Another post sharing inspiration and reflections from AnjiPlay in China... this time with a focus on Sand and water play to find out more about the construction materials why not check out Construction Play or just click onto the tag or category AnjiPlay to find all the other posts I have written so far... What I noticed was that these were not small sandboxes. The schools had made the considered decision to create sand areas that are both expansive AND deep so that the child
Since my visit to Anji, China in May I have been sharing posts containing images of the settings for 3-6 year old children. These posts have been met with excitement and also apprehension... this idea that it feels impossible... that level of risk, that kind of play would never work here, people are too afraid.
I want to point out that this is very much the case in China too. The kindergartens in Anji that are using the AnjiPlay pedagogy are very divergent from the norm of
This is another post inspired by my time in China and my visits to the AnjiPlay settings. This post will focus on the construction materials... and really part of me has kind of been putting this post off because there is JUST SO MUCH to write and share about this... So I know that this post is not going to really be able to do justice to the materials and how they are presented and used... I think the first thing that really hits you is the sheer amount of materials that are
While I was in Anji, China it was very obvious that the ladder was a symbol of play and freedom... a bamboo ladder is also the actual logo for AnjiPlay... When you see them in action you can also see why this is the case. The children are free to use and play with them in a myriad of ways. The fact that there are different lengths of ladders and were offered in different materials (pine or bamboo) is also testament to this... Ms Cheng (who is the founder of AnjiPlay) wanted n
This week over in the Facebook group - "The Reggio Emilia Approach" I posted a question "What are provocations?"
This is a word I often see used in connection with the Reggio Emilia Approach, and in ever wider circles too. What I have see over the years is that the word is often used together with a beautifully set out activity, and quite often that activity looks very teacher down... in the sense that the teacher has chosen the "correct" colours for the flowers (or other ob
Here are some images that I have found, images that I have taken... images I thought might inspire you one way or another... Chalk board table... for free creative art that can be done over and over again... documenting images as you go and maybe creating a chalkboard table book of images..? how to instructions here... Thinking abut how you organise your materials is important... how easy is it for you to access things, for the children, more importantly.... is it easy to pu
I think what really fascinated me about AnjiPlay was that in social media there is a large focus on the risky play element of the approach... which means that from the outside the full spectrum of the play and the approach cannot be fully seen or appreciated... and this is why I have chosen to focus on writing about these other elements first... I believe that if these posts spike an interest you will easily look up AnjiPlay and discover more about it yourself, I hope that yo
During my visit to Anji County in China and the nine preschools one of the (many) ting that stuck out was the use of clay, and the scale it was being used. The children had access to huge amounts of clay... from beautiful, large, lidded pots to huge pits of clay that the children could climb into in order to collect clay... Each day in the AnjiPlay preschools the children had access to one hour of "True Play" - where the teachers backed off with their "eyes open, ears open, h
It was a few years ago when I was first drawn to AnjiPlay, I don't remember exactly how many, but I do remember feeling a connection to the approach, just in the same way that I had felt a connection with the Reggio Emilia Approach... not so much a wow, this is amazing, but more, this feels like home. I think we are all going to have different responses to revolutionary educational practice. For some it might seem too much and the mere idea of the approach is scary... for oth
Over the years I have worked in places that have had dysfunctional groups as well as groups that have played well together. I have often reflected over what makes a group work. How do we support a functional group? How do we give children the freedom to play?
I define a dysfunctional group as stressed, focussed on the problems of maybe one, two or more children disrupting play for whatever reasons so that play does not flow as usual.
It made me realise just how much struc
As I look back and reflect on my experience in Anji County, China and visiting the AnjiPlay kindergartens/preschools I wonder about my own approach to something new and i realise that it ties in with my observations of preschoolers at new locations... When I take a group of preschoolers to a new space (whether it be a play-space, forest, museum etc) what I see is that the children have a desire to look around, the do not settle into deep play as they usually do in a space fam
This is the first in a series about my visit to China to learn about AnjiPlay...
This and coming posts will be my process of sorting my thoughts and reflections of my experience and my interpretation os what i heard and saw. To learn more about AnjiPlay I recommend that you go direct to the source and learn from those in Anji actively engaged in this play focussed pedagogy. True Play is not about children's free play... free play is outside an educational institution. This i