a book about Steiner playgroups for parents and educators of young children

“Playgroup is a nourishing place where parents and children can take time to be and do, to play, to bake, to dream into stories, and then to go home fulfilled.”

About the book

The Steiner playgroup setting supports both the child who is just starting out on her social life and the parent who is embarking on the journey of making a family life.

Ebba says, “This book outlines my own experience; what I have done, and the ingredients that have gone into my playgroups over the last twenty years, and my work with the young child and parents in preschools and kindergartens over forty years. During these years, I have put so much of myself – my thoughts, my conscious understanding of what’s good for children and their parents, and my enthusiasm for early childhood – that I want to share my experiences.”

Playgroup leaders will find gathered here the ingredients which they may cook up into a rich and full year. Parents as well will find stories, games and activities which can be incorporated at home to enrich the child’s daily life. Throughout the book are sprinkled “drops of wisdom” – suggestions specifically for parents which will be beneficial in the practical and spiritual roles of homemaking and parenting.

About the authors

The book arose from an ongoing collaboration between co-authors Ebba Bodame and Meg Quinlisk, both leaders of Steiner playgroups in Sydney, Australia.

Ebba has decades of experience in Rudolf Steiner early childhood education. Her talks, workshops, playgroups and training sessions have inspired generations of parents towards healthy and creative child raising practices, which are nourishing for children and deeply fulfilling for adults.

Meg has led the Inner West Steiner Playgroup since 2011. Having benefited from several years of mentorship by Ebba, Meg has herself mentored a number of fledgling playgroup leaders. Working in a densely-populated inner west suburb, Meg’s deep motivation comes from her desire to open a window for families into the wonders to be found in the natural world (which sometimes are a little hard to find in the city), and to hold a space for families to come together in community.

Excerpts

Inside play

Inside play needs to last at least twenty minutes in order for the children to depen a bit into their play. Usually children of two to just over three will play next to each other, and not truly with one another. This is an age where it’s very difficult to share, but many opportunities to encounter sharing come up in the playgroup setting.

Scarves, socks and soups: winter health

Here are a few suggestions which could be used at home going into the winter. Because the child hasn’t developed her sense of feeling warm or cold yet, we have to help her to maintain her warmth. Warm feet, warm tummy and warm head are the three important places to seal in the body’s warmth. Once it gets cold outside, have a pair of inside shoes, so that the feet don’t get cold in a room where there is no carpet.

Appreciation

Through their charming words and artwork, Ebba and Meg paint a picture of what a safe, happy place for young children looks like, sounds like, and feels like, its own haven of peace and safety for children passing from the womb into childhood. Early Childhood Wisdom inspires the reader to imagine creating that cheerful, nourishing atmosphere in their Steiner-Waldorf classrooms and in their own homes.

JT, Retired educator & appreciative grandmother

Ebba’s wisdom, gained from her many years in early childhood education, lights up every page of this book and offers guidance to both parents and teachers on their journey with young children. I am overjoyed to know this publication is finally birthed and available. Like delicious nutritious freshly baked bread its pages promise to warm the souls of both children and adults alike.

Susan Perrow, author of Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour

Your thoughts