The surprise when we paused and looked at our shadows…
Child: woah! You are taller than me…!!! I am not sure who was the most surprised the child or myself… after all we had been holding hands for ten minutes as we walked back from the park to the preschool when I casually mentioned our shadows on the wall.
But I will take it as a compliment - that we walked as equals.
I have often experienced this over the years - being surprised by someone’s age or height (in all directions
Just over three years ago I was invited to Toronto, Canada to participate in the Rhythm of Learning "The Rhythm of Learning in Nature is an opportunity offered by the York Region Nature Collaborative for like-minded educators to come together in place to experience nature, outdoor play, Reggio-inspiration and forest school practices. The week follows an emergent curriculum framework, as we will invite both facilitators and participants to decide the direction of the work and
I am a huge believer in the power of play.
I think it is one of the strongest languages children have to communicate with and make sense of the world around them... it is of course not the only language available to them to explore and interact with the world. Being inspired by Malaguzzi brings with it the reflections of a hundred languages... the many ways to learn, play, listen, interact and engage...
For me play-based learning is not a hands-off approach. It is hands on
The International Fairy Tea Party is more than just a bit of fun... it is fun, and it is meant to be a whole heap of fun... but there is more to it...
There are more and more articles lamenting the loss of play, about the lack of value imagination is given within the curriculum (despite people considering it important that we are creative), about a lack of connection with nature, about gender divides and stereotypes, the need to have empathy and understanding with other cul
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
So how comfortable are you adding to the work of others...?
here is what some teachers wrote down at one of the workshops at Boulder Journey School in the summer of 2013... I appreciated having a blueprint or framework to build from/on the work inspired me it was an interesting concept to add to someone elses work/art - feeling like you were misrepresenting their idea it makes me feel uncomfortable adding to or modifying someone elses work. Collaborating makes me feel more
STEM-education has been around for some time now... a focus on Science Technology Engineering and Maths in education - not long after came STEAM-education, introducing the Arts into the focus... As I have been talking with my co-collaborators for the Maker Square at Förskola21 on the 7th of October 2019 we felt there was an essential missing ingredient... Relationships - so we decided to add that extra R and create STREAM. STREAM does exist already in the sense that there are
Over the years I keep coming back to light as a tool for play, a tool for learning, a tool to explore and experiment... In a way light, for me, has become a symbol for learning... we become enlightened.. We can also use the word illuminate and elucidate in similar ways... As educators we strive to shed light on new things... experiences, knowledge, perspectives... This is part of my love for playing with light... it is much deeper than just the play and exploration, the scien
This post was first written in 2014 when I attended the Play Iceland Conference The 2019 conference is already fully booked, but I am quite sure that there will be further chances to attend in the future. The conference is a space to visit early years settings together with other educators, to be inspired, to share wisdoms with each other, to attend lectures and workshops, to play and to feel alive in the Icelandic nature and hospitality. One of the things I noticed about all
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
As the warmer weather approaches it gives you the opportunity to take paints outside and go crazy... This session was during the summer when there are often very few children attending preschool... just two this day... so I really took advantage of that...
I filled two big plastic boxes with warm soapy water so the children could use them to rinse themselves off at any time - these became very popular to climb in and out of and add an extra layer of wetness to the whole art
Suzanne: Getting the opportunity to listen to you talk at the Play on Early Childhood Conference in Athens in mid April was a magical moment for me... it was like listening to someone who spoke the same language as myself. The magic door. This border between adulthood and childhood, between reality and imagination, between chronos and aeon. It reminded me so clearly of why I started the International Fairy Tea Party in 2013 - not just a celebration of play and imagination but
This is one of those posts that actually I was kind of saving for my book, but due to the response I have received after my keynote in Athens where I briefly mentioned how I see time connected to play and as a part of Original Learning, I feel there is reason to share my thinking earlier... Four or five years ago I was chatting with my children and up popped that phrase that we adults like to use... "you need to think outside of the box" - my daughter replied by saying that h
I often see posts and discussion about open-ended toys and materials... loose-parts
and sometimes wonder how "open-ended" is being interpreted... as for some it seems to be about taking away materials like cars, play food etc... which is more extreme than how I interpret it... but how extreme can we go? What are open-ended toys... or open-ended play?
I thought I would take some time to explore these ideas...
I also see, repeatedly, rather intense discussion about plastic
Listen with your ears, eyes, heart and mind. This is how I start a philosophy session with my preschoolers. A simple reminder that there is not one way to listen... not even with listening is there a single story. Many of the activities I did with the children was to give the children time and opportunity to practice their listening skills... to listen with their ears, to listen with their eyes, to listen with their hearts and to listen with their minds. I want to live in a w
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Six years ago I started the International Fairy Tea Party as a tool for adults to step into the world of play. I often feel that adults tend to have an intellectual or emotional relationship with play from an adult perspective reminiscing on their childhood - or discussing with others about what is play really.
The idea is that the tea party is a reason to experience play and imagination again.
I see some educators struggle with the idea of fa
I am no fan of templates, colouring books and the like - I would much rather encourage the children to create from scratch - in much the same way I would much prefer to provide home-made food cooked from scratch than prefabricated food... BUT this post is to try and explore creativity from the perspective of children rather than from our own adult point of view. To do this I decided to go back to my own childhood, to root around in my own memories and how templates influenced
Choosing what to call my blog was both difficult and obvious at the same time. Coming up with a meaningful name is not so easy when there are so many great blogs with names that you would have liked to have used yourself - but when I thought about what it is that is important to me the choice became obvious... IMAGINATION - is considered "a power of the mind," "a creative faculty of the mind," "the mind" itself when in use, and a "process" of the mind used for thinking, sche
Stockholms Pedagogiska Vägg (Stockholm's Pedagogical Wall) is designed for children to get creative in the public space... a space for children to leave their mark, their ideas, their imagination - not for a long time but for a while, as the wall is painted over and over very much like the Together Paintings I have described before.
It is a wall that is forever evolving. A place to come as an individual, or a family or together with a preschool or school or fritids (after s