(ages 2 – 3 years old)

Welcome to the Waldorf Nursery!

Acorn Class

In our Acorn class, children spend their days in a small, homelike environment with experienced and loving caregivers who encourage them to develop their emerging sense of self.  The daily rhythm provides a balance between activity and rest times, and indoor and outdoor play, nourishing each child’s sense of health and wellbeing. 

Just as when young children are at home, nursery students may choose to join the adults in their work, imitate work the adults are doing, or play nearby under the watchful eyes of their teachers. The children are wrapped in a comfortable, secure routine which gives them great confidence to explore their surroundings and immerse themselves in the all-important work of the child ~ play! Since young children absorb the world primarily through their senses, our biggest job in our early childhood program is to provide an environment which is worthy of their imitation. 

The nursery daily rhythm includes free play (both inside and outdoors), arts and crafts, circle and story time, snack and lunch.


Key Highlights of our Early Childhood Program

A hallmark of Waldorf early childhood education is that all of the academic foundations the children learn are embedded in our experiential curriculum.

Self-regulation emerges as children experience nurturing daily and weekly routines that provide predictability and comfort. Additionally, our classrooms offer a homelike, calm, and emotionally safe experience for children. 

Speech and language skills are developed through participating in story time, puppet shows, and circle time which are part of daily activities.  Through exposure to fairy tales, nature stories, poems, and songs, children build a capacity for literacy in the areas of vocabulary, visualization, memory, and listening skills, as well as the ability to focus.

Fine motor skills, which help support manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination, are engaged daily through arts and seasonal crafts.  These tactile activities include watercolor painting, drawing, beeswax modeling, and finger knitting.

Social skills grow through imaginative and collaborative play. During free play children deepen their relationships through communicating with each other, and learning to share and resolve conflicts. 

Kinesthetic learning occurs each day as the children are welcomed into a sensory rich environment in which whole body movement is encouraged during unstructured inside and outside free play, and structured activities led by the teacher such as circle time and clean-up time

Gross motor skills develop, particularly during outdoor play, that lead to coordination, body control, and spatial awareness.  Children are encouraged to run, jump, skip, climb, swing, balance, dig, build – and move!

Program Information

Our nursery class offers 3, 4 and 5 day schedules. 

Half Day  8:30 to 12:30 
Full Day 8:30 to 3:30 
Extended Care 3:30 to 5:30 

An organic snack is provided by the school daily during the morning program.

By design, we have small class sizes so our teachers can provide each child with individual attention and nurturing. 

  • 2 Co-Lead Teachers 
  • 1:6 Teacher to Student Ratio

Children in our nursery class are between 2 to 3 years old.  We accept students who are 2 years old by August 21. 

Our youngest children begin their Waldorf journey in the Acorn class and move up to the Willow preschool class the following year as they age and achieve developmental milestones. 

Why Routines Matter

Research shows that routines support healthy social emotional development in early childhood. In particular, children with regular routines at home have self-regulation skills, the building blocks of good mental health. When children learn to regulate feelings and behaviors, it means they are able to identify their feelings and have skills to manage those feelings so that they don’t feel overwhelmed. Young children who learn to do this well are better able to adapt to everyday challenges, stressors, and new expectations.

Information developed by Dr. Erika Bocknek, Educational Psychology, Wayne State University


Continue to NSWS Preschool Information