Invitations to Explore with Rocks | Reggio Provocations

Invitations to Explore with Rocks | Reggio Inspired Provocations

Nature provides the best in Reggio inspired provocations. I love the Facebook page Creations in Nature and have been sharing some of their gorgeous images on my Facebook page.

Since I defined what a provocation is, I thought I would share some of my favourites, starting with those including rocks!

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Some rocks naturally have white lines (bands of quartz) through them. Here a teacher has added the white lines with a white acrylic marker for a line art and math provocation.

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This simple tray set up with sand and rocks inspired gorgeous natural mandalas.

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Expand this mandala provocation by including rocks and pebbles of varying tones, colours, shapes and sizes. Furthermore, include photos or books with inspirational photos. This provocation included Andy Goldsworthy’s book ‘Stone’.

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Inspired by Peter Reidel and of course Andy Goldsworthy, these children created balanced rock sculptures. I love how they included mirrors as well and kept it as open-ended as possible.

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Extending upon balancing, this provocation included cards with numbers of rocks balanced and patterns.

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Add a fine line marker and paper and perhaps you will inspire some observational drawing?

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I love this larger scale land rock art! This is beautiful transient art and a great extension on simple outdoor play.

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This rock themed provocation basket includes everything in one – the rocks, books, photos and inspiring materials all in one! The book Everybody Needs a Rock looks like a great read!

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Speaking of cool books, I love the look of the book that inspired all of this awesome rock art at Stimulating Learning!

If Rocks Could Sing (a discovered alphabet) has stones in lots of different shapes that represent things beginning with all the letters. How fun!

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My Nearest and Dearest shares two ways to play and create with rocks. Above, she shows how simple black sand and white rocks provokes beautiful calm play and art.

Below, she shares how they make rock people and faces.

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Add some simple wire for another element of sculpture and process based creativity.

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This looks very inviting. With the book beach stones and muffin tin trays with water, children can wash and arrange rocks.

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Along the theme of water, add a brush and dish of water with a larger rock for a lovely open ended provocation.

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When you add in scales, a provocation can be taken to a new mathematical level. I love how inviting this looks. I wish this store (Homemade Rainbows – it was so inspiring!) was still open.

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Again with sand and rocks, this zen garden inspired provocation would be lovely for some quiet time play.

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Lastly, this is a great ongoing group provocation with some simple patterns drawn on felt or card, alongside natural bowls with rocks and pebbles.

Some more books to inspire:

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A Handful of Quiet | Happiness in Four Pebbles

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If You Find a Rock

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A Rock Is Lively

Sensory Nature Scavenger Hunt | Free Printable!

Sensory Nature Scavenger Hunt with free printable  Racheous - Lovable Learning

This week our homeschool co-op had a brilliant time exploring one of our local nature reserves and doing a Sensory Nature Scavenger Hunt!

 

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It was a warm enough morning for bare feet and full body sensory fun!

 

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Typically, scavenger hunts focus on sight and maybe touch. I took it that step further to include auditory (sound), olfactory (smell), and different tactile senses (i.e. weight perception).

 

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The scavenger hunt items and the natural world around them provided enough inspiration alone and piqued a lot of interest in the kids. The questions followed and the exploration unfolded naturally.

 

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It was a lovely morning and the kids loved searing and comparing their finds.

 

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We discussed senses in general and put names to different types of sensory input.

 

Sensory Nature Scavenger Hunt Free Printable

The sensory element of the hunt meant that the kids had to focus and concentrate moreso than usual… and to think ahead and keep keen senses.

 

Nature Sensory Scavenger Hunt FREE Printable

Click above to get your own free Sensory Nature Scavenger Hunt printable!

Thank you to Sara from Happiness is here for taking the photos for this post!

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration and ideas!

Connecting with the Natural World | Day 29 – 30DaysTYP

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30 Days to Transform Your Play series

“As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unselfconsciously to the soughing of the trees.”  -Valerie Andrews, A Passion for this Earth

 

The second-last installment of this amazing series is a simple but powerful one – giving children access to nature.

I don’t know about you, but my favourite childhood memories were outdoors. I climbed countless trees, poked at hedgehogs, played in creeks and made mud slides. We built makeshift cubbies, caught butterflies, hid in bushes, lazed in the sun, watched clouds and made daisy chains. We stargazed, ate fruit from the trees, rescued baby birds who had fallen from nests and lugged big tires to the waters side to ride down the creek. We got chased by animals and stung by stinging nettle. We got caught in the rain and forgot to do chores while we were covered in grass stains and mud.

