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  #1  
Old 01-27-2015, 01:11 PM
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Default Reggio Emilia Approach is NOT ALLOWED in Licensed Home Daycare in My County

I just called and asked a licensing specialist about incorporating the Reggio Emilia Approach into my daycare and was told that if I use the small things they suggest such as stones, rocks, dried beans (to scoop from one bowl to the other), sea shells, etc., I will be written up as having potentially dangerous items around the children. I told her that Reggio Emilia is supposed to be a very good program to use and she said she didn't care. If the children have access to anything that is bigger than the opening to a paper towel holder, I will be written up. She said the Reggio Emilia Approach needs to be used for school agers, not younger children due to the potential choking hazards.

I knew I wasn't going to be able to use those little items. I can, however, use the Reggio Emilia Approach if I use bigger items than they typically do and no glass or anything that they might more likely be able to be hurt by.
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:46 PM
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I think you can easily incorporate Reggio theories with infants and toddlers. You really need to spend very little to do so, many items are free if you are willing to do some leg work:

Nature:
pine cones
rocks in various sizes
tree cookies (find some decent size branches and have sliced into thin and/or thick slices)
leaves (this could be sensory play or they can be laminated and hung for viewing or used for rubbings, etc)
pine tree branches
thick branches
tree bark chunks
driftwood

Paper

Gift wrap (think different designs, not characters, etc)
wax paper
mylar paper
foil
parchment

Fabric

old curtains
burlap
old clothing cut up (denim, corduroy, silk/satin, socks with feet cut off, etc.)
call a local seamstress or fabric shop and ask for remnants

Home Depot , carpentry or building supply stores

Carpet samples
wallpaper sample books
paint card samples
wood scraps
ceramic tile samples
pvc pipe scraps

Butcher

Cardboard tubes from butcher paper rolls

Local newspaper

end rolls of newsprint

Winery or local bar

corks
boxes from wine bottles

other stuff from Around the house

caps from old markers
milk bottle caps
clothespins
plastic cups for stacking
drink coasters

The possibilities are endless. I suggest sitting down with pen and paper and brainstorming ideas for loose parts. Then start collecting!
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:53 PM
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Also, keep in mind the importance of sensory based experiences and art:

Water play - add measuring cups, strainers, sifters, turkey basters, etc
Make mud
Leaves and nature based items
Goop made from cornstarch and water
Sensory bottles: use empty water bottles, add water and glitter or beads, etc. glue cap on.
Herbs and spices on a cutting board with large stones for grinding (can later be used in art activities)
Old wind chimes
Cut crepe paper in to long strips and provide while playing music

ART:

CLAY, not playdough. This can be purchased at local college bookstores for around $11 for a 25 pound bag
Paint - lots of paint You can make fingerpaint out of cornstarch, boiling water and either food coloring or left over tempura paint mixed in
Glue - add food coloring for use as paint or offer collage supplies and heavy cardboard
Ample drawing materials - pencils, pens, markers, oil pastels, crayons and lots of paper
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:56 PM
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The environment:

VERY organized, clean and safe
Ample natural lighting - if not possible, plenty of other lighting
Mirrors
Baskets
Clear containers
Soft, cozy areas
Areas for getting away from it all - even a sheer curtain over a table with a pillow and basket of books underneath will do
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:59 PM
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The role of the teacher:

Consistent supervision
Ask open-ended questions while children explore to encourage creativity and critical thinking
Be open-minded and flexible. Don't adhere to a set project, allow children to change the direction of play based on their interest
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:59 PM
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Thanks, those are good items that are bigger, child proof items. I couldn't use the smaller items like wine corks or marker tops, though. But most of the things you listed are big enough that I won't get written up for them.

I don't get it though. Because I can use the little plastic counting bears and other plastic, non-baby proof items. But I keep them stored in the other room. I might just call the specialist back and discuss that fact. I wonder if I keep all the smaller items in another room and just bring them out one at a time when I am supervising them with that particular item, if I would then be allowed to use the smaller items.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:01 PM
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I store smaller items on higher shelves for older children and larger items on lower shelves.

And I am calling BS on your assessor......she sounds like she hasn't a clue about Reggio
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachingForQualityImprovement View Post
The environment:

VERY organized, clean and safe
Ample natural lighting - if not possible, plenty of other lighting
Mirrors
Baskets
Clear containers
Soft, cozy areas
Areas for getting away from it all - even a sheer curtain over a table with a pillow and basket of books underneath will do
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachingForQualityImprovement View Post
Also, keep in mind the importance of sensory based experiences and art:

Water play - add measuring cups, strainers, sifters, turkey basters, etc
Make mud
Leaves and nature based items
Goop made from cornstarch and water
Sensory bottles: use empty water bottles, add water and glitter or beads, etc. glue cap on.
Herbs and spices on a cutting board with large stones for grinding (can later be used in art activities)
Old wind chimes
Cut crepe paper in to long strips and provide while playing music

ART:

CLAY, not playdough. This can be purchased at local college bookstores for around $11 for a 25 pound bag
Paint - lots of paint You can make fingerpaint out of cornstarch, boiling water and either food coloring or left over tempura paint mixed in
Glue - add food coloring for use as paint or offer collage supplies and heavy cardboard
Ample drawing materials - pencils, pens, markers, oil pastels, crayons and lots of paper
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachingForQualityImprovement View Post
I think you can easily incorporate Reggio theories with infants and toddlers. You really need to spend very little to do so, many items are free if you are willing to do some leg work:

