Baby Steps to Waldorf Rhythm

I have had some parents ask me once they have their awake, nap, and bed times pretty well-established, where should they go from there in terms of rhythm or general Waldorf lifestyle?

I think this is very individual depending upon the situation of the family, the ages of the children, but I am going to toss out some possible suggestions for those with children under the age of 7:

The first place to start is ALWAYS with YOURSELF.  You must find at least ten minutes for you to sit uninterrupted and think and meditate on what the needs of your family really are, and what steps you need to guide them and set the tone in your own home.  This is always first!

Think seriously about the way Steiner viewed the needs of the small child – to be firmly in their home environment, less words, music and singing and verses, less stimulation with protection of the 12 senses.  Stop talking to your under 7 child as if they are a miniature adult and respect their right to be LITTLE and innocent.  That is big inner work to see if  you believe in this view, and how you implement this day-to-day.

After that, there are several possibilities:

One possibility would be to next focus on your environment – decluttering your house, establishing routines for cleaning your house, and establishing routines for cooking real home-cooked foods made with love for your family.  A place of help for you may be

If you were a family where there was very little structure in place and this a big transition for you all, perhaps consider starting with outside time for your child each day at the same time, and adding some structure by doing some practical work every day that your child can see.  The younger the child is, the less time this may take and you may have to build up the time gradually.  Steiner felt even 15 minutes of quality work done in a peaceful manner was wonderful for the child to see.  There are posts on this blog regarding connecting children to nature and on fostering creative play that may be of service to you.

If you have your home essentially in order, and some structure is in place, then perhaps you start building toward a storytelling time each day and some preparation toward festivals.

If you can get all that going, now is the time to pick a skill of the skill list on the post regarding “A Mother’s Job in the Waldorf Homeschool Kindergarten” and start to educate yourself.

I would love to hear from other families ways they made the transition.

Happy pondering,


17 thoughts on “Baby Steps to Waldorf Rhythm

  1. When my son was born, I developed a daily plan for housework, a la “wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday….” Ha! That didn’t last long. But as he grew older I did get into some rhythms, especially his — eating, sleeping, naps. We’re still doing that now that he’s 6, though nap time has gone away, sadly. Saying grace and ending the meal with “Thank you for our meal” has been a change for us over the last few years. We even do it when we go out to eat, in abbreviated form.

    One of the most distinctive things we do that is different from our neighbors (other than not watching TV!) is that we keep our kids dressed warmly. They wear long underwear 24 hours a day late autumn through spring, and hats when outside during most of that time as well. (We’re in Idaho, before that New York, so this has fit our climate.) I see underdressed children so often — running around with no coats with snow on the ground!

    • I think this is a great point, that rhythms can change and become “tighter”, for lack of a better word, as our children grow.
      Nice to see you here, I so admire your blog as well and I hope everyone goes to check your blog out! 🙂

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  3. Again, so much wisdom here Carrie, thank you – I am wondering where the post is “A Mother’s Job in the Waldorf Homeschool Kindergarten” that you refer to, I cannot find it in the search.

    with love xxx

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  10. We are very much the family that you refer to in your post, no prior set routines what so ever! But I have begun to try incoporating them into our day little by little. I introduced the colors of the day last week and a mealtime candle/saying grace for every meal-just that little change was a lovely thing! I’m still trying to pick a daily activity for my little ones though. We have a day of the week so far for painting and one for baking but that’s it so far. 🙂 (love your blog btw)

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  12. Hi Carrie,
    I am new and learning about Waldorf. I am on day Two of this series about mindful parenting and would like more information regarding Steiner and what children need related to senses in the early years. Is there a link to more information you could share with me?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Julie!
      There are quite a few posts on here if you use the search box and search “the Twelve Senses” and “sensory”. There are also many posts marked by age under the header labeled “development”.
      Glad you are here!

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