In movement and games classes, students develop a healthy sense of themselves, a relationship to space, and the ability to move with intention. All eight grades have two movement and games classes per week; in the older grades this is often a double period of 90 minutes.
In grades one and two, movement and games are introduced primarily as rhythmic games, for example, circle games, hand-clapping games, bean bag activities, and jumping rope. Beginning in third grade, games where the individual within the group is featured become much more important. From fourth grade through eighth grade, the goal of movement education is to help the students move toward mastery over their physical body through cooperative and competitive play, and to overcome physical and social challenges in a healthy and joyful way. In keeping with its study of ancient Greece, the fifth grade learns the events of the Greek Pentathlon: javelin, discus, long jump, wrestling, and running. In the spring the class joins other area Waldorf schools in a fifth-grade Olympiad.
Competitive games are introduced in the upper grades. The students enthusiastically play volleyball, basketball, and capture the flag. Archery is introduced in the sixth grade, as well as juggling and circus skills. Our school is fortunate to have 20 acres of fields and forests in which the children may exert themselves.
The Waldorf School of Princeton is an all-weather school. Our students have two recesses per day, which they spend outdoors in all but the most inclement of weather. During recesses the campus is teeming with activity: a game of basketball in one corner, kickball in another; some children are playing tag while others are engaged in imaginary play in one of the play houses.