I have begun learning more about the Reggio Emilia approach to education. (You can read about what I have learned so far here.) So far, I am really inspired to incorporate some Reggio methods into the learning in our home.
Part of the Reggio process is learning through found materials. As PlumGirl isn’t quite ready for this and Ihave more to learn about Reggio, I was at a loss as to how to begin. Then, as I was reading through some old posts on The Imagination Tree, I saw her idea for mini discovery boxes. I knew that this would be a great way to start presenting materials to PlumGirl.
A quick trip to the Dollar Store, a little work during nap time, and I had four boxes ready for PlumGirl. I made four boxes. One with straws cut to different lengths, one with craft sticks, one with foam shapes with slits cut into them, and one with blocks I made out of sponges.
I had originally intended to only start with two, but PlumGirl saw the boxes and was excited to start with three. PlumGirl immediately noticed the slits in the shapes and grabbed sticks and straws to slide into them. She seemed intent on just putting shapes onto sticks or straws one at a time.
I demonstrated putting more than one shape onto a straw, but she was not interested.
Once she noticed the circles in the shapes, she became fixated upon them. Since circles happened to be the shape I made the least of I have been cutting a few more for her whenever I get the chance.
I intend to demonstrate making displays and sorting the materials later, but for now I am letting her explore the materials however she sees fit. I am storing the boxes on her shelves and she has worked with them several times since they were introduced.