Parent-Child Program


Rainbows: Babies (birth to walking)

This class explores various themes related to the growth, development and parenting of the very young child. Babies lie on a soft blanket where they watch what interests them or move around to reach the objects in the room. Special attention is given to supporting the natural unfolding of children’s interests, movement abilities, social interactions,and problem-solving skills. A warm meal and tea are served for parents, and a nurturing atmosphere welcomes and surrounds adults and babies alike. Parents will learn simple seasonal songs, lullabies and games to play with their babies and develop their ability to quietly observe and interpret babies’ movements, gestures and vocalizations. Through quiet observation, parents deepen their own intuitive knowledge and discover new ways of being with and loving their children. Weekly readings are explored in a spirit of mutual respect and classes also include opportunities for informal conversation. The classes are based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner and Dr. Emmi Pikler. We also utilize current research along with the common sense and wisdom of generations of parents. Parent-Child Program Director, Diana Mei, is a fluent signer and will introduce basic signs throughout the session.

Moonbeams: Young Toddler (walking - 20 months)

Parents of toddlers spend most of their days attempting to keep up with the almost constant motion and energy that marks this stage of development. Adults and children alike experience joy and support when the adults bring their calm and focused attention to the children during a period of quiet observation. This practice is introduced in our first class and gradually builds up to longer periods of child-led play and observation by parents, who provide gentle support and guidance as needed. New techniques such as the benefits of a consistent rhythm, freedom of movement, imaginative play, and the care and protection of the developing senses are explored over the course of the session. We enjoy a morning circle of simple songs and rhymes, free play and observation, and discussion of a weekly reading. A warm snack and tea will be served. Parent-Child Program Director, Diana Mei, is a fluent signer and will introduce basic signs throughout the session.

Moon Stars: Older Toddler (walking-30 months)

See "Moonbeams" above.

Nature Class for Parents and Children

For more than 40 years, San Francisco Waldorf School has been a leader in the “children in nature” movement - long before it was a movement! For nearly 100 years, Waldorf schools around the world have been promoting the benefits of spending time in nature. These classes provides a living experience of observation and free play in an outdoor setting. Insights and clarity are gained and parents and children become more comfortable being outdoors in all kinds of weather. Come explore with us and enjoy the wonder and beauty of nature as we journey through sand, water, fields, and forests. Seasonal songs and rhymes, along with weekly readings and discussion complement our experience. At the end of each class we will come together for circle time followed by a hearty organic snack (provided). Class #1 meets at El Polin Spring in the Presidio. Class #2 will meet at various parks in San Francisco (specific locations will be announced each week).

Cooking with Parents and Children

We will make delicious soups each week starting with fresh organic seasonal vegetables. And we will bake yummy breads that the children and parents knead
before baking. Parents and children enjoy this lovely time together preparing our weekly meal. Along with learning simple rhymes and songs while we cook together, we will also have a circle time, and the children will enjoy free play in the classroom. Selected readings will be distributed and discussed. Each class will culminate in our shared organic meal.

Craft Class for Parents and Children

Have you always wanted to learn to knit but never had the chance? Would you like to make a Waldorf doll for you child? Does wet felting intrigue you?

Join us as we take up these various crafts while the children play in the classroom and the adults observe their play and discuss topics in Waldorf Education and child development. A warm meal of soup and bread will be served at each class. Marianne Alsop will join us in February for doll making.

Parenting the Waldorf Way

Join home birth midwife and longtime Waldorf Parent Lael Stimming along with Diana Mei as we explore Parenting the Waldorf Way!

This class is for expecting and new parents, non mobile infants are welcome. During each class we'll look at concepts of child development, the incarnating child and healthy infant movement.

Join other San Francisco parents as you begin your parenting journey while learning the basics of infant care and development. An organic meal of soup, bread and fruit will be served at each class.

Open Classroom

Curious about what a Waldorf Parent-Child classroom looks like? Would you like to meet the teacher? Sign up to visit our classroom and meet Parent-Child teacher Diana Mei.

Exploring Together

Parent-Child classes offer a gentle introduction to the group setting in a welcoming home-like space. The classroom, located in the Swedenborgian Church’s beautiful Arts and Crafts Parish House, looks out onto a lovely walled garden and is located at 2107 Lyon Street at Washington, three blocks from the Grade School Campus. Our play space includes open ended toys made of natural materials that offer many opportunities for imaginative play, safe climbing, and movement. Here, parents and their children experience a calm rhythm that supports play, healthy self-initiated movement, imagination, and imitation.

Themes related to child development, Waldorf education, and parenting the young child are explored through readings and facilitated discussions. Classes are led by experienced Waldorf early childhood educators who care deeply about supporting each parent and child on their own individual path.

Discussion themes include:
  • Rhythms in the Home
  • Healthy Development of Movement
  • Sleep
  • Meals with Children
  • Discipline in Early Childhood
  • Media/Technology and Family Life
  • Children in Nature

We offer classes in two sessions:

  • Fall: September-December
  • Spring: January-June

We welcome expectant parents, parents, grandparents and/or caregivers and children of these ages:

  • Rainbows ~ Infants 4 weeks to walking
  • Moonbeams ~ Toddlers walking to 20 months
  • MoonStars ~ Toddlers walking to 30 months

Families may repeat classes as many times as they wish. Registration is handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Babies-in-arms may accompany older siblings in Toddler classes.

Learn more about the current Parent-Child session here.

"The classes were such a wonderful place for me to take my questions. Diana's knowledge, wisdom and years of experience working with children shine through. She helped me and Ellie over a number of hurdles." 

- Parent

“This class gave us a sense of groundedness and confidence in meeting the constantly changing landscape of parenting. It is rare and valuable to have experiential learning as parents, alongside other parents who care deeply, and held with skillful facilitation.”

- Eli Brown-Stevenson and Cat Li Stevenson  

"The Rainbow class was not only a wonderful way to spend dedicated one-on-one time with my son, but it also provided a valuable forum to meet with other parents and constructively discuss common problems like sleep and developmental milestones."

- K (parent) 


Program Details

Diana Mei, Program Director

Diana Marshall Mei attended UC Berkeley and Rudolf Steiner College Waldorf Teacher Training. A fluent signer and mother of a deaf daughter, Diana taught sign language in a Berkeley public school then Waldorf kindergarten in the East Bay for 16 years. Diana grew up in a large Italian family where food and festivals were an important part of her childhood. She spends her free time hiking in nature, reading, knitting, sewing, crafting, and cooking.