Maayan has overseen the playgarden for thirteen years and has over fifteen years of experience in early childhood education. She has completed four years of Waldorf teacher training at the Center for Educational Renewal held at the Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm.
She is the mother of two children ages 14 and 18.
Our Daily Rhythm
Young children feel best when their world is rhythmic with the activities of the morning unfolding in the same way each day; one activity flowing into the next in such a way that the children know what to expect. By providing this predictability, we provide comfort and security; eliminating the need for much discipline having removed the uncertainty that can stress young children. Instead of instructing the children as to what's coming next, we find that by singing a familiar song each day, the children take their cue to transition.
Our daily schedule is as follows and is adjusted seasonally and according to the childrens' needs, and state requirements:
8:30 drop off, temperature check, handwashing, free play outside
9:15 circle time, movement, songs and games
9:30 handwashing before snack
10:00 handwashing after snack, free play, and a selection of crafts, baking, or watercolor painting, followed by setting table for lunch
11:30 story with puppet show
11:40 clean up, change clothes, handwashing
12:00 hot, homecooked lunch, clean up (wash dishes, sweep)
12:20 clean-up after lunch and handwashing
12:30 outdoor free play
1:00 - 1:15 dismissal
Snacks have been altered due to Covid-19, we have limited the children's engagement in meal preparation. Therefore parents now provide their children with a healthy snack each day and a clean water bottle.
Our lunch menu is a daily of rotation of vegetable/fruit, grain, and protein, including home-baked seasonal muffins, rice, quinoa, seasonal vegetables and fruit (from our own organic garden when possible), legumes, cheese, and nuts. Due to Covid-19 circumstances, lunch is prepared ahead of time.
We are in the garden rain or shine. The seasons are our circulum and the children get to experience this by spending most of the day outside. Gaining much life experience out in nature with water, mud, sand, and surrounded by plants, animals, chirping birds, and sunshine.
Our playgarden is home to seven hens, a bunny named Ariel, Cosmo the cat, and Bear the dog.
Storytelling and songs are an integral part of our days at Open Arms Playgarden. We use stories to bring up difficult subjects in an imaginative and gentle way allowing us as a community to explore themes such as gratitude, bravery, generosity, and overcoming fears.
Using storytelling curatively encourages healthy communication, conflict resolution, and offers opportunity for processing emotional needs. The story is repeated daily for a week giving the children the chance to truly live into the story and the imaginative images that they've created themselves. The following week we invite the children to act out the stories with teacher guidance allowing the children to inhabit different characters and archetypes.
Developing the imagination through story telling is a precursor to memory and auditory development necessary for literacy. We sing and rhythm throughout the day. Rhyming and singing provides an opportunity for sound, syllabus, words and sentence recognition all in preparation for later academic learning.