Nature:
pine cones
rocks in various sizes
tree cookies (find some decent size branches and have sliced into thin and/or thick slices)
leaves (this could be sensory play or they can be laminated and hung for viewing or used for rubbings, etc)
pine tree branches
thick branches
tree bark chunks
driftwood

Paper

Gift wrap (think different designs, not characters, etc)
wax paper
mylar paper
foil
parchment

Fabric

old curtains
burlap
old clothing cut up (denim, corduroy, silk/satin, socks with feet cut off, etc.)
call a local seamstress or fabric shop and ask for remnants

Home Depot , carpentry or building supply stores

Carpet samples
wallpaper sample books
paint card samples
wood scraps
ceramic tile samples
pvc pipe scraps

Butcher

Cardboard tubes from butcher paper rolls

Local newspaper

end rolls of newsprint

Winery or local bar

corks
boxes from wine bottles

other stuff from Around the house

caps from old markers
milk bottle caps
clothespins
plastic cups for stacking
drink coasters

The possibilities are endless. I suggest sitting down with pen and paper and brainstorming ideas for loose parts. Then start collecting!
All great ideas!

My friend runs a Montessori program for 3-6 year olds (mostly 3's and 4's). She has had to argue with her licenser about her workbench. It has real (small) hammers and nails. Because she could show not only the pedagogy behind it but also her formal training, they let her keep it.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
All great ideas!

My friend runs a Montessori program for 3-6 year olds (mostly 3's and 4's). She has had to argue with her licenser about her workbench. It has real (small) hammers and nails. Because she could show not only the pedagogy behind it but also her formal training, they let her keep it.
I have done the same thing.

BTW....this is Crystal. How ya doing Heidi?
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:04 PM
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Keep an eye on craigslist for a free or cheap overhead projector. This can be used as a light table, to cast shadows of materials you place and then children can draw what they see, etc.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2015, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachingForQualityImprovement View Post
I have done the same thing.

BTW....this is Crystal. How ya doing Heidi?
Great, Crystal. I knew it was you, but I wasn't sure if you were staying incognito now-a-days.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2015, 03:12 PM
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Also, if you want to read up on Reggio, although the Hundred Languages of Children is a fabulous book, I suggest starting with a less boring read so you do not discouraged. Some books I recommend:


First Steps Towards Teaching The Reggio Way
Infants and Toddlers At Work
We Are All Explorers
Designs For Living and Learning
Learning Together With Young Children
Emergent Curriculum In Early Childhood Settings


My Personal new favorite is a book recently written by college faculty, my program is featured throughout the book and details several years of my work with children and families. All of the photos and stories in the book are from my program

Early Learning Theories Made Visible by Miriam Beglovsky and Lisa Daly
They also just released an additional book Loose Parts both are available on Amazon
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:14 PM
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Thank you for the great ideas! I really like what I have seen through my research on Reggio Emilia because it's a more calm setting using more natural and realistic items and the kids activities seem like they would be much more interesting for the children than just playing with the regular plastic toys. I finally got the book, The 100 Languages of Children from the library and quickly read through it. I will actually read it over the next couple of weeks.

But, when I watch videos online and the couple of pictures I see in the books, they are using smaller, non-baby proof parts. Someone on here did say I could just use bigger parts. Thank you for your suggestions of bigger items that I can use.
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Old 01-27-2015, 03:18 PM
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Thank you for the list of books! In my research, I did see some of them. But I have been hearing about The 100 Languages of Children so much that I started with that one. I'll look into the others you mentioned.

I'm sitting here printing all your ideas out! It might take me some time, but I am going to work on the ideas you are giving me! Thank you!
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2015, 03:20 PM
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My Pleasure
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:11 PM
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I would also add...don't get too hung up on the "stuff." I think when people encounter new philosophies, the stuff is what they see first, and so they think it is the philosophy. Teachers in Reggio Emilia would not tell you that any of that stuff is necessary. They would emphasize that the stuff you use should reflect your group, your community, your culture. Reggio is far more about a mindset than a collection of materials.
Children are competent.
Children have rights.
Children express what they know through 100 languages (and a hundred hundred more).
That's far more important than stuff. Start with documenting what your kids are doing, and extending it with open-ended materials that support what they're doing, and you'll get much closer to the heart of Reggio inspiration than you would by including all the stuff pinterest tells you is essential to Reggio.

(And fight your licensor on the disparity between plastic counters and corks. Absurd. She's got some pre-conceived notion of what Reggio is without a real understanding.)
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:21 PM
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it is funny because I have beans and little hearts in my sensory table right now with measuring cups, glass jars, and funnels. I have been really watching my 17 month old and she has been fine with all of it. Nothing has gone in her mouth! I keep it in the kitchen and am present with it. Now I have had other 2 yr olds that I couldn't trust not to have it in their mouth!
Now paint, every time she has to taste it!
I think it really depends on the child.
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
I would also add...don't get too hung up on the "stuff." I think when people encounter new philosophies, the stuff is what they see first, and so they think it is the philosophy. Teachers in Reggio Emilia would not tell you that any of that stuff is necessary. They would emphasize that the stuff you use should reflect your group, your community, your culture. Reggio is far more about a mindset than a collection of materials.
Children are competent.
Children have rights.
Children express what they know through 100 languages (and a hundred hundred more).
That's far more important than stuff. Start with documenting what your kids are doing, and extending it with open-ended materials that support what they're doing, and you'll get much closer to the heart of Reggio inspiration than you would by including all the stuff pinterest tells you is essential to Reggio.

(And fight your licensor on the disparity between plastic counters and corks. Absurd. She's got some pre-conceived notion of what Reggio is without a real understanding.)
I really understand the languages and love the different languages. The stuff will come in time
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