Physical Education and Movement in Waldorf Schools

Edited by Gerlinde Idler and Lutz Gerding; Translated by Geoff Hunter

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Quick Look

  • An indispensable guide for Steiner-Waldorf teachers -- the most comprehensive of its kind available in English
  • Offers practical suggestions for teaching a range of activities from athletics to gymnastics and swimming, with exercises tailored for different ages and developmental stages
  • Includes more than 30 sample lessons for Classes 1--12 for inspiration and quick, easy reference
  • Recommends which Bothmer Movement exercises are best suited for different classes
  • 250 inspiring colour photographs illustrate a variety of activities

This essential guide for Waldorf teachers provides advice and exercises for teaching physical education. From Bothmer Movement to archery, climbing and swimming, this resource will inspire teachers with confidence when preparing and delivering activities.

229 x 210 mm
Floris Books
Steiner-Waldorf Education
over 200 colour illustrations
304 pages
Publication date:
23 Sep 2021


The Waldorf school curriculum was developed to nurture the healthy development of the child, not only in mind but in body and spirit as well. Physical education and movement form an integral part of this holistic approach, encouraging children to be active not just for the sake of activity, but in order to experience themselves through meaningful movement and to form a stronger connection with the world around them.

This indispensable book for teachers -- the most comprehensive of its kind available in English -- provides a wealth of practical insights on teaching physical education and movement in Waldorf Schools. It includes:

-- Practical suggestions for games and exercises to teach a range of activities such as athletics, archery, climbing, gymnastics, dance, swimming and sailing.
-- Over thirty sample lessons providing inspiration and quick, easy reference for activities for Classes 1-12.
-- Exercises designed to suit different developmental stages: from simple, storytelling games for young children to more complex, demanding exercises for older pupils.
-- Essays from teachers with decades of experience, exploring the value of physical education in Waldorf schools and how its emphasis on individual progress and co-operation over competition helps build pupils' confidence and self-belief.
-- Suggestions of which Bothmer Movement exercises are best suited for different classes, based on an awareness of the laws of movement that underpin each age group.
-- Practical advice on how teachers can adapt content covered in other subjects to create a more unified learning experience for pupils -- for example, organising their own Olympic Games to complement teaching about ancient Greece in history lessons.
-- 250 inspiring colour photographs illustrating a variety of activities.

This is an invaluable resource that provides both a wealth of practical ideas and a thoughtful consideration of physical education and movement that will give Steiner-Waldorf teachers confidence in preparing and delivering lessons.


'This book is a huge well of information and will be of use to anyone involved in movement education. It covers a range of activities including guidance about when and how to teach them. There are comprehensive descriptions of the characteristics of different age groups from seven to eighteen years old and their education needs and challenges. Detailed example lesson plans are included and are an extremely useful guide for developing teachers. A general philosophy of physical education is outlined and gives the reader a sense of the purposefulness of method. This book describes a physical education approach that works with and enhances the natural development of children rather than fitting children into an arbitrary system of learning.'
-- Martin Baker (Steiner-Waldorf sports and movement teacher)


Gerlinde Idler has been a teacher of physical education in Waldorf schools for over twenty years, including at the Vienna Mauer Waldorf school where she founded a school circus. She is a lecturer in Waldorf education at the Kassel Teacher Training College in Germany, where she helps people from other professions train to become physical education teachers, and a guest lecturer at Waldorf teacher training courses around the world. She holds a Master's degree in sociology, educational and political science as well as in Bothmer Movement and spatial dynamics.

Lutz Gerding began his teaching career at the Waldorf school in Bremen. After further training in adult education he became a tutor at Kassel Teacher Training College in Germany helping people from other professions train to become physical education teachers. He is currently a lecturer and coordinator for teacher training in China.

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