Wildflowers Early Childhood
Welcome to Wildflowers - an environment with rhythm and wonder that feels like home.
Current cognitive studies show that play based early education is the most academic program possible for young minds.
Wildflowers is not a large commercial center or a traditional academic preschool, but rather a small, private, peaceful environment that allows children to thrive in ways that matter for a lifetime.
Your child deserves the highest quality of care. Here they will be part of a Waldorf inspired environment that nurtures exploration, mindfulness, socialization and connection to nature.
As the only Associate Members of WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America) in the Treasure Valley, we are proud to be part of a committed community of educators worldwide who uniquely support families and children. (WECAN’s mission is to foster a new cultural impulse for the work with the young child from pre-birth to age seven.)
We don't rush childhood
Inspired by the principles and practices of Waldorf Early Childhood, Wildflowers emphasizes the basics of "play-based - imagination-powered" child development infusing arts and nature each day.
Wildflowers provides a healthy space to support each child's unique holistic development. Our staff creates a warm, beautiful, and loving environment with a consistent rhythm that is respectful of each child. Children love daily access to our beautiful, interactive outdoor play area & gardens.
There is Joy, Humor, Happiness & mud!
Decades of research in developmental psychology support our unique focus in early childhood. Free play and imitation are the most effective ways for young children to learn and develop social skills, and regulate their emotions. Through open-ended play, nature and art we promote the deepest kind of learning by encouraging children to become self-directed learners who explore, develop curiosity, and solve their own problems.
The blend of mixed ages creates an intimate, family-like atmosphere that enables children learn important social skills and emotional health. Our toys are carefully selected for a peaceful, enriching environment where children learn naturally. Our daily connection to the outdoors inspires environmental stewardship and organic play. As part of our high-quality and holistic care, we strive support health through serving organic, plant-based foods, some of which we grow ourselves.
We give children the time and space they need to create, engage, and explore at their own pace. We don't rush childhood. With our 1:6 ratio of children to adults and maximum of 12 children we are able to build relationships and provide attention to each child.
What makes us unique?
Unstructured, unhurried play and daily outdoor access
A nurturing environment that is rhythmic in nature ensures a strong sense of consistency, order and security - essential to the healthy development of the young child. Everything that is done in the class has a purpose, instilling a sense of joy and care for every task. The atmosphere is homelike and the focus is on play and cultivating the imagination. Outdoor playtime is scheduled everyday, rain or shine.
Wildflowers Child Care protects the simplicity of childhood. Children receive personalized attention free from media, toxins, and life's pressures. We empower those we serve in building foundational, life-long skills supported by the long tradition of Waldorf Early Childhood.
At Wildflowers, we know that children learn best from real-life experiences. What will your child learn helping us bake bread or fold the laundry: measuring, counting, following directions, nutrition, sorting, color recognition, social skills, emotional regulation, the process of following a task through to completion, and language skills, to name a few! We spend our days in free play, singing songs, watching stories, working in the organic garden, and practicing healthy self-care. Spanish is also woven into the day through song and games as well as weekly yoga.
Our whole-child curriculum is based on human interaction and developmentally appropriate activities that foster healthy development and a passion for life and learning. Together we form a partnership of care for your child.
Young children live in their senses; all that they learn comes from their direct and immediate experience of daily life. Through creative exploration—action, and interaction with everything around them—children acquire not only the rudiments of intellectual knowledge but an abiding appreciation for the world they have entered.
Mindful & Respectful Care
Play & Nature Based
Our Curriculum is inspired by the early childhood development theories of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) as practiced in more than 1500 Waldorf-based kindergartens and preschools worldwide.
Our atmosphere is simple and intimate with daily activities worthy of our children's unquestioning imitation and plenty of creative free-play indoors and out. Wildflowers is OUTSIDE everyday, rain or shine for as long as possible. In warmer months we do almost everything outside.
