Inspired by Paint

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    Brand new jars . . .   Red, yellow, and blue paint mixed in several combinations.         Newly mixed paint means newly inspired children.     Lots of ideas!     The colors were named green-blue, purple, dark purple, purple, blue-yellow and so on.     I think we need […]

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Storytelling With Child-Created Puppets

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  “What would you like to play?” Me to the girls.   Without a moment’s hesitation, Greysen says, “I want to sew a puppet.”   Since my sewing knowledge is limited, I grabbed felt (my go-to material), and a small sewing kit that I put together when Greysen worked on her first such project.   […]

Why I Think There is No Place for Coloring Pages in ECE

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    One of the things I miss most about being a curriculum coordinator is the direct impact I could have on ECE practice.  If such a thing existed, my ECE rule book would firmly state, no coloring pages allowed.   My opinion of coloring pages is not about what coloring pages are, but rather […]

Observation and Answers

In the early years, our children ask questions regarding  . . . well, just about everything.  We answer their questions – sometimes only as best we can – and are happy to help them get those answers they seek. However, when children only look to adults for the answers, they continue to be dependent on […]

Adult Influence on Children’s Creative Play

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  Last fall, my daughter made this turkey (pictured right) in school. She was quite proud of it, and very specifically explained which parts she did and which parts her teacher did. She happily indicated where her teacher placed a few feathers and adjusted the eyes. Although I was slightly bummed that what my daughter […]

Toys That Encourage Thinking

100 Languages

I consider art mediums, materials, and toys to be resources for play. They are the props and tools that children can use to transform their ideas into something they can hold onto. In this tangible state, children can suppose, test, and re-evaluate their ideas.   Children do not need loads of toys for play, but […]

Starting a Natural Collection

NaturalMaterials

  Starting a collection of natural materials sounds easy enough. Take a walk, pick up a few things . . .  I figured I’d have a buckets of things in no time. I didn’t realize that 95% of the time the treasures the girls gathered were rocks. Rocks are great, they just did not make […]

The First Three Years of Art

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What do Reggio Emilia art experiences look like in the first three years?   When I first started learning about Reggio Emilia’s approach, most of the project work I was reading about and had seen occured with preschool-aged children.  I had a hard time finding examples of what infant and toddler play with art materials […]

Supporting Morning Farewells

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Like so many things in our lives, our daily “Have a good, fun, day!” routines with Mike have changed as the girls do.   Young children may be ready to say good-bye one day and may hold on tight to you the next.  Even within healthy attachments and positive environments, children may feel ready to […]

Our Lives Reflected in Play

Unstructured Play

In education, assessment is the follow-up to any learning activity. Quizzes, tests, and final products are all intended to be evidence of what children are learning. At home, we too have a less intrusive way to get a glimpse into our children’s understanding, by just listening and watching their play.   In play, children can […]