At MATURANAHAUS, we call our kindergarten the entry stage
. Our pedagogical team accompanies the children aged 3 to 7 in a small group during their play and learning processes. Children with special needs are welcome at our kindergarten.
From their sixth birthday onward, children the school areas are accessible for the children to use in addition to the kindergarten rooms, thus enabling them to grow into the next stage during this transition year.
The prepared environment in our entry stage
has been richly prepared to meet the developmental needs of children of this age group. Our natural yard is complete with sand, water, earth, fire pit, plants, climbing trees, swing rope, and balancing equipment. It invites the children to experience motion with all their senses in all weather throughout the year.
Inside, we have lovely corners for role-playing, figure play, and building games of all kinds. The kindergarten children can create new play worlds, alone or with others, and thus fulfil their need for symbolic play. A corner with books and small games offers a quiet area to relax. In the snack area, children can eat snacks brought from home whenever they like. The arts and crafts area contains countless materials for individual creativity. Each child will find something that will attract his or her interest whether it is gluing, cutting, drawing, playing with play-dough, sewing, weaving, folding, etc.
Aside from this abundance of unstructured material, there is a further room which contains Montessori materials as well as materials for sensory perception, practical life, language arts, mathematics and cosmic education. These appealing and self-evident materials enable a wide range of concentrated and structured experiences using all the senses.
Accompaniment and relaxed environment
All of the areas inside and outside the kindergarten are always accessible to the children, and everything has been prepared so that they can use the materials independently. The children decide for themselves what they want to do, where, how, how long and with whom. In all areas an adult affectionately accompanies the children. As they do this the adults maintain an awareness of children's sensorimotor, emotional approach to life, their egocentric perception and their pre-logical "magical" perspective. The relationship to the children is characterized by respect and an acceptance of each child's individual path to fulfilling his or her "inner plan" (Maria Montessori). The decisions and activities the children undertake are neither aimed at fulfilling nor are they influenced by the adults' expectations. In the absence of correction, external motivation, praise, censure, or other influences, children can become absorbed by their activities and are mindfully attended to and supported when needed.
Unconditional attention and loving care give children the security they need in order to independently tend to their own interests. Whenever they wish to, children can climb onto an adult's lap and cuddle before returning to their own activities.
Adults supervise conflicts between the children by taking into consideration each child's point of view and supporting them emotionally without offering a solution for the situation. Simple rules and clear boundaries create a reliable framework and a relaxed environment in which each child feels safe.
The kindergarten is open every morning from 8:15am to 1pm. Children can arrive at any time, but all children leave at the same time. There are three regular activities that take place at the same time every day. At 9:30 a snack of fruit and vegetables is provided for the children to take as they please. One hour later, at 10:30, children can participate in or just watch singing, dancing, rhyming, or finger-plays at song-time.
At 11:30, an adult tells a story to those children who wish to listen in at story-time. The daily regularity of these activities gives the children a reliable, ritualized structure for orientation within their own timelessness.