Morning Song School

Programs

The Magic of Morning Song 

Our activities, stories, puppet shows/plays, songs and circle times are infused with the magic of the season and which helps create connections to self, one another and to nature. Songs and laughter fill the air to create the mood of the environment, along with the very thoughtful surroundings.

Each week, we choose from activities such as baking day (grinding flour from grain and making things from scratch), painting day (exploring the world of watercolor painting wet-on-wet with German Stockmar paints) and “Stone Soup” day, where children bring contributions from their gardens and we harvest things from our own organic gardens here at school that the children have planted and tended to. We also offer handwork, arts and crafts for practicing with our fine motor skills and fun and engaging group activities such as daily circle time and games.

It is very important to the young child to have uninterrupted playtime both indoors and outdoors. Studies show that play is the most important part of brain development and learning necessary skills for children under 6 years old. We provide as much indoor playtime and outdoor playtime we are able to each day. We aim to spend at least half of each day outdoors (and more when it is possible).

Graced with Grandfather Apple Tree, our charming outdoor play garden is where our storytelling often takes place. Organic gardens are cultivated and tended to enthusiastically with the helping hands of the children. To develop children’s balance and coordination, we offer a great deal of creative materials. We have a natural log playhouse for climbing, sliding and swinging. We also have a handmade wooden boat where the children become sailors and fisherman, over a granite riverbed. Children love our large naturally shaped sandbox with a log border. They enjoy the old fashioned hand pump on a stump as their source of water, and watch as the water flows down the sluiceway into the sandbox. We also have a climbing boulder, tire swing, trapeze bar, balls, tricycles. Children love to come together to build with our very large Maplewood building blocks which children use to build nearly anything their imagination comes up with (ships, airplanes, houses and more).

We often enjoy lunch together outdoors, enjoy storytelling outdoors, engage in organic gardening/planting/harvesting, climbing, building and other fun things using our gross motor skills. We also love our “nature day” where we spend the entire school day playing and exploring in the local redwoods.

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Our Environment

In a garden setting, our classroom is enchanting and inviting with thoughtfulness woven into every aspect, with only natural light filtered through hand-dyed silk, soft colors fill the room. The mood is rich with warmth and beauty, imbued with sweet smells of fresh lavender and laughter in the air and the smell of bread baking; we create lasting childhood memories through the nurturing of the child’s senses.

Many of our toys are open ended, leaving the children to create their own stories in their imagination. We provide a large selection of lovely handmade toys and items from nature to inspire and foster creativity and natural fabrics such as wool, silks and cotton for play and dress up.

Daily/Weekly Rhythms and Schedules

Creative Play

Morning Song School provides a beautiful array of handmade toys. Children choose from hand dyed silks of rainbow colors, fine hand-carved and painted animals, natural wooden tree blocks, wool crowns & more. Their play is limitless. Children may decide to put on their gnome hats, divide the “magic stones” amongst themselves and go treasure hunting with their tool sacks; in the next moment we may find them building “Ireland” with their toys and cloths and the entire group is excited as they add to the towns and land in hopes of catching a leprechaun. Our intimate group allows children to connect with one another in a family-like manner. One of our specialty teachers stated, “Morning Song is the only school I have worked in where the entire group, boys and girls, all play together beautifully”.

Circle Time, Games, &Movement

Our approach to movement has many benefits for the young child. It is a non-competitive physical activity fostering self-esteem and body spatial awareness while encouraging cooperation. Our focus on full body movement helps develop children’s concentration, coordination, body awareness, flexibility and balance. This also helps children to learn more about moving and being in their bodies and limbs, all while exploring imaginary worlds. 

Through our thoughtfully crafted circles, the children become more connected with their inner self and in the natural world around them. They feel what it might be like if they were a snake moving about without arms or legs. When children imitate the sound and movements of nature, they have the opportunity to take on the qualities and become another being. Children are excited at the chance to become a butterfly on a great adventure changing into opening flowers, standing as a strong tall tree or stretching like a dog or becoming other animals along the way. They learn, through becoming another being, a deeper understanding that we are all connected. For example, when a child assumes the pose of the lion, they relate to the lion by experiencing the power of behavior of the animal all while experiencing their own inner power. The children experience the strength and force associated with aggression, and then withdraw to an interstate of calm. Beneficial aspects of Yoga and Eurythmy are often woven into our gestures and movements

