Bringing nature indoors is not a new concept for me. We have played with these items before. However, I have not been leaving them out for individual, spontaneous exploration and play.
You may have noticed that I am excited, thrilled actually, to start implementing a new approach to my mothering and my homeschooling. Reggio-inspired learning need not be complicated or complex.
- It is simply allowing your child’s interests and curiosities lead their play time.
- It is bringing open-ended objects and toys into your child’s play.
- It is creating a space and opportunities for your child to appreciate and explore nature, mirrors, natural objects, blocks, art, and sensory materials.
- It is encouraging the process, rather than the product, of beautiful art.
- It is allowing your child the freedom to create and explore.
- It is about respecting your child’s autonomy and individuality.
I am not expert on the matter of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood learning and development. If you are looking for more answers and inspiration, please check out the places where I have been spending my time researching and enjoying learning about Reggio-inspired teaching and learning : An Everyday Story, Racheous : Loveable Learning, Let the Children Play, Project Based Homeschooling.
All we did here, was provide a low table with many nature items found around our yard. In the corner of our kitchen, I have a small table, usually for coloring or eating, and I have reclaimed it as our nature table! Our kitchen provides plenty of natural light, so it is perfect for exploration and piquing my children’s interests!
There is no need to buy anything…. Sticks, pine cones, bugs, mint leaves, dill herbs, rocks, daisies, weeds. Anything goes. And oh, does my May especially love her little table. She is often found looking at and touching the little objects. I have been trying to put one or two new items on it as the old ones begin to wilt.
May is my little bug catcher. She chases and grabs and squeezes any ant that dares to try to crawl through our kitchen floor. She loved the little bug cup and likes looking at them and yelling, “bug!”
Some chicks and hens that my daughter decided were weeds the other day — instead of throwing them out, why not bring them in?!Lambs ears and hmm I forget the name of the other flower, but doesn’t it just scream, “pick at me and explore”?!
All of the items are placed in glass dishes, wooden bowls, baskets, or a nice piece of tile. I had many of these items, but I also stopped by Salvation Army and purchased a few more things too. For about $5, I got some new baskets and dishes for our Reggio-inspired nature table!
How are you bringing nature indoors?
You may be interested in following my Reggio-inspired learning Pinterest board: