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reggio inspired learning about shapes

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reggio inspired learning about shapes - Wildflower Ramblings #preschool

I rarely get to see my (almost!) four year old son and my (almost!) two year old daughter playing nicely together.  Dare I say collaborating?  It simply doesn’t happen around here.  Just trying to keep them both alive.  But the more I’ve brought nature into our home, small parts into our play, and allowed their interests to guide their play time, they are slowly able to play with the same items at the same time — this is a huge accomplishment — and play even together.

“No, May, it goes here.”  And she’ll let him fix it.  

“Here, May need’s help, oh, alright.”

“John! John! Help me.”

This is not happening all the time or even every day.  But some moments, I don’t disturb their fascination or play.  John creates patterns on his wood board while May makes her own.  Yes, she has come to knock it down, or “help,” a few times, but I hope she is learning to give John his space.  He is building and creating and boasting in his efforts.

reggio inspired learning about shapes - Wildflower Ramblings #preschoolI have left out various small parts to encourage active learning and creating in my children’s new Reggio Emilia inspired playroom.  This is really John’s bedroom — since we have a small home, I have had to be choosy about what has stayed and what has had to leave us.  I was inspired to get the big plastic, non-creative things out, and let them enjoy using their minds, instead, during their play.   I am so happy with the results.   The house is less messy, but the kids are more engaged than ever.

(Of course use caution if your children are still mouthing, my daughter isn’t, so I feel fine with this, but do whatever is right for your family and your child!)

We have had some wonderful learning time exploring shapes.  Aren’t the shapes beautiful?!  It’s amazing what you can create with shapes and pattern blocks.  And when you add rocks, mirrors, sticks, or playdough, the time expands as they are free to do hands on learning.  This learning will only grow and expand as time goes on and as they begin to grow more comfortable and more confident with their efforts.

This is a sun and a bumblebee!reggio inspired learning about shapes - Wildflower Ramblings #preschool

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Pattern blocks were always a huge hit with my second graders.  During indoor free time, they would make the most beautiful creations!  I always felt bad when they had to clean up.  Now I see that I should have left them an area to leave their creations for the next play opportunity!

My son doesn’t really use these laminated pattern block mats, he’d rather create his own, or just watch me fill it in.  And that is fine.  But perhaps your little one would love them — from PreKinders.


These pattern block puzzles were perfect for my son when he was two.  So now, my daughter loves using them.  He built this rocket all by himself!!  My husband talks about NASA and space all the time with John, so I will have to explore more ways to learn about this interest of his.


Lining up by shapes and color is learning time!  My daughter was excited to say, “circle!”


Children can have lots of fun making “snakes” into various shapes.  We used sticks and rocks to make shapes too.

reggio inspired learning about shapes - Wildflower Ramblings #preschool reggio inspired learning about shapes - Wildflower Ramblings #preschool
I set out tiles to place our work on and we molded playdough into shapes.  We used other loose parts, such as craft sticks and even a cardboard tube.


We cut out shapes with our playdough roller.  We counted sides of the shapes by placing beads as we counted rectangles and triangles.


We learned about building shapes with playdough and straws.  You could use sticks too.  See this math work on a light table over at Happily Ever Mom.

reggio inspired learning about shapes - Wildflower Ramblings #preschoolreggio inspired learning about shapes - Wildflower Ramblings #preschool

You can read more about our journey in our Reggio inspired learning and playing :
Reggio inspired playroom
Reggio inspired nature table
Reggio inspired preschool math
Reggio inspired art exploration

You can follow my Reggio Emilia Pinterest Board for more inspiration :

Follow Amy @ Wildflower Ramblings’s board Reggio-Inspired on Pinterest.

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  1. How wonderful it must be to see them playing nicely together! I’ve been reading through your Reggio posts the last few days and really being inspired by them – thanks for sharing your ideas! :)

    1. Thanks so much Emma!! It is kind of a freeing way to teach and parent — to let the kids take the reigns :)

  2. I’m really reading through your Reggio posts. Just when I thought I purged my kids’ room Christmas happened. Anyway..how do you keep the playdough from getting squashed into the carpet?

    1. Well it certainly has before lol :) But I only let them have natural colored on the floor at this point — and giving them a nice big piece of wood helps with containing it… you can also put a large sheet under the mat!

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