Parent-Toddler Time: Leigha Hipkin’s Steiner Group

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One of the many paper stars – made by the parents and children – that decorate the windows at St Michael’s.

WHAT IS IT?

A weekly Steiner Parent-Toddler group – AKA the weekly saviour of my sanity. It is so rare to find places that are so completely aligned with how I parent, what my children need and what I need. But found it I have at Leigha Hipkin’s Parent-Toddler group at St Michael’s Steiner School in Hanworth.

It is for babies and toddlers (0-3 years) and we spend time together in a loving, spiritual, kind and down-to-earth environment.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

We spend the first hour outside in the garden, playing, throwing leaves, swinging from the trees and playing in the sand. Then we move inside for Leigha’s homemade apple crumble (the children love it but the secret is that it is really for the parents – we feel so loved and nurtured by being fed). We end with a gentle puppet show.

All decorations, songs and puppet shows are a reflection of the current season and Christmas is a particularly magical time in Steiner kindergartens, with advent spirals, paper stars and natural gifts and crafts.

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Leigha lighting a candle as part of our Christmas celebrations this year.

Being in Leigha’s Parent & Toddler group is like coming home to myself. I feel my body relax, my little one can play happily, I get to drink a cup of tea and learn about how to be with children in a simple, loving way. We laugh, we sometimes cry, we share honestly and we watch how happy our children are there. It really is that simple.

MY PROCESS

When I first became a mum, I found the hard thing was finding likeminded parents to spend time with. I knew I wanted to include the spiritual in my parenting and I also knew I needed to be with people I could be honest with. I wanted to do things simply, quietly and peacefully and it took me a long time to find environments set up to help me do this outside of my own home.

I love Leigha’s group because I learn so much but also because I feel a sense of shared purpose with others. We usually have a simple craft project going and it is so nurturing to feel part of something creative.

HOW CAN I TRY IT?

Learn more about Leigha’s group on the St Michael’s website. You can also find more Steiner schools with parent-toddler groups in the UK on the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship website and in the USA on the Why Waldorf Works website.

HollieautumnAbout the author: Hollie Holden is a mum, writer and explorer of spirituality, personal growth and self-acceptance. She is a student of A Course in Miracles and the Enneagram. Hollie is particularly interested in how we can know how loved we are and how we can be kinder to ourselves. Visit Hollie’s blog and check out her Facebook page.

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