Living Kindergarten Introduction


This book on the kindergarten overview provides the teacher with background information on childhood development from a Waldorf perspective. It describes the course of the day in a typical Waldorf kindergarten and how that can be applied in the home. Kindergarten activities such as watercolor painting, beeswax modeling, circle games stories, puppetry, the celebration of seasonal festivals, and many more are discussed in great detail with examples for the teacher to use.

From the book: Living Kindergarten Introduction

Beeswax Modeling

Another enjoyable activity is beeswax modeling. The best source of beeswax for modeling that we have found comes from the Stockmar company which also makes the crayons used in so many Waldorf schools. Beeswax has several advantages over clay. It is warm, comes in many colors, and once hardened can be softened and used again. The honey-like fragrance and the flexible, organic feeling of this all-natural, non-toxic wax is pleasing to the senses. On cold days, the beeswax can be softened in a tub of warm water. With small children, it is sometimes helpful to get them started with a piece of wax by warming and molding it in your hands first. Because children learn by imitation, you should model the wax along with them. Begin by showing them how to flatten and round the beeswax, making little pancake shapes. This prepares the wax to be made into various shapes and figures. They will be inspired if they see something you have made. After several weeks of experimenting with simple shapes such as those shown in the illustration, you can begin to combine colors. Many-colored capes and hats can adorn simple human figures. You can lead the student to create animals, people, plants and anything from the child’s experience. Often children love to make small villages from sticks and bark to be inhabited by the beeswax figures.

It is a more intriguing and natural process when the forms that you model come out of stories you have told or sights seen in your garden, such as flowers, insects, animals, or simple imaginative designs. Often a centerpiece — such as a piece of driftwood or a beautiful rock or crystal placed on felt or silk — can provide inspiration. Adding your models to the centerpiece create a scene which can be a surprise and a conversation piece when the family gathers for mealtime. Beeswax can also be used to decorate candles. A special decorating beeswax — a thinner version of modeling wax — is also produced by Stockmar. Because the sheets of this decorating beeswax are thinner, it is actually easier to work with. It can be an alternative for children who have difficulty using the thicker beeswax.

Beeswax modeling can be a delightful time of closeness for parent and child. On cold winter days, you might wish to place a lantern or candle on the table beside where you are working. In this atmosphere, conversations often become especially warm and nurturing. One can even soften the beeswax for a moment over the flame, being careful not to melt the wax.

  • Introduction
  • Festivals
  • Memorial Day
  • Whitsun (Pentecost)
  • Father’s Day
  • Midsummer
  • Fairy Gifts
  • Fourth of July (Independence Day)
  • Labor Day
  • Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot
  • Stories
  • A Story for Whitsun
  • The White Dove
  • The Butterfly and the Rose
  • A Midsummer’s Eve Story
  • St John’s Gift
  • Wee Red Shoes
  • Little Tuppens
  • Songs, Crafts, and Activities
  • Wool Dyeing
  • Paper Bird
  • Wind Ring
  • Stick Puppets
  • A Summer Play for Small Marionettes
  • Nix in the Water
  • Sally Go Round the Sun
  • Knee Rides for Young Children
  • See-saw, Marjory Daw
  • Hey, Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle
  • Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross
  • Horse Riding
  • Touch Games for Young Children
  • The Lord Mayor
  • The Garden
  • Hickory, Dickory, Dock
  • Little Arabella Miller
  • Foot Games
  • Wee Cobbler
  • Doctor Foster went to Gloucester
  • Cobbler, Cobbler Mend My Shoe
  • Pitter-Patter Raindrops
  • Verses for Circle with a Labor Theme
  • Axing
  • Sawing
  • Hammering
  • Loading the Cart
  • Water Carrying
  • Loading
  • Rowing
  • Recipes
  • Mexican Quiche
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
  • Mixed Berry Pie
  • Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust
  • Lemon-Yogurt Poppyseed Muffins
  • Celebrating Birthdays
  • Preparation
  • Birthday Verse
  • Birthday Garden
  • Activities for the Birthday
  • A Birthday in the Nursery Class
  • Suggested Reading
  • For Children
  • Fairy Tales
  • Other Stories
  • For Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot
  • For Parents