportunity to attend enrichment and educational evenings to learn about Waldorf education and other topics pertaining to the healthy growth and development of children.
Sweet Pea Class Schedule
Fall Semester: September through December
Spring Semester: February through May
Work and Play
Young children watch the adults in their lives for cues on how to be peaceful, how to work, play, communicate, love, handle difficulties, and so on. In short, children imitate everything that we do, feel, and think. The task of parenting is huge and wonderful. In our weekly morning gatherings, we will take up an enjoyable, guided artistic project, so that the children have a rich environment in which to imitate and play. Over the course of the full school-year, adult crafts may include: creating hand-crafted toys, sewing, knitting and felting, crocheting, candle making, doll making, holiday crafts and seasonal items, as well as involvement with the children in their crafts, as needed. No previous handcrafting experience is necessary. Observation of the children in lieu of work, especially for those with infants, is also enjoyable and welcomed and can add much to our interactions with each other and our children. There are seasonal crafts, gardening, artistic, or baking activities that the children may participate in each week as their age and interests allow.
In addition to our work and play time, we will gather in a circle and sing seasonal songs, lullabies, and nursery rhymes accompanied by simple movements and games. Circle time is not only enjoyable for young children, it encourages the development of listening, language and motor skills, plus it offers each of us chances to experience some very sweet moments of interactive connection with our children. We sing the same songs multiple times, so everyone has plenty of time to learn them. You do not need to be a great singer to do this, as all children delight in hearing the unique and loving voices of their parents singing to them.
As parents, we all long for a supportive and enriching community. In our weekly conversations, we will have the opportunity to explore child development topics as they unfold in our lives with our children. A sampling of topics include: The Importance of Warmth; Nutrition; The Development and Care of the Senses; The Value of Daily, Weekly, and Seasonal Rhythms and Routines; Toddlers and Boundaries; Siblings; and Self-Renewal for the Parent. Of course, topics arising out of the group’s specific needs can be addressed. Reading material will be available each week to deepen our conversations.
Outside Free Play and Parent Social Time
In the rhythm of our morning, an expansive breath of fresh air is vital for all. The children get to explore the elements of nature, drinking them in through their senses to form the firm foundations of their bodies while moving freely and establishing crucial neural pathways for learning. Parents have the opportunity to further connect with one another while watching our children discover and play.
Together we will prepare and enjoy a healthy snack. Each week we will nourish our bodies and hearts as we gather around an inviting and perfectly-sized table, offer a song of gratitude for our food, and practice the basics of table manners.
The anticipation of a delightful tale builds as everyone surrounds the teacher for a short, simple seasonal story or nursery rhyme enacted by puppets to provide a rich storytelling experience for children and parents alike. Silks, nature items and woolen puppets create magic and beauty for these sweet offerings.
*A sibling under 12 months may attend the Parent-Child class at no additional fee, a sibling over 12 months is an additional charge; other fees apply.
To register for a Parent-Child class, or to get more information and specific details on fees, contact Live Oak's office at (530) 878-8720.