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Nurturing the Whole Child: Education for the Mind and Soul

Enrolling in Kinderhale: A Guide to the Application Process

Families interested in Kinderhale can schedule a tour, submit an application, attend New Family Orientation Meeting, and meet with the teacher. Families who are offered a spot at Kinderhale will receive an enrollment packet. 

In order to apply, your child must be 3 years of age by the date of entrance and able to use the bathroom independently. Exceptions may be made for students who are 3 years of age after August 1st at the class teacher's discretion. This requirement helps us ensure child readiness and alleviates extremes in age variation and developmental stages in the classroom. 

"I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think that the same is true of human beings. We do not wish to see children precocious, making great strides in their early years like sprouts, producing a soft and perishable timber, but better if they expand slowly at first as if contending with difficulties, and so are solidified and perfected. Such trees continue to expand with nearly equal rapidity to extreme old age." - Henry David Thoreau

At Mālamalama Waldorf School we strive to provide a rich and rewarding experience for our keiki (little ones) focusing on the social, emotional, and physical development of the child. The child’s creative and imaginative capacities are allowed to flourish as each child discovers and learns about their world through their experiences and interactions with those around them.

Building a Strong Foundation: The Work of Kinderhale

We have 3 Kinderhale mixed-age classrooms ranging from 3 to 6 years old, where children grow from being the little ones to the Star child in the program. This is a beneficial experience that helps children develop social and emotional skills while learning at their own pace. Each classroom at Mālamalama Waldorf Kinderhale has 14 to 18 children, a Waldorf-certified teacher, and a teacher’s assistant.

Engaging the Whole Child: Heart, Hands, and Head 
Kinderhale (“Kinder-house”) is an opportunity to imitate in their play all that they hear in stories and verses. The tasks of daily living are fun and joyful. The children develop relationships by helping and being helped by those around them. They delight in the festivals of the year, including their own birthdays. Waldorf's approach offers a nurturing and protective environment where children enjoy unhurried inner well-being as they experience wonder and gratitude for their world.

Here we have Time.

“Participating in work enables the children to learn important lessons early on, lessons that are necessary for life. They learn to do their fair share and to help others.”

― Jack Petrash

“I really love being human. But some days I really wish I could be fairy.” ~ Greta, age 4

What our Kinderhale Early Childhood Program offers

Activities that help children develop capacities such as focus, concentration, intellectual flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and small-muscle skills are essential to their later academic work. We support uniquely delivered academic learning in the early years to safeguard imagination, the importance of play, and well-rounded, three-dimensional development - engaging children emotionally, mentally, and actively. We lay a strong foundation for later academic-focused learning.

Storytelling, verse, and song nourish the imagination and stimulate memory. Group activities and free play allow children direct interaction with their world and other people.

Playthings of natural materials, wet-on-wet painting, handwork, cooking, baking, creative movement, foreign language, and gardening support further exploration and creativity.

The focus in the Kinderhale is on the social, emotional, and physical development of the child. Each child's creative and imaginative capacities are allowed to flourish as they discover and learn about their world through their experiences and interactions with the world around them. In keeping with the Waldorf tradition, the Kinderhale values and protects the sanctity of childhood.


“A child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world, there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” ~ Pablo Casals

Join Our Community: What We Look for in Kinderhale Applicants

Kinderhale is more than just a kindergarten - it's a community of families and educators who share a commitment to holistic education. Kinderhale seeks families who are aligned with their values and mission, its philosophy of a play-based, nature-oriented curriculum, and who are committed to being active participants in their child's education.

“You cannot make people learn. You can only provide the right conditions for learning to happen.” ~ Vince Gowmon

A Day of Wonder

Children are carried along by the rhythms of the world in which they live, from the cadence of breathing in their bodies to the daily patterns of sleeping and waking. The yearly cycle of the seasons and the rhythmic procession of stars across the heavens are part of life’s experience for adults and children. Children flourish when their daily activities are arranged rhythmically to reflect the natural order of life. Thus the Kinderhale activities flow with a sense of “breathing in” and “breathing out,” from the quiet moments of fairy tales to the active moments of work and play.

Typically, the children are involved in creative play during the early part of the morning. Each day of the week has its own special activity, such as watercolor painting, bread baking, beeswax modeling, handwork, and nature walks.

Children play outdoors rain or shine. Whether in the sandbox, balancing on the teeter-totter or exploring the garden, good, healthy physical activity is an important part of daily life in the KinderhaleCircle activities require concentration and group participation. Stories and fairy tales are told from memory with an emphasis on tone and pronunciation of words, engaging each child’s full imagination in the magic of the tale.

"Rhythm is the bearer of life, and there with the bearer of health." 
~Rudolf Steiner

"If you want your children to be brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want them to be very brilliant, 
tell them even more fairy tales."
~Albert Einstein

Daily Schedule Example (times are approximate):

8:00 Arrival & morning chores
8:20 Play and activities including baking, veggie/fruit cutting & handcrafts, watercolor painting
9:45 Circle time
10:00 Wash hands & snack
10:45 Outdoor play and activities (includes gardening, woodworking, nature walks & games) 
11:45 Storytime/puppet show/beeswax & wash hands
12:10 Lunch
12:40 Lunch clean-up 
1:00 Rest time
2:00-2:15 Goodbye circle & Pick up 

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Together we are thankful for our meal, our teachers our friends and our school.

Nourishing Little Bodies and Minds:
The Kinderhale Lunch Program

We strive to provide wholesome foods that nurture growing bodies.  The Kinderhale provides organic whole foods whenever possible.  The Kinderhale program offers home-cooked vegetarian snacks and lunches daily, including in aftercare which follows USDA nutritional guidelines.  Lunch is prepared by our staff in the school's certified kitchen using high-quality ingredients. Children are encouraged to take part in the preparation of certain meals such as bread baking and chopping vegetables for soup.

We believe that healthy eating happens when good food is prepared and served in a loving way. Children enjoy meals while sitting together at a family table set with cloth napkins, silverware, glass drinking cups, and porcelain bowls. Our program works with parents to be able to accommodate different allergies and food preferences.

*Malamalama Waldorf School participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, providing free and reduced-priced meals for low-income families. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 


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