Vision of the Toverboom
Anthroposophy is a giant source of inspiration for our daycare. This philosophy is developed by Rudolf Steiner and literally means ‘wisdom of man’. The development of mankind is seen as a whole of body, spirit and soul. During our work with the children we pay attention all these areas and want to contribute to a balanced and harmonious education. Attention for every individual child and nature is the main focus.
The first seven years are centered around the development of the physical body. It is important that children have a healthy attachment to their caretakers and explore the world at their own pace. The following values are essential to us.
Acknowledging every child
We look beyond growth charts and standardized developmental phases at the Toverboom. We aim to look at the children as the own unique little humans that they are: which qualities and talents do they possess and what are areas that need a bit of extra attention? We do have guidelines to conduct pedagogical observations, but we don’t look at children as a sum of his or her ‘limitations’.
We drafted our own (more natural) method to keep track of the development of the children. Together with our continuous communication with parents, we want to guide the children in a positive and personal manner
Apart from the regular holidays like Easter, Sint Nicolas and Christmas, we also celebrate multiple (harvest)festivals that are linked to changing seasons. These celebrations are about appreciating nature and awareness of ourselves. Examples are the Summerfestival (21st of June), the harvestfestival Sint Michael (29th of September), the festival of lights Sint Martin (11th of November) and the period of Advent (December). With these annual celebrations we want to motivate a feeling of connection to nature and the spiritual world. To participate in modern spirituality is a magical experience that lasts a lifetime.
As adults we continue the symbolic meaning and provide children of different rituals (songs, stories, special meals) and pay loving attention to decorations. We adjust the activities to match the age category of the children so that they can enjoy a pleasant time without the, often more ‘loaded’, Christian background.
How nice would it be if you don’t have to spend time in the kitchen at the end of the day as a hardworking parent? We provide the children with warm, home-cooked meals every afternoon! Kids generally eat better when they see other children eat too, which ensures that they obtain more nutrients as a nice bonus.
At the Toverboom we value nature, animals and the environment. Choosing biological products is only logical to us. This means that measures have been taken to keep pollution and the usage of pesticides at a minimum.
We do our best to provide the children with a healthy and balanced meal every day. Using cruelty-free products is something we’ve grown very used to. Our main source of protein comes from different legumes (such as, beans, chickpeas and lentils), tofu and nuts. We also use wholegrain products as a source of protein. When people consider a vega(n) lifestyle they are often concerned about their calcium intake. We offer oat milk as a substitute as much as possible. Oat milk is already bursting with nutritional value, but extra calcium and minerals are often added as well. If for some reason oat milk isn’t preferred we offer biological milk. In addition, calcium is also found in vegetables, legumes and nuts.
Mainly fresh, honest and unprocessed foods
SUGAR, SALT, AND E-NUMBER FREE
VEGETABLES AND FRUITS FROM OUR OWN VEGETABLE GARDEN
WATER WITH PIECES OF FRUIT OR UNSWEETENED OAK MILK
Monkeyplatter filled with healthy snacks: dried, unsweetened fruits, tomato’s and cucumber every day at 15:00
Fresh baked wholegrain bread with unsweetened apple syrup or homemade peanut butter every day at 16:30
Eating together via the Rapley/Kleintjes method
We are also inspired by Alfie Kohn and find it important to search for the meaning behind the behavior that children are showing. We don’t reject the child and the behavior, but rather stay in loving connection with them.
‘Love them for who they are, not for what they do’
Where our vision and the parents’ wishes allow for it, we follow the needs of the children. This means that apart from the set meals for the older children, the little ones are being fed on demand. We also try to respect the sleep rhythm of the children.
As said before, we also follow the needs of the child in regard of sleeping with how long, how often and where they sleep.We have two bedrooms: one large one where a lot of children can sleep and a smaller bedroom for the children who require more silence. If needed we’ll consult with the parents to figure out how we can help a child sleep when they don’t sleep alone in a bed. This can be sleeping in the carrier, in the stroller, using white noise sounds, rocking a child to sleep.. none of these things are an issue for us.
Some children, big or small, have a big need to be close to you. We know how to safely and ergonomically carry the children and the children who need this can be carried in our babywearing wrap or one of our carriers.
We have a lot of knowledge about and experience with breastfeeding. We practice paced bottle feeding, where we take the natural size of the stomach into account and respect the possible breastfeeding. Femke has also followed the Kleintjes method course by Stefan Kleintjes and Gonneke van Veldhuizen-Staas, two established lactation consultants. When you have troubles with breastfeeding or have any questions, we are happy to try and help you or contact one of these lactation consultants for you.
Organic materials and toys
Quality and realness of materials are important for a healthy sensatory development. Because of this we use a lot of organic materials for our decoration and toys, like wooden puzzles or homemade clay made out of flour, oil, water and salt. The pastel colors that we have chosen help create a homely and calm atmosphere.
With our fair and organic food we enjoy what nature gives us on a daily basis. We try to be as sustainable as possible and have respect for the world around us. We use reusable wipes, ecological cleaning detergents and mostly organic materials. We find it important to teach the children to have the same respect for the world, for example by taking them with us when we throw the compost out which they absolutely love! We also organize toy and clothing swaps with the parents. Not only is this a sustainable and financially nice way of shopping, but it’s also a nice way to get to know each other better.
At least once a day we enjoy going outside with the children. In Spring we’re looking at the first brave little flowers, in Summer we enjoy a nice picnic, in Autumn we search for chestnuts and jump in the puddles and with a bit of luck we can build a snowman in the Winter! Living in the rhythm of nature, with the changing of seasons and the celebrations that go along with it, in combination with a nice daily structure helps give us a concept of time. This predictability feels safe and secure for children.
Our big green garden is a place where children can do and learn a lot. We have a sandbox, little playground, they can ride bikes outside and we grow our own vegetables and herbs. We often invite the children to come smell the rosemary or mint or look how the tomatoes are growing so they can learn where our food comes from and that we should appreciate that. We find it important for children to be outside a lot for both the benefits of living in the rhythm of nature as mentioned above, but also the health benefits of playing outside a lot.
Sleeping outside in our safe Lutje Potje beds is also a possibility. Sleeping outside can help build a good immune system, is good for the vitamin D intake and kids get a lot of nice fresh air.