Cooking & Baking

Through cooking, baking and food preparation, children begin learning practical life skills such as pouring, stirring, chopping and measuring (the beginnings of number recognition and learning about volume). Children find great joy and satisfaction in harvesting from our gardens. We taste the herbs and plants and we prepare different types of soup or salad with the children. Through this experience, the children learn to love and appreciate new and healthy foods. Another activity the children love is grinding the grain to make flours for our breads. On baking day, we bake fresh bread or fresh muffins using whole organic grains and flour that we grind. After the children knead and work their dough, it is finally ready for them to form their dough into “treasure bread”, adding cranberries, nuts or raisins before we bake it in the oven. Mmmm…the smell of fresh bread baking fills the air and we cannot wait to taste it! We also cook seasonal foods, such as cooking with pumpkins in the fall and then making pumpkin muffins or bread, or creamy pumpkin soup.

Watercolor Painting

In Waldorf education, children are shown one color at a time, using watercolor techniques, allowing each child to sink into this slow and deep art form. Using one color at a time allows them to explore the unique qualities and effects of each color individually. They witness how watercolors transform into a fluid state, mingling and flowing on the paper, resulting in exquisite blooms and varied color gradients.

This practice turns the introduction of a second color into an enlightening educational opportunity for children. They actively participate in the firsthand experience of color blending, witnessing the magical moment when a second or third color is introduced, and color mixing enchantment unfolds before their eyes. Watercolor painting is a time for children to breathe, slow down, and be immersed in a color experience. 

Handwork

Our handwork activities involve practicing fine motor skills and developing newly discovered abilities. Handwork activities may include finger knitting, beeswax modeling, clay work, stitching (and repairing), making homemade play dough, and learning dry or wet felting. We enjoy making crafts in celebration of seasonal changes, such as the harvest and making cornhusk dolls or making autumn gnomes for the nature table. Though children take some handmade items home, this is not our goal. We may make things for one another as gifts and some are pieces of work created together with classmates and teachers to use in school (such as puppet making, making beeswax figures for our nature table or making clothing for the dolls).

Music

We love to gather together to sing playful songs and play a variety of musical instruments. Over the years we have also invited a few different wonderful bringers of music, some local music teachers and some have even been parents. We especially love it when our dear friend and amazing guitar player, Paul Robinson (aka “Mr. Paul”) brings the children on a ride over oceans, towns and fields with his singing and playing. It is engaging and fun for all. Having played guitar since he was a boy, Mr. Paul remembers the magic, joy and inspiration music brought to his own childhood and he has seen the difference it has made in his own son’s life; he loves sharing this gift with all children. 

Organic Gardening

Gardening furthers the child’s ability to follow the rhythms in nature. Plants have the power to change our lives. They provide simple and therapeutic pleasure. Caring for our garden allows the child to observe the changes and cycles in plants from the beginning stages of planting through the harvesting and eating. Vegetables, fruits, flowers & trees, butterflies, birds and insects all participate in raising the child’s awareness of the processes of life. Through careful care, children begin to understand the importance of the earth’s elements & the effects of the sun, wind, rain and soil on our tender plants. We express appreciation for all who take part in farming and providing foods for our table.

Outdoor Play

We maximize outdoor time, embracing all weather conditions with appropriate attire. Outdoor play, a vital aspect of children’s development, presents new challenges and opportunities for growth. Children engage in climbing, running, jumping, balancing, and collaborative activities like gardening and building. They imitate and learn by observing teachers, fostering a hands-on approach to education. The log play structure, tree swings, boating area, and natural sandbox are popular play areas. Outdoor games, jumping rope, chalk drawing, tricycle rides, and ball games further enrich their experiences. Teachers work nearby, respecting the child’s play realm while offering assistance when needed. Rainy days are embraced, with children enjoying splashing and nature walks, showcasing our commitment to outdoor exploration regardless of the weather.

Nature Days

We cherish spending school days amidst the enchanting local redwoods, fondly known to the children as “Fairy Glen,” complete with a meandering creek. Recognizing the profound impact of nature on children, our springtime excursions, post-rainy season, provide a magical experience. Nature serves as a realm where everything comes alive for the child, fostering a sense of belonging. In this captivating kingdom, children encounter earthworms’ movements, shadows’ mysteries, and the teamwork of ants constructing hills. Nature, with its ever-changing beauty, offers a space where children overcome obstacles, honing agility and perseverance. They learn to climb trees, cross creeks on logs, and craft fairy homes with natural treasures. Embracing all seasons, children witness the cyclical processes of growth and decay, cultivating an appreciation for the natural world’s enduring qualities. The joy derived from nature’s wonders guides children toward patience, curiosity, and a genuine connection with the environment, vital for building relationships and accomplishing tasks.

