The Hartsbrook School

Nursery and Kindergarten

Traditional Classroom


In our Early Childhood programs (for children two years and nine months through age six), we provide rich exposure to language and culture through stories, songs and verses. Children experience social interactions through imaginative play and practical activity. There is rhythm and balance to each day, with a healthy mixture of active pursuits such as circle games and outdoor play along with quiet activities such as coloring, painting, beeswax modeling and baking. Children also enjoy long walks in nature and visits to the farm animals and garden. Full and half day options are available depending on age.

Forest Classroom

ForestJumpThe natural world is a wise and gifted teacher. Young children need opportunities to connect with the wonder, beauty, tranquility, and integrative activities available in the great outdoors. These experiences provide an essential foundation for development and learning. All Waldorf early childhood classes offer valuable time spent in nature. But the Forest Classroom goes one step further by immersing the children in daily outdoor experiential learning.

Our Forest Classroom is situated in the field and forest of our beautiful campus, nestled between farmland and the Seven Sisters Mountain Range of the Pioneer Valley. Children spend the mornings outdoors in creative meaningful play, and return indoors for lunch, rest and respite from extreme weather.

See Also

Rachel Kennedy, Hartsbrook Forest Kindergarten Teacher, “My Path to the Forest” (Renewal Magazine, Fall/Winter 2014)

Hartsbrook School to Launch ‘Forest Classroom’ to Integrate Play, Nature and Learning (Springfield Republican, April 16, 2014)

From the Hartsbrook Blog — Early Childhood

Six Essential Components of Waldorf Early Childhood Education
The Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN) has created a YouTube channel with videos that explore six essential components of Waldorf early childhood education. The videos feature footage from Hartsbrook and other Waldorf schools. Please follow the links below to view the videos.   Ample Time and Space The first essential component of a Waldorf early childhood education…

Life in the Forest Kindergarten
Life in the Forest Kindergarten is full of the sounds and smells of Spring. The purposeful vitality of the children is matched only by the sap rising in the trees and the birdsong filling the branches. In the Forest we experience each season with the whole of our being. Now that the sun has warmed and softened the earth, and…