Play is the child's self-education. Using natural materials and open-ended toys children create their world together. We are non-toxic, eco-friendly and sustainable in as many ways as possible. During the preschool years we seek to awaken and support the child’s creative and playful nature and to nurture their sense of wonder and gratitude. We also support children's physical development by using reverse osmosis water, a commercial UV light air purifier and by providing healthy organic snacks (some of which we grow ourselves).
As part of Wildflowers, children build community, develop play relationships, and become comfortable expressing ideas and needs within a group
Children in morning preschool have a curriculum built around a daily rhythm of activities and routines designed to provide continuity, stability, and sound social, emotional, and cognitive growth. With the help of verses, songs, stories, and puppetry, children are guided through a daily and weekly routine of activities including baking bread, cooking soup, and tending the garden as well as artistic activities such as watercolor painting, beeswax and drawing.
Children freely play outdoors daily all year round with leaves, soil and sand, water, sticks, bugs and whatever else they find. They become fully engaged which builds their powers of concentration, imagination, and friendship.
Full Day care is available allowing children to continue the rhythm set in the morning with lunch time, nap or rest time, crafts and more indoor and outdoor play.
We welcome children 2.5 to 6 years old Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm. Extended care may be available for an additional fee.
Morning Preschool, Afternoon Care or Full Days are available for 2, 3 and 5 consecutive days. The maximum class size is 12 with 2 care givers (1:6 ratio). Children must be able to regularly and independently use the bathroom before starting care.
Year Round Outdoor Play
Wildflowers children have LOTS of outside time every day. We dress for the weather and children enjoy the changing of the seasons that make Boise special.
Creativity and Expression
Each week children learn through wet on wet watercolor, beeswax creations, baking bread, beeswax crayon drawing, puppet storytelling, and seasonal crafts.
We provide a sensory-rich environment for children to discover what lies in the world. Both indoors and outdoors, children are in contact with the natural world. We have open-ended toys and give ample time for social development.
WECAN Associate Member
WECAN is committed to protecting and nurturing childhood as a foundation for renewing human culture. As an Associate Member program we demonstrate that we are on the path toward standing as an example of Waldorf early childhood education through working with the WECAN Shared Principles, which form the basis for our work together in association. Learn more about WECAN.
Looking for more information about Wildflowers? Get in touch now.
"We allow children to explore their self-awareness and gain a sense of the world around them. Children who graduate from us are joyfully prepared for the next stage of their young lives."
In the last ten years owners Laura and Richard have founded two other Waldorf inspired schools (Peace Valley Charter in Boise and the other in Peru). Now through Wildflowers they offer a personalized, high-quality early childhood center with dedicated space in their home in the Borah Neighborhood. Together they bring a balanced and peaceful approach to early childhood.
Wildflowers founder and director, Laura Henning, has worked with children ages 0-18 in various capacities for nearly 30 years. An Idaho native, Laura lived in Peru for 9 years with her husband and two daughters. She is a lifelong learner who is passionate about helping children grow naturally and holistically. The past 12 years she has dedicated herself to Waldorf education. Laura holds bachelor degrees in psychology and philosophy and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Care from Seattle University where she lived for 11 years.
Laura loves supporting parents in the most important job they will ever have. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience about children and families, especially through the work of Kim John Payne and Simplicity Parenting, homeopathy and other topics.
Richard (Tio), Laura's husband and co- teacher is a Peru native and brings the gift of Spanish language and culture to the children. His first career was in microfinance. Now he is inspired by the education he is receiving through his Waldorf Teacher Certification and brings a wonderful element our school. He loves looking at life through children's eyes. He can be found coaching his daughter's soccer team, jogging along the canal behind their house or cooking Peruvian food to salsa music.
Here is some great information to learn more.
This video is a good broad overview https://youtu.be/B-ZSeepDmPE
Download a great article on saying "good job"
Waldorf in a nutshell video
Waitlist Application and Tuition Info
Applications for enrollment are accepted at any time. Enrollment priority is given first to current school families, then alumni families. Remaining openings are filled by new families from our waiting list. Tours and interviews are scheduled after receipt of application and questionnaire. Download our 2022 Waitlist Application, Tuition and General Information via the link below.