PLAY

March 16th, 2010 | Childhood, Play, Waldorf Education | Permalink | Comments (4)

This Op-Ed piece from the New York Times comments on the recent curriculum reforms proposed by the Obama administration in support of play. The author, Susan Engel, director of the teaching program at Williams College, articulates what so many educators know, and so few legislators understand.

Op-Ed Contributor – Playing to Learn – NYTimes.com

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The statement that really struck me:

“During the school day, there should be extended time for play. Research has shown unequivocally that children learn best when they are interested in the material or activity they are learning. Play — from building contraptions to enacting stories to inventing games — can allow children to satisfy their curiosity about the things that interest them in their own way. It can also help them acquire higher-order thinking skills, like generating testable hypotheses, imagining situations from someone else’s perspective and thinking of alternate solutions.”

As Rudolf Steiner stated, imaginative play in early childhood is the basis for creative thinking later in life. And as all Waldorf early childhood educators know, play is a young child’s work.

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March 12th, 2010 | About, Parenting, Play, Waldorf Education, Waldorf Toys | Permalink | Comments (21)

Welcome to my new blog!

I’m Sarah Baldwin, a Waldorf early childhood educator, author, and owner of Bella Luna Toys, an online shop selling Waldorf toys, wooden toys and natural toys, chosen to nourish a child’s senses and inspire imaginative play. I am also the author of Nurturing Children and Families, a book for teachers and leaders of Waldorf parent/child playgroups.

My husband, Max Alexander, is a journalist and author who shares an office with me upstairs in the barn next to our home. Max, our two teenage boys – Harper and Whit (who now prefers to be called William) — and I live on the beautiful midcoast of Maine on Buttermilk Lane (no, I didn’t make that name up!) in the small town of South Thomaston, minutes from the coastal city of Rockland and its working harbor. If you know Maine at all, we’re about half-way between Portland and Bar Harbor on Penobscot Bay.

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In addition to being passionate about children and Waldorf education, I’m also wild about traditional music and learning to play fiddle. As a family, we love to spend our winters skiing and our summers sailing, making Maine an ideal place for us to be.

When I made the decision to take ownership of Bella Luna Toys in September 2009, I knew from the start that I didn’t just want to have a retail website. While I truly love the toys I sell, I envisioned Bella Luna Toys becoming a forum where I could share my knowledge of children and my love for Waldorf education. I wanted it to be a site where I could answer families’ questions and interact with them. And, most importantly, I wanted it to be a place where I could support the magic of childhood and the importance of play — helping children and families find joy in life and learning.

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I hope that you will find my blog, “Moon Child,” to be such a place. I’m so glad you found your way here. Leave a comment. Don’t be shy!

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