Bringing Nature Inside

I was doing some reading about Reggio Emilia which is an approach to early childhood education which began in a city of the same name in Italy just after the Second World War. There are many things that I love about this approach to children and play. I love that it encourages natural light, beautiful materials and child led play and development.  I love that it encourages exploration using all of our senses. Most of all though, I love how it embraces nature and it is definitely something I am keen to read more about and improve my somewhat limited knowledge on. 

Baby exploring nature inside



















As I was doing this reading I came across a beautiful blog called 'An Everyday Story' and in particular her post called It's Not Just a Stick: A Simple Nature Table . Is that not a wonderful nature table? I was inspired immediately. It was time for me to bring some nature inside and let my boy explore these natural materials.

Baby exploring nature inside

On one of our walks I picked up some unopened pine cones, I used 2 pieces of wood from our wood pile and I used a stone that we already had inside as our door-stopper but that had not yet been discovered. I wanted my boy to use big items to begin with as I knew they would go into his mouth, the smaller stuff we can do when he is older and it is more age appropriate. I trimmed the sharp edges off the pine cones with scissors and sanded and washed the wood to avoid splinters (I hope that wasn't too overprotective of me?!) And then on to the floor they went waiting to be explored.

Baby playing with nature inside

He found this activity absolutely fascinating and studied each item intently, feeling them, tasting them, moving them around, finding that the pine cones would scoot forward leading to be chased while the stone barely moved at all. His focus on these items was fantastic to watch, so much so that they are now living on the floor of our kitchen waiting to capture his attention again. We will most certainly be having a nature table in our house when the time is right, I can't wait to see what he will do with it!

Baby playing with nature inside

Nature play has become a big part of the play in our house. Read about what happened when we combined nature play with cloud dough or when we added nature to sensory bottles.

CONVERSATION

6 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea. A nature table sounds great. So good to get kids connected with nature. I am so glad the weather is warming up so we can get outside more.

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    1. This weather has been great, lots of outside play!

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  2. Great idea Alison! It looks like Rodri had lots of fun with the nature floor. I remember how much fun I used to have as a kid collecting pine cones and stones and playing with sticks. The shapes and textures were so interesting and fun to discover.

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    1. The pine cones have definitely turned in to a favourite! He still loves to chase them around the kitchen!

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  3. I'm a curious Reggio follower too, by not means a devotee, but I love what I have learned about it. I love An Everyday Story too! Kate is one of my blog friends :) Lovely post

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    1. I have a few books waiting to be read, I'm excited to learn more about Reggio and try some things out. Kate's posts are very inspiring, and I love reading your blog too!

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