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Reggio / Waldorf / Forest Kindergarten / Granola / Natural - Learning Methods>Anyone Using Reggio? And Toddler Ideas?
Jessie 12:50 PM 12-21-2011
My program is just getting started and I had planned to use a Reggio-Emilia inspired curriculum, as I did when I was teaching preschool years ago. Now my only enrolled child so far is 15 months, plus my 10 month old daughter, and our days don't go quite how I imagined them when I was getting ready to open!

I feel like we spend a lot of time eating, getting ready to nap, napping, and eating again. We get outside if the weather is nice for about an hour, and spend about 1.5 - 2 hours in the playroom, depending on how all the napping and eating goes.

So I guess I have 2 questions - I'd love ideas for things to do with toddlers. I saw a post earlier about this, but I'm hoping for a really good list. He's just starting to be able to use markers (if VERY supervised), but paint has been a disaster. Some interest in reading. LOTS of interest in dumping out baskets of toys.

My second question is if anyone else is using a Reggio inspired curriculum. I've only done this with preschoolers, but I know it can be done with the little guys too, just looking for collaborators.

permanentvacation 02:24 PM 12-21-2011
I don't know if you already read this or not, but if you scroll down a few of the topics under yours, someone started a thread about Reggio-Emilia. If you open that thread up, there's some links to info about it.
Crystal 04:21 PM 12-22-2011
Reggio is Emergent Learning. So, all you need to do is facilitate emerging skills. He's into dumping and filling, give interesting containers and materials to dump and fill. Baskets and boxes that nest into each other and can be stacked as well are great for this stage. If interested in paint, start slow, dress down to diapers, put large pieces of paper on the floor and some fingerpaints and let em' go for time you will notice that those great big messy paintings begin to become more defined, with smaller strokes, etc....then add different paints and brushes....etc. Keep up with the nature-based outdoor experiences....draw attention to the little things many of us don't pay attention too.....the color of the sky, the scent of fresh air, the sounds of singing birds, when the kiddies ask you questions, respond and lok for ways to build on their interest....say they start realy noticing the birds....add pictures and books about birds within your environment, hang bird feeders and bird baths, find a real nest and share with the kids, and on and on and on......

It sounds like what you are already doing is a great start......keep encouraging and offering ...and in no time they will be preschoolers doing all of the more advanced stuff
permanentvacation 05:45 AM 12-23-2011
This sounds like 'unschooling' to me. Basically let the child's interest become what they learn about. The adult doesn't assign lessons, the adult notices what the child's interested in and then gives them the tools the child can use to learn more about that interest themselves while the adult discusses the topic and guides the child to something connected to that interest for the child to discover more information about that topic. Is that about right?
melskids 05:49 AM 12-23-2011
Crystal, you always have such great ideas! I wish you would write a book!

I just wanted to add, that at their age, eating, napping, diapering, and dressing ARE their curriculum. I spend alot of time allowing them to explore these things on their own, (such as self feeding, even helping to prepare food and set a place at the table, dressing and undressing themselves, etc.)

I also expose them to most of all the same art experiences as the older kids, just with much closer supervsion...paint, playdough, sensory, etc.

Here is a pic of one of my little guys in a tub of water beads. They are the coolest things!!! (and of course, I stayed RIGHT with him and NEVER took my eyes off of him!)


I also have The Creative Curriculum books. They have one for infants and toddlers, and one for preschool. I have found them to be very helpful when I was first starting out.

One other thing my little ones love to do is stick stuff on contact paper. I've put a big piece of clear contact paper up on the wall at their level, or even on a cardboard box for a 3D effect, with the sticky side out, and then given them stuff to stick on and pull off. They love that, and it keeps them busy
Jessie 07:09 AM 12-23-2011
Thank you so much for these ideas! Love the contact paper idea!

I think in my head I know that the basic life stuff (eating, sleeping, pooping) are all important curriculum components for the little guys, just feeling like I'm not "doing reggio" yet. This is really helpful though!
Tags:curriculum, reggio emilia, toddlers
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