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…

Our Gentle, Montessori Inspired Approach to Toilet Learning: Stage 2 ‘Training Pants’

If you read my Stage 1 post you'll know that we introduced a potty a little while back as part of Althea's self care routine. She has been sitting on it upon waking up in the morning, before and after her nap and before and after her evening bath. We have a potty set up…

Our Gentle, Montessori Inspired Approach to Toilet Learning 12 – 18 months (Stage 1)

An instagram friend asked a little while back if I might share our approach to potty training/toilet learning. It has been a little hectic around here with a second baby on the way and a house move but I've finally got around to sharing our approach and our very simple bathroom set up. First of…

Nature play: 5 play areas to take outside (come rain or shine)

“Babies thrive out-of-doors. They sleep better, eat better, look better, play better, and learn better. Fresh air both soothes and stimulates. I always tell parents how much more easily they could raise healthy, “happy” children if they would make outdoor living a regular habit for their babies.” – Magda Gerber, Dear Parent: Caring for Infants…

Sharing art with toddlers: Using their interests to foster art appreciation

Althea is extremely taken by 'stars' and 'moons' at the moment. She will keenly point them out in her environment; she sings twinkle, twinkle little star (loudly and with actions); she is drawn to books with illustrations of moons and stars and requests that we make stars with her play dough and star cutter. I…

“I’ll be back” – a very simple absence cue for short-term separation

During my time as an Early Years Educator I’d see many parents attempt the ‘sneak away when they’re not looking’ approach. I can see how this might seem like the better of two evils but I have got to be honest, it only works to exacerbate the separation anxiety. The scenario would usually play out…