1,000 FAQ

Reggio Emilia and Play

Reggio Emilia and Play

A: Play is a child’s work, and quality play matters to children.  Play should allow for children to find out things for themselves, to have their own experiences as they use all their senses to engage in an activity, with minimal adult intervention.  If adults control every aspect of a child’s life, we deprive children of the opportunity to explore and discover on their own.

A: The Reggio Emilia approach uses the environment as the third teacher to motivate and inspire children’s learning.  This approach sees children as the protagonists of their own learning.  In a fast paced and changing world of the future, children need personalized learning engagements, building on their own interests and capabilities, through real hands-on experiences.

A: Relationships are at the very heart of the Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy. This philosophy is reflected in an environment that encircles the child with three “teachers,” or protagonists. The first teacher—you all as the parent—takes on the role of active partner and guide in the education of the child.

A: As parents, we are our child’s first educators, and our role is to cultivate curiosity, creativity and confidence through children’s many questions.  This serve and return conversation and interaction helps develop your child’s  inquiry and build warm, nurturing and supportive relationships with our child.

A: Real hands-on activities allow children to engage in quality play provocations.   Through a wide variety of daily experiences and activities and natural play, children build a strong foundation in which they can grow and flourish, at the same time as having fun. They are learning without realizing it!  On average, we need to repeat something 400 times in order to master a skill.  Through play, we may only need to do this 20 times – why waste time and learn otherwise?  Research on reading skills at age 8 concluded that children had the same reading level, regardless of whether a child learnt through traditional rote methods, or through play based settings.  The children who were in play based settings had much more fun in the process of learning to read!   This is how we support a child’s thinking – they are building connections in their brain all time, and especially as they play.

A: Sensory play is  important to supporting how children learn, provisioning a different tactile experience that stimulates the different senses..  Hand-on experiences also enable children to make connections and theories of their own as they engage in sand or water play, dried pasta or recycled materials.

A: Time in playground spaces, either indoor or outdoor, provide children the opportunity to enhance their gross motor skills, this in turn builds strength and confidence in their bodies, supporting their ability to keep balance and to do more complex physical skills.

A: Spend time with your child doing day to day activities – from making cookies in the kitchen together, or sorting the recycled materials, to planting sunflowers or growing tomatoes for our window sill at home,  children choose how to conduct their learning through these engaging daily tasks.  Children become genuinely interested in their learning, and this is one way the children learn to be their own “inner teacher” with guidance from parents and caregivers.  Baking supports fine and gross motor skills, for example.