As a solo parent (now an empty-nester), I was so grateful to see my daughter thriving in a Waldorf school that I decided to embark on a 3-year Waldorf teacher training program that gave me a sense of direction while I finished a BA in environmental studies. It kick started me to launch a childcare program called Sonoma-Marin Playdates, where I led a Waldorf-inspired art & nature “camp” for six children at our home in Forestville for several summers. My daughter was completely involved and loved it! We went on nature outings, did plein-air painting, pressed flowers, played games, sang and danced and even conducted some basic piano lessons and learned origami from a lovely Japanese teacher who came by twice a week. It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved!
In 2011, I became a Naturalist with the County of Sonoma Regional Parks—my dream job come true! For over six years, I took local school groups of up to 22 kids (along with teachers and parent helpers) on half-day walkabouts at Spring Lake and Helen Putnam Parks, taught age-appropriate STEM concepts through hands-on activities; explored water cycles, animal habitats, developmental stages of frogs, butterflies and seeds; and explored a tidepool filled with ocean creatures that the children could touch, ask questions, and have conversations about.