Expressive Painting | Exploring Reggio

Exploring Reggio Series - Expressive Painting RacheousI am thrilled to be part of the exciting Exploring Reggio series with An Everyday Story, Twodaloo, The Imagination Tree, One Perfect Day and Learn with Play at Home.

Exploring Reggio SeriesEach fortnight these talented bloggers have been exploring aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach to inspire, share and learn about using Reggio principles with their children at home.

If you’re new to the series, you really must see the incredible posts that have been shared thus far: Introduction Exploring ReggioThese introductions give great insight into what this series is all about. (1) The Imagination Tree, (2) Twodaloo, (3) An Everyday Story, (4) One Perfect Day, and (5) Learn with Play at Home.

MIrrors Exploring Reggio SeriesThe first topic covered was mirror play. (1) Exploring Paint on a Mirror with Learn with Play at Home, (2) Discovering Shapes and Symmetry with One Perfect Day, (3) Painting the Night with Twodaloo, (4) Play Dough Self Portraits with An Everyday Story, and (5) Exploring Shapes and Patterns with The Imagination Tree.

Literacy Exploring ReggioNext was Reggio inspired literacy environments and experiences. (1) Library Role Play with The Imagination Tree, (2) Enticing Literacy with Learn with Play at Home, (3) Creating a Literacy Rich Environment with An Everyday Story, (4) Playful Learning Literacy Table with One Perfect Day, and (5) Meaningful Literacy with Twodaloo.

Exploring Reggio paint art processFinally, this week in the exploring Reggio series, we explored paint and art experiences. (1) Invitation to Paint Big with Learn with Play at Home, (2) Creating Colours with An Everyday Story, (3) Painting a Rainbow with Twodaloo, (4) Process Art with One Perfect Day, and (5) Mixing Textures into Paint with The Imagination Tree.


roller painting reggioThe surprising thing about the Reggio Emilia approach that many do not realise is it is not all about art! And even when it is about art, it really isn’t. OK, stay with me, I can explain..

What Reggio is really about is advancing the child’s thinking and learning, and presenting unique challenges. These experiences with art of all forms provide a multitude of ways for the child to express, explore, and develop their learning and thinking. This isn’t just centered around academics either, this notion can apply to emotional intelligence, physical development, and understanding of abstract concepts.

sensory painting reggioThese artistic expressions make the learning experience visible. Kids can use these artistic representations to share with others what they are thinking, doing, feeling, learning, and experiencing. Art is the medium through which we can ‘listen’ to our little ones.

handsCameron adored being free to add paint and work with the paint however he wanted. He mixed, described colours and changes, described the feel of the paint and talked about painting hard and soft, slow and fast. While he slipped and slid and felt the paint, he continued to play and create.

While Cameron gets many opportunities to explore art materials, this time Lucy was asleep and he had limitless paper. It was great to see what that freedom did to his creative expression.

painting with bodies reggio process artlinkysI hope you enjoy the Exploring Reggio series as much as I have been. It’s such a privilege to be collaborating with such lovely bloggers and discovering more about something that I’m passionate about. Join us in a fortnight when we discuss another topic.

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  1. Lovely post and a great recap of the series so far! So glad to have you on board ;)

  2. I don’t know much about Reggio but this is exactly how my daughter does art. I’ve wondered if maybe I should “reign her in” a bit, prepare her for school when she won’t be able to paint with her feet(!) but after reading this, I’ll let her at it, exploring art in her own way. I loved the pics – he was so obviously enjoying this!

  3. Great stuff ladies! Wish I could have read this sort of stuff when I had my first 12 years ago! x

  4. That looks like SO much fun! I am going to have to look further into this series :-) Thank you for linking up and sharing this week on the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop!

  5. Fabulous post! Love how you’ve compiled it all together and I love reading your thoughts and take on Reggio. Very happy to have you on board with this series :D

  6. I am loving this series.
    Thanks for the re-cap! Pinning this so I remember to check them all out & how fantastic is this messy painting. crazy fun ;-)

  7. This is great having all the posts so far so easy to revisit! :) Sharing now! :)

  8. He looks so happy being able to use how whole body to express himself!
    Lovely to see you as part of this fab series.

  9. There are so many inspiring activities in the post. Just wonderful. Loving the last image of the messy art though.

  10. I’m going to pin this to my special needs board as I feel it would really benefit my disabled son who is a visual learner, and finds it hard to express himself, especially emotions – it also looks like he’d have a lot of fun with it (he’s a sensory seeker). Thank you very much for sharing this.

    • That’s such a great point. My son has some sensory issues. He’s a tactile and oral sensory seeker but gets overwhelmed with auditory input. I always try to keep that in mind and help him through expression and play :) Thank you for your lovely comments!

  11. I was always interested in Reggio approach, and I think you expressed it really well in this overview. I wish schools used more of this free form exploration, especially with young learners. Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

  12. We need so much more of this everywhere.

  13. Hi,
    I remember the post about painting on the large sheet of paper on the fence. What great creative activities. I would love you to share with Creative Saturdays on my blog
    Janis – Author of Tadeo Turtle

  14. Thanks for posting these. I think Reggio has a great philosophy and really appreciate the time and effort in putting this post together.

    • You’re so welcome. I adore this series and enjoyed re-visiting all the inspiring posts! I am so inspired by Reggio and keen to delve deeper into the approach :) Thank you for popping by and sharing your view!

  15. I now have a new set of painting ideas to try with my son.

  16. This is such a worthwhile series, and just goes to show that for kids the process not the end result is what they really get out of it. I’m enjoying reading all these posts :-)

  17. What a wonderful collection of ideas. Thanks!

  18. This looks like a ton of messy fun! I am giving my kids a huge roll of paper as part of their Christmas gifts so we will have to try this out!

  19. Ruth Benson says:

    Hi Rachel
    I really love some of the images you have posted and wondering if I can use them. I teach early childhood and would like to use them in my classes to hopefully inspire my students.

  20. What an awesome hands on activity for our kids! My boys would LOVE painting like this. I really like the idea of securing paper to the side of the house and using paint rollers. My boys would think I am the best mom ever if we did this!

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