Animal Care

Nurturing qualities in children are fostered through our curriculum featuring stories and songs highlighting animal care. We teach respect for nature by making seed gifts for birds and providing opportunities for gentle interaction with our beloved family Labradoodle. Children learn to communicate respectfully with animals, including experiencing the magic of motherhood when helping raise baby labradoodles. This hands-on experience extends to visits from small pets brought in by children, encounters with various animals at Slide Ranch, and engaging in farm activities such as milking goats and feeding chickens. The rewarding process educates children on animal husbandry, preparing them to care for these special creatures and share the joy with new families.

Field Trips

Celebrations

Seasons are celebrated and marked with stories, songs and games that carry appropriate seasonal themes of animals preparing for winter hibernating or characters blossoming and changing. Some of our events involve the whole family, offering community-building opportunities; some are for just the children. All of our celebrations are kept simple, fun and meaningful.

Michaelmas

The first celebration of our year is associated with the autumn equinox; this is a time when the earth draws into herself. It is noted with puppetry and songs and Saint Michael’s dragon taming tale. The children enjoy baking “dragon bread”, using dried cranberries for eyes and pumpkin seeds for scales.

boy in green and orange jacket walking on green grass field during daytime

Halloween

As autumn unfolds, Halloween approaches, echoing the ancient Celtic “Eve of Samhain.” Amid pumpkin carving and seed roasting, the kids prepare for mischievous goblins. Jack-o-lanterns, symbols of protection, grace our magically transformed classroom on the festival day, where a friendly witch shares stories and brews with the children in homemade costumes, embracing adventure, mystery, beauty, and magic.

boy in green and orange jacket walking on green grass field during daytime

Advent

Our advent garden is a countdown to solstice, a celebration of light and the sun. Evergreens are decorated with crystals, shells, plants and carved animals representing the kingdoms of nature. This celebration reflects winter’s dark growing to a close and the renewed promise that spring light and life will begin again. We celebrate each day incorporating each of the kingdoms of nature and honoring each with it’s own song and verse.

St. Nicholas Day

On December 6th we often celebrate a European tradition when the children get a surprise silent visit from St Nicholas and his helper, Rupert, who leave treats such as Golden nuts, oranges, and dates in each child’s shoes or slippers. We might get lucky and spy a trail of glitter, showing us Nicholas’ way in and out of our garden!

Spring Festivals

Spring is a time to celebrate birth and the return of spring. In the classrooms, children decorate eggs, tend to baskets of fresh green wheat grass, plant flowers and enjoy stories of the abundance of new life in nature all around us.

In May, we celebrate the “coming in” of summer. We celebrate with traditional maypole songs and festivities, which are woven into our dance and movement circles. Cold, dark days are long gone and we look forward to warmer days ahead. We celebrate the earth and life with flowers, music, singing and dancing. We may make May Baskets for our neighbors, or fashion garlands of flowers, or May crowns, for all children to wear. Each child, rainbow ribbons in hand, dances to the traditional songs and music. We ask parents to organize and help us to create a spring potluck for the entire community to come together for a day.

Spring Festivals

Spring is a time to celebrate birth and the return of spring. In the classrooms, children decorate eggs, tend to baskets of fresh green wheat grass, plant flowers and enjoy stories of the abundance of new life in nature all around us.

In May, we celebrate the “coming in” of summer. We celebrate with traditional maypole songs and festivities, which are woven into our dance and movement circles. Cold, dark days are long gone and we look forward to warmer days ahead. We celebrate the earth and life with flowers, music, singing and dancing. We may make May Baskets for our neighbors, or fashion garlands of flowers, or May crowns, for all children to wear. Each child, rainbow ribbons in hand, dances to the traditional songs and music. We ask parents to organize and help us to create a spring potluck for the entire community to come together for a day.

Celebrations

Seasons are celebrated and marked with stories, songs and games that carry appropriate seasonal themes of animals preparing for winter hibernating or characters blossoming and changing. Some of our events involve the whole family, offering community-building opportunities; some are for just the children. All of our celebrations are kept simple, fun and meaningful.

