Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Learning From The Reggio Approach

As I planned the new kindergarten environment I revisited my journals from my work study in Italy last spring with a focus on flow and environment. The flow is threefold; visual, physical and scheduling. I especially wanted the environment to reflect the children's learning and interests paying close attention to creativity and the different ways that children express themselves. This required reimagining space to display the large collection of loose parts, providing lots of space for the children as well as independent access to all resources most especially loose parts.

While I unpacked, sorted and arranged materials in the new kindergarten room, I chose to take my time, resisting the impulse to have everything done before the children arrived. We piled boxes in one corner and began to find homes which were a good fit for resources -- paying close attention to the space around each area so that children could move materials, spread out and work together.

Our new room has shelving on top of shelving which seemed very busy and full. I had planned to remove the upper shelves once the music teacher's instruments were relocated but as soon as I saw the empty shelves I knew that they would be a perfect place to display our nature resources, books and math manipulatives. The wood provides a warmth to the space and showcases the nests, shells, bark and other science objects.

I spent about two hours unpacking the science, math and literacy resources and moving them around until the display was symmetrical and balanced. I compared the colours, size and shapes of the baskets. I created themed displays which complement our place based learning projects such as forest, birds and seashore. Now I can easily imagine rotating the displays to the science table throughout the year. 

I keep falling in love with each part of the room as it is established and used by the children in their learning and play. Up next, our art studio.

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