From Kate :
Here's how ours turned out ...
I am on the hunt at garage sales and thrift shops for baskets and trays to use in rotation on our shelves. I decided that until Baby Bear is a bit older the shelves will be simple with no choking hazards. I will utilize our dining table for more complex provocations for Monster. I will be adding some child safe mirrors and plants to the this area as well. I shared pictures in a previous post of our playroom chairs, dramatic play, and dress up areas ... these spaces are important to Monster's play. We made a quiet area for reading and a larger area to build with blocks. I love that Monster has a table and desk in the playroom because she loves to write and draw.
See you tomorrow with Day 4: Identifying an Interest
We have officially started the 30 Days to Transform your Play series from An EverydayStory and Racheous - Loveable Learning for the second time. I am actually in the process of Konmaring my space as well so this was an awesome time to revisit this process ... more on that later. We are using the challenge to take our play to the next level ... Join us!
The series focuses on one principle everyday that will improve how your child(ren) use the space you have for play. We have a full house here with a multi-generational family. Most of the time I find it difficult to balance the needs of my elderly father with those of a wild 4 1/2 year old , 1 year old, 2 dogs, a cat, adult children, my husband, and me. It is challenging to say the least ! I found An Everday Story almost a year ago ... I love her simple way of documenting something that is actually very complex. I had the opportunity while working in Early Childhood field to work for UNR Child & Family Research Center in Reno, NV. They are a NAEYC accredited program that is a Reggio Emilia inspired early childhood program. What I learned in that environment changed my experience with young children forever ... I was able to glean observation skills, documentation skills, and some understanding of inquiry and project based learning. Necessity to provide financial stability for my young children prompted a move to a business management career but I never lost my love for the process of early learning. I married again six years ago and we decided that I would leave work to be the primary caregiver for our new family. My adult children were educated in the traditional fashion more or less ... I wanted something different for our littles. We are very lucky to have a dedicated playroom but I found that we just didn't play in that room. I felt like play was strew about the house with no rhyme or reason. I searched pinterest for solutions and I found two blogs that would change me again ... I decided that I would have a Reggio/Montessori inspired home where art supplies and manipulatives are out in the open and children learn to respect the space and supplies in a very natural way because they are always available. I know what you're thinking ... but it works. Trust me. This is our process of creating an open and used space for learning and play.
Day 1 ---> The Why? Do not skip this step. It will be foundational to your success. I didn't quite get there the first time I did this challenge.
Day 2 ---> Cull Toys
See you tomorrow for Day 3
Happy 134th Birthday to Pablo Picasso!
I have introduced all of my children and those I taught at my children's charter school about Picasso. He shifted the paradigm for the 20th century world to see art differently than they had before. I showed Monster Weeping Woman (1937) and Maya with her Doll (1938). We discussed color and how the paintings made us feel. Over the years I have discovered that children are never intimidated by him even though his technique of Cubism is so intricate. He is an approachable artist for children. I have a deep reverence for his work. I had placed some magazine cut outs and all of the mediums we have on our art cart out for Monster as a provocation. I wanted to see which mediums she favored. She is always so willing to explore and when asked she says that she loves everything. I want to provide an abundance of the materials she really loves readily on the cart. She woke up late (not typical) and was slow to start (again, not typical). She saw the provocation and immediately was drawn to it. I asked if she'd like to do it later and she said, " No, I feel like drawing in color. I will just lay here and draw lips and teeth for her." In the past I would have probably sent her back to bed or to rest on the couch. The freedom of home based inquiry is that she can do what she would like when she feels inspired. She wasn't feeling well that day but wanted to draw. If I didn't follow her lead I would have not had this amazing interaction with her. I will be preserving this piece in her tangible portfolio. Thank you Picasso for inspiring the priceless moment with my daughter.
"Every child is an artist. The problem is reamaining once we grow up." ~Pablo Picasso