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The Apple Blossom School and Family Center is a Waldorf school in Wilton
The Apple Blossom School and Family Center is a Waldorf school in Wilton. A lovely piece of heaven in a bustling world, Apple Blossom offers parent-child classes, nursery and kindergarten programs, and a summer camp that are inspired by the teachings and pedagogy of Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf education.
How would you describe Apple Blossom’s Waldorf approach?
It is a play-based program, focusing on allowing an abundance of time for self-initiated play. It is a holistic approach that allows the child to find what they need in order to develop to their fullest potential.
What are the key principles of a Waldorf education?
Mindfulness, warmth, rhythm, and imitation. Mindfulness comes from the teachers with a strong background in early childhood development. The teachers surround the children with storytelling and verse during circle time and story time everyday. There is mindfulness in the healthy, organic snacks served. The use of natural materials is a warmth that allows a child to engage with objects made from wool, wood, and cotton. This enables them to discern what is real, what has weight, and what is true in their lives.
The daily rhythm in a Waldorf School contains the vital structure that allows for long periods of free play, both indoors and outdoors, in between the teacher-led activities. Outdoor play in all seasons and weather gives children a wide variety of materials and surfaces to explore, gaining resiliency. Finally, Waldorf education acknowledges that young children learn through imitation—it is the task of the teacher to be a model worthy of the child’s imitation. The activities at Apple Blossom are derived from life itself giving them real work to imitate.
What a typical day at Apple Blossom?
Apple Blossom provides a home away from home. The days are structured by alternating teacher-directed activity and child-initiated activities. We start with 45 minutes of outdoor play that provides opportunity to develop gross and fine motor skills—from playing in the sand, to climbing trees. During the times of play the teacher is engaged in a practical activity—for example, preparing the meal for the day, sewing or other handwork activities, gardening, artistic work like watercolor painting or beeswax modeling.
We then move to our morning “circle time,” which provides an opportunity for the children to utilize their imagination through the use of poems, rhymes, or a story. The circle changes with the seasons and offers the children a picture of the changing year all while using their gross motor and their fine motor skills, connecting language to movement. A nourishing snack prepared by the children each day follows the circle. The day ends with a story time—the stories are told rather than read, which allows the child to create their own pictures, develop their vocabulary, and practice their listening skills.
How does Apple Blossom support the modern child and family?
We support the protection of childhood through our trust in the child’s self-initiated learning, nurturing relationships,and an unhurried day. The teacher creates an environment that allows for social engagement, imaginative free play, and is rich in meaningful daily life activities. This allows the children to develop strong powers of resiliency, creativity, gratitude, and independence, and it is these skills that will prepare them for their future.
What are the qualifications of the faculty at Apple Blossom?
Our lead teachers all have Master’s degrees in education, as well as specialized Waldorf Early Childhood training. Each lead teacher is supported by well-trained assistants.
What can people expect to find in a classroom at Apple Blossom?
Our classroom is an environment that strives for beauty and warmth, giving the children an opportunity to develop a sense of beauty themselves. There are natural toys, often handmade and simple, that stimulate the child’s imagination as well as the senses. We also have a nature corner that reflects the changes of the seasons, familiarizing the children with the changing year and connecting children to the wider world.
Each day, the aroma of a nutritious snack wafts through the halls—a vegetable soup, freshly baked bread, apple crisp, or some treat the children have helped to prepare. We believe the classroom is a reflection of our goal to develop the children’s well-being and help them feel grounded or at peace with the greater world.
Apple Blossom School & Family Center
440 Danbury Rd.