Who are we?
The Garden Gate is an independent, pills Waldorf inspired kindergarten program tailored to children ages three to six years old. We are licensed through the Ontario Day Nurseries Act with the Ontario Ministry of Education.
At the the Garden Gate, we are committed to providing a safe and nurturing atmosphere which children can develop physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. We believe in a media free environment and use natural materials in all of the items the children play and learn with.
The natural rhythm of a day at Garden Gate includes:
- free play
- outdoor play
- circle time
This program meets the developing child with joy, wonder and beauty.
Meet The Teacher
Yasmeen Osman has over 20 years in Early Childhood Education. She taught for 11 years at Parsifal Waldorf School, with 10 years as a lead kindergarten teacher. She has gained valuable experience mentoring student teachers for the West Coast Institute, a Waldorf Early Childhood Training Centre.
Yasmeen received her Waldorf training at Sunbridge College in New York. Previously she studied in the Faculties of Science, graduating with a degree from the University of Ottawa in Biology and then at Carleton University in Psychology, focusing on Child Development. Her commitment to ongoing professional development remains a priority.
To celebrate childhood in its entirety means to allow children the time to experience life as a child; at their own pace, and in a way that respects both the common stages of children’s unfolding development and their unique individuality.
Creative free play is the cornerstone of the program. Singing games, stories, puppet shows, crafts, baking, painting and beeswax modeling are some of the other activities offered for the children. Many opportunities for both large and fine motor development through play and circle activities strengthen their capacity for physical coordination and sensory integration.
The natural world is the source of inspiration for the children so there is a healthy balance of time playing and creating both indoors and outdoors.
Young children learn through:
- by witnessing the behaviour of role models around them
- then expressing themselves in the world.
The primary role of the adult is to develop a relationship with the child that is filled with love, kindness and warmth. Clarity and inner conviction allow the adult to set clear limits, which help the child to feel safe and secure. To be a role model for the children, we acknowledge the importance of the self-development of the teacher(s), both personally and professionally.
This is one example of the daily rhythm of routines. The order may change from year to year,
8:30 AM - CHILDREN ARRIVE
Children start their day around the table to create art, finger knit or play string games, making it a great opportunity to connect with their friends.
9:00 AM - GOOD MORNING CIRCLE AND STORY
Circle time encourages gentle stretches, large movements and finger plays, as we recite poetry and sing lovely melodies. The children can then relax and let their imagination roam as they listen to nature stories, folk or fairy tales.
9:20 AM - OUTDOOR PLAY
For the next hour, the children play outside in the nearby playground to climb ropes, swing, slide, dig in the sand and engage wholeheartedly in pretend play and go to imaginary places with their classmates.
10:20 AM - CIRCLE-TIME AND SNACK
After singing a blessing song, we eat together and share stories about ourselves, helping to create a wonderful sense of community. Once a week, a child brings a nutritious snack for everyone to share.
10:45 AM - FREE PLAY
The children create their world of play using wooden toys and natural materials. They unfold their story lines as they take on different roles in dramatic play.
12:30 PM - PICK-UP FOR CHILDREN ENROLLED IN THE MORNING PROGRAM
Children who stay for the afternoon get ready for lunch, a rest time on cotton mattresses, and another opportunity for creative play.
2:30 PM - PICK-UP FOR CHILDREN ENROLLED IN THE AFTERNOON PROGRAM
Weekly artistic activities include puppetry, watercolour painting and crafts.