Inquiry-based tempera paint provocation for young children: All the shades of blue

“Encounters between children and materials are generally extremely rich in suggestive qualities, memories and meanings, without much intervention on part of the teacher”Vea Vecchi When I first introduce liquid tempera paint to young children I usually offer just one or two primary colours and white. If I provide all three primary colours we very quickly…

Reflecting on our Reggio-inspired, Inquiry-based Project approach at home

“[If we] stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before” Malaguzzi, 1998 Projects or Progettazione that form one of the principles and pedagogical practices of the Reggio Emilia Approach feel very different to the 'projects'…

Exploring neighbourhood nature with young children: Clay flower prints

Today on our nature walk we collected fists full of wild flowers growing on patches of grass around our neighbourhood and brought them home to make prints. I pulled out a small block of grey air dry clay and a mat. Althea found the circle cookie cutters and the rolling pins. Ottilie busied herself with…

The Atelier of Light, Shadow & Reflection: documenting our reggio-inspired, inquiry-based exploration Pt 1.

"Learning is about being a researcher. The young child is a builder of theories. The young child learns by communicating and expressing their concepts and theories and by listening to others"Carlina Rinaldi This 'episode of learning' started in September 2019 (Althea, 2yrs 8m, Ottilie 11m) aged and lasted until the beginning of October when its…

Documenting a Reggio-inspired first encounter with clay and water

In early childhood, materials are closely connected to making. They are often set out for children to make or create something with, frequently with the assumption that children are full of ideas just waiting to be expressed through these materials. Yet as Hillrvi Lenz Taguchi (2010) describes, 'the material world acts on our thinking as…

How to extend a first encounter with charcoal through reggio-inspired provocations

Over the course of a few weeks I noticed that whenever I found Althea (3.5) at the art table she had a black crayon in her hand. She always asked for the black tempera paint and was intent on mixing her watercolours until they transformed into a dark muddy shade. I reflected on how I…

Exploring neighbourhood nature with young children: Nature walks

Every morning before 8am this week we have donned our reusable fabric masks and headed out onto the somewhat less humid streets of our local neighbourhood. Usually by 9 am it feels heavy and close, but yesterday and the day before yesterday the heavy rains of the previous night had cleared and cooled the air…

Morning Time Art Appreciation with Young Children: Vincent Van Gogh

During our 'Morning Time' we have been reading the Katie series of books about Vincent Van Gogh by James Mayhew. These wonderful 'living books' are a great way of introducing art appreciation to young children. Before the sun is even up you will find us sat around the dining table reading Katie and the starry…

Documenting our Reggio-inspired Invitation to ‘Clay’

I believe that clay's properties make it a much more versatile and sustainable media than the more popular alternative, playdough. The surface of clay is smooth and cool, its mass is weighty and dense. I appreciate it's need for greater exertion, more pressure, more time, more care and its ability to take shape and transform.…