AT HOME WITH THE REGGIO APPROACH
PLAYING TOGETHER AT HOME
by Preschools and Infant-toddler centres – Istituzione of the Municipality Reggio Emilia, and Reggio Children
The suggestions we make here, for young (and not so young) children to play with everyday objects, are "questions" we ask children indirectly in order to support and encourage their discoveries.
It is a way of giving value to the marvelling and initiative typical in children’s strategies for exploring and knowing when they hold an everyday object in their hands.
These games can be played over and over because children, through repetition, organise their actions and new knowledge, and re-confirm them.
These games value the inventive, creative, and cognitive possibilities of objects found in our homes and used on a daily basis, but not designed for play.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR CHILDREN
AGE: 12 – 24 months
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
> Some small objects: different shaped shells, small plastic animals, keys, pebbles, walnuts etc.
> Aluminium kitchen foil
If you can, try and keep the silver foil wrappings from chocolates, sweets, and Easter eggs. The colourful papers are particularly suited to this game.
If you can’t find any then use sheets of silver kitchen foil.
Together with the children wrap your objects in silver foil or sweet wrappings, making sure to wrap the objects up snugly.
It’s a little bit like disguising an object, or giving it a different outer skin.
> What happens to the object?
> Is it still there? It’s a little like playing peek-a-boo.
Now slowly unwrap the object as if it were a real surprise, and verify what’s inside with the children.
OBJECTS AND LIGHT… A FANTASTICAL WORD PAIR!
WHAT YOU NEED
> Objects that transform when they enter into contact and relation with the light, and surprise us. For example, sieves and pasta drainers can reveal lots of little holes of light, funnels can project round shadows onto the wall, food tongs can project shadows that move, and corkscrews…
> A small torch or easy-to-hold led lamp
Choose a spot in your home that isn’t too bright and has a white wall where you can project the shadows cast by your objects when you light them up.
Light not only shows us unexplored parts of an object, it also discloses several different shadows. It is another way of amplifying the possibilities an object has for transformation.
> What does it look like?
> What has it turned into?
> What else could it turn into?
Shadows can turn into the protagonists and characters of invented stories… what are they telling us?