Loose parts, and a list to send out to parents!

Here is a lovely passage from https://reggiokids.blogspot.com/  Which is also where the wonderful image of the tower of cotton reels and glass jars comes from….

“Where do you begin?

Naturally you must begin at the beginning!

You have a new group of preschoolers or kindergarten children, your environment is ready, the room is full of loose materials, provocations….

The children arrive and chaos erupts.

Your materials are everywhere. Dumped, disposed, and disheveled best describe your classroom.

And you wonder how and why this happened.

Aren’t the children supposed to know how?

Did you?

Extraordinary work, must be supported by solid foundations. Begin slowly, introduce your hundred languages, one at a time. Children like artists needs skills to create masterpieces. After 15 years of this work, we now find ourselves back to basics, as we have lost most of our proficient  ECE teachers to school board full day kindergarten.It is somewhat discouraging to have to begin anew, teaching teachers to work in the “Reggio Inspired” way but we forge ahead committed to the process.
Rome was not build in one day!”

I resonate with these very questions. And will probably write again on the subject. I have worked in centres where the children produce extraordinary work and there are numerous causative factors and it fascinates me as to what the key teaching strategies are, and also the role the environment plays as ‘the third teacher’.

Because I have been working at a centre where I have had the privilege of being a sort of ‘artist-in-residence’, I accidentally slid into the role of ‘supplier of loose parts’ and ‘organiser of shelves in the art area’…. and spent quite a while looking for ideas that I could collate into a send home list, asking parents to help us to supply the children with the wherewithal to play with ‘loose parts’. Some of you have seen this on my facebook page and asked me to share the list, so here you go. If you share it, please invite the recipients to like my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/storytellingthreads

Here is my introductory letter for the list,Loose parts letter to parents for web page

And here is the list itself Loose parts 2 and there are items which are highlighted in yellow because some things can be played with in the block corner, the family area as well as in the ‘transient/ephemeral art’ corner. Meaning that they are not for simply  hot gluing onto an empty cereal box!