Waldorf Games Handbook for the Early Years

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Waldorf Games Handbook for the Early Years: Games to Play & Sing with Children aged 3–7 

142 Action, Finger, Circle, Clapping, Beanbag, Chasing, Water, Tumbling, Story, and Singing Games

Waldorf Games Handbook for the Early Years is a handy guide to playing games with young children. This classic game book offers a handy resource for parents, teachers, forest school educators, and play leaders. The games are tried and tested and draw on worldwide Steiner and Waldorf-inspired education, in which the “work” of children is their play. Child development is explored and how this is aided by a rich treasury of games—action, finger, circle, clapping, beanbag, chasing, water, tumbling, story, and singing games. Includes both traditional favorites and new games created to engage with challenging behavior.

Each game is clearly and simply described, with diagrams and drawings showing how to play. The games weave rhythms, movement, songs, stories, and pictures and invite children into worlds of vibrant wonder.

These games help children feel at ease in their bodies, build relationships and enjoy playing.

C O N T E N T S:

Why Singing, Movement, and Play Matter – Sally Goddard Blythe
Foreword – Jane Miller
Moving from Me to We – Jaimen McMillan
Movement and Learning – Valerie Baadh Garrett
About Playing these Games – Joan Carr Shimmer
Introduction – Kim John Payne

Chapter 1: Age 3–6
Finger Games
Circle Games
Age 4–5
Age 5–6

Chapter 2: Age 6–7
Clapping Games
Beanbag Games
Chasing Games
Counting-Out Rhymes
String Games

Chapter 3: Water Games, Snow Games and Indoor/Rainy-Day Games
Water Games
Snow Games
Indoor/Rainy-Day Games

Chapter 4: Mixed-Age Games
Skipping Games
Running through the Rope
Creating Your Own Rhymes

About the Author

Kim John Payne, MEd, is a leading Waldorf educator in the US, UK, and Australia. He travels to speak to 10,000 to 20,000 parents and teachers each year in North America and worldwide. A former movement teacher, he was a school counsellor and worked as a family counsellor therapist. He researched a drug-free approach to attention deficit disorder and his Social Inclusion Approach for breaking the patterns of bullying has been implemented in hundreds of schools by more than a thousand coaches worldwide. Kim John Payne lives in Massachusetts with his wife Katharine, who illustrated his bestselling book Simplicity Parenting.

Cory Waletzko was a professional dancer, actor, and musician before becoming a movement and games educator at Upper Valley Waldorf School in Quechee, Vermont. As a Spacial Dynamics® Institute graduate and adjunct faculty member at Antioch University, she has trained trainers in Movement Education and mentored games and movement educators. She works with social inclusion in public and private schools across North America.

Valerie Baadh Garrett is a movement artist, educator and therapist working with people of all ages. She has worked in Waldorf Education, Spacial Dynamics® and Agile Aging, as well as teacher training in the U.S. and China.

Jaimen McMillan has dedicated his life to studying the effects and possibilities of human movement. He has been working in the fields of movement education, movement therapy, and coaching for more than 45 years. He is coauthor of the book The Fourfold Path to Healing (with Dr. Tom Cowan and Sally Fallon), author of the book Still Moving, produced with photographer Karen Alexandre, and is a regular contributor to books and journals about education and health.

Joan Carr Shimer is a leading Spacial Dynamics® educator who also draws on Waldorf early-years education.

Additional information

Weight 18 oz
Dimensions 7.5 × 0.5 × 10 in

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Jane Miller




February 2021






Hawthorn Press


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