In the colder parts of winter, we shift things inwards.
We begin each day indoors with a warm morning snack
before heading outside to enjoy the cold and snow.
We return inside for a hot, organic lunch to warm our hearts and bellies
before settling in for a cozy afternoon nap.
During COVID, the indoor/outdoor rhythm may remain more flexible as we constantly
re-evaluate the safety of indoor time, based on community caseloads and a variety of other criteria.
We do maintain HEPA air purifiers in the indoor program space (and open windows when feasible) for our inside time together.
8:30-9:15 Arrival and Independent Play. Families shift their “good morning” rhythms to our front steps as we greet the children indoors. Children put their boots away and slip on their slippers as the other families arrive. Some days the children play until morning snack; some days we also engage in a seasonal craft such as baking or painting.
Morning Snack. Children sit down with song and a candle to light our morning meal. We continue to nourish our bodies with hot grains such as cinnamon apple oatmeal with maple syrup or millet peach cobbler porridge as we warm ourselves in preparation for heading outdoors.
Walk in the Woods. By this point in the year, the children are well at home in the woods. We venture to a variety of now well-beloved play spaces: the Stick House; the "Rolling Hill"; the meandering farm roads, which lead to the Star Tree; the Boardwalk; and more. We pause for play at many spaces along the way - focused more on the moment than on any particular destination.
Circle time. At this time of the year, sing our way to circle time in the woods to mark the end of our walk. We continue to sing a variety of seasonal songs in what has become a much-loved tradition.
Washing up/Setting the table. Upon our return from the woods, we head inside to get ready for lunch. We wash hands to a special song and set the table in preparation for our meal. The older children love helping the younger ones as we sing our way to lunch!
Lunch. Lunches are a variety of hot, organic, home-made hearty grains, legumes, and/or vegetable soups (though we occasionally make homemade whole wheat rolls together or a pumpkin muffin treat as well!). We tell stories and sing as we share our outdoor meal together.
Indoor Free Play. Children finish their meal at their own pace and help to clean up. They gradually settle into independent play as they wind down with bellies full.
Tidy up. Every tree block, soft baby doll, and wooden truck has its place. With song to aid the transition, the children help to put the room back in order as we prepare for sleep.
Nap. The children play as shades are slowly drawn, cozy resting spaces are arranged, and the aroma of lavender oil and soft light of the salt lamp set the mood for sleep. The children find joy in helping with their beds as we invite them into their special resting spaces. We then sing them quietly off into dreamland.
Afternoon free play. The rhythm of our afternoons is unhurried and dependent on the sleep needs of the particular group of children. Children generally sleep as long as needed. As the children slowly wake, we invite them over for snuggles (if they wish). They then may play quietly indoors or outdoors, depending on the waking time and time of year, until afternoon pickup.