Michaelmas

The first celebration of our year is associated with the autumn equinox; this is a time when the earth draws into herself. It is noted with puppetry and songs and Saint Michael’s dragon taming tale. The children enjoy baking “dragon bread”, using dried cranberries for eyes and pumpkin seeds for scales.

boy in green and orange jacket walking on green grass field during daytime

Halloween

As autumn unfolds, Halloween approaches, echoing the ancient Celtic “Eve of Samhain.” Amid pumpkin carving and seed roasting, the kids prepare for mischievous goblins. Jack-o-lanterns, symbols of protection, grace our magically transformed classroom on the festival day, where a friendly witch shares stories and brews with the children in homemade costumes, embracing adventure, mystery, beauty, and magic.

Advent

Our advent garden is a countdown to solstice, a celebration of light and the sun. Evergreens are decorated with crystals, shells, plants and carved animals representing the kingdoms of nature. This celebration reflects winter’s dark growing to a close and the renewed promise that spring light and life will begin again. We celebrate each day incorporating each of the kingdoms of nature and honoring each with it’s own song and verse.

St. Nicholas Day

On December 6th we often celebrate a European tradition when the children get a surprise silent visit from St Nicholas and his helper, Rupert, who leave treats such as Golden nuts, oranges, and dates in each child’s shoes or slippers. We might get lucky and spy a trail of glitter, showing us Nicholas’ way in and out of our garden!

Spring Festivals

Spring is a time to celebrate birth and the return of spring. In the classrooms, children decorate eggs, tend to baskets of fresh green wheat grass, plant flowers and enjoy stories of the abundance of new life in nature all around us.

In May, we celebrate the “coming in” of summer. We celebrate with traditional maypole songs and festivities, which are woven into our dance and movement circles. Cold, dark days are long gone and we look forward to warmer days ahead. We celebrate the earth and life with flowers, music, singing and dancing. We may make May Baskets for our neighbors, or fashion garlands of flowers, or May crowns, for all children to wear. Each child, rainbow ribbons in hand, dances to the traditional songs and music. We ask parents to organize and help us to create a spring potluck for the entire community to come together for a day.

Celebrations

Seasons are celebrated and marked with stories, songs and games that carry appropriate seasonal themes of animals preparing for winter hibernating or characters blossoming and changing. Some of our events involve the whole family, offering community-building opportunities; some are for just the children. All of our celebrations are kept simple, fun and meaningful.

Michaelmas

The first celebration of our year is associated with the autumn equinox; this is a time when the earth draws into herself. It is noted with puppetry and songs and Saint Michael’s dragon taming tale. The children enjoy baking “dragon bread”, using dried cranberries for eyes and pumpkin seeds for scales.

boy in green and orange jacket walking on green grass field during daytime

Halloween

As autumn unfolds, Halloween approaches, echoing the ancient Celtic “Eve of Samhain.” Amid pumpkin carving and seed roasting, the kids prepare for mischievous goblins. Jack-o-lanterns, symbols of protection, grace our magically transformed classroom on the festival day, where a friendly witch shares stories and brews with the children in homemade costumes, embracing adventure, mystery, beauty, and magic.

boy in green and orange jacket walking on green grass field during daytime

Advent

Our advent garden is a countdown to solstice, a celebration of light and the sun. Evergreens are decorated with crystals, shells, plants and carved animals representing the kingdoms of nature. This celebration reflects winter’s dark growing to a close and the renewed promise that spring light and life will begin again. We celebrate each day incorporating each of the kingdoms of nature and honoring each with it’s own song and verse.

St. Nicholas Day

On December 6th we often celebrate a European tradition when the children get a surprise silent visit from St Nicholas and his helper, Rupert, who leave treats such as Golden nuts, oranges, and dates in each child’s shoes or slippers. We might get lucky and spy a trail of glitter, showing us Nicholas’ way in and out of our garden!

Spring Festivals

Spring is a time to celebrate birth and the return of spring. In the classrooms, children decorate eggs, tend to baskets of fresh green wheat grass, plant flowers and enjoy stories of the abundance of new life in nature all around us.

In May, we celebrate the “coming in” of summer. We celebrate with traditional maypole songs and festivities, which are woven into our dance and movement circles. Cold, dark days are long gone and we look forward to warmer days ahead. We celebrate the earth and life with flowers, music, singing and dancing. We may make May Baskets for our neighbors, or fashion garlands of flowers, or May crowns, for all children to wear. Each child, rainbow ribbons in hand, dances to the traditional songs and music. We ask parents to organize and help us to create a spring potluck for the entire community to come together for a day.