Growing up in New Zealand meant that, thankfully, we didn’t have to worry about spiders or snakes like we do here in Australia. Some of my childhood experiences with the natural world are honestly the very things that made a significant and lasting impact on me as a person. We spent (when I say we, I mean myself and my sister and/or childhood friends) spent what seemed like an eternity in the natural world. Playing. Learning. Exploring. Being.

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In this fast paced society where children are overwhelmed with information and activities, spending time in nature is crucial. Simply getting outside and enjoying the natural world without any specific purpose, is so important.

Kids seem to spend so much time inside these days and there is too much pressure on parents to fill their time.

“Let Nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth

Children have so much to learn from nature. It’s no secret that nature and time to play freely outdoors has many benefits for kids.

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I find afternoons to be the perfect opportunity for outdoors and nature play. It’s revitalizing for me as much as the kids. Whether you bring the natural world indoors, explore your own backyard, visit a local nature reserve or go camping.. just get outdoors! Show children the wonders of nature. From the smallest discoveries in a corner of a yard to a vast bush-walk with unmeasurable opportunities for exploration – every time children and nature are put together, the possibilities are vast and valuable.

Where is your child’s favourite natural space?

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Please continue to share your photos (no matter what day in the series!) on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Lovable Learning Facebook group.

Here is the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series and make sure you’re reading An Everyday Story’s posts too!

Selecting Materials | Day 10 – 30DaysTYP

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Welcome to Day 10 in the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series with myself and An Everyday Story! Today we are discussing the selection of materials. This includes toys, play materials, art materials and books.

I completely agree with Kate that the materials and toys that we give our children is a reflection of how we view them. This is true too of the spaces we create for them and the way we display their belongings. Our respect for our child and their interests, their curiosity and their capabilities will show in the toys and materials we choose for them.

I select materials based on whether they are:
(in no particular order)

  • made of natural materials where possible,
  • realistic – I’ve touched on real tools for exploration and learning previously,
  • open-ended or at least have several uses,
  • engaging,
  • affordable (not necessarily ‘cheap’: for example, if an item is gender-less, spans many ages and has many uses – like Spielgaben, for example – I will view the expense as an investment)
  • attractive (not as a novelty, but attractive in the sense that it has beauty and simplicity that inspires play and exploration), and
  • good quality.

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Task:

Some reflection for you:

  • What do you think is your image of a child & where do you think this view originated from?
  • How do you think this view and your idea of their capabilities influences the materials you purchase?
  • How do you think you could change the materials and/or your perception to better your child’s play and engagement?

Share your invitation to construct on Instagram with the hashtag #30daystyp and/or on my Lovable Learning Facebook group.

Here is the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series and make sure you’re following An Everyday Story’s posts too!

Plant Activities

Plant activities for kids
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Our recent projects have had a running theme: plants. For a four year old, the fact that something as tiny as a seed can miraculously grow is fascinating. From caring for plants to observing roots and recording growth of bean sprouts; Cameron has been engrossed in plants.

He’s taken to observing the weather out of interest for his plants – “Mummy, it’s raining, that water is going to help my grassy-head-man grow!”. He has taken it on himself to water both his and Lucy’s plants and excitedly asks to take photos of their progress.

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Last weeks home education co-op event was plant activities, which spurred on this interest. There’s nothing like planting things yourself to learn about seeds, roots, the needs of plants and weather.

To make your own grass heads, all you need is:

- stocking- soil/sand
- grass seeds (lawn seed)
- toilet roll tube

  1. Cut the toe off of the stocking, tie a knot and cut again leaving around 20cm (8 inches).
  2. Insert a toilet roll tube in so that the opening is on the area of the stocking you want to grow grass ‘hair’.
  3. Scoop a tablespoon of grass seed into the tube in the stocking.
  4. Fill with soil/sand until you have a ball of the size you want (tennis ball size minimum).
  5. Tie off bottom and soak in water.
  6. Keep in the sun, damp in a cup or mini pot.
  7. Decorate with googly eyes and features if you like. You should see shoots within a few days.grassyheadman

To grow your own bean plant you will need:

- lima beans (aka butter beans): I used green dwarf lima beans
[you can purchase beans in gardening sections of stores or simply as dry beans in the soup section of a supermarket]- ziploc bag or CD case
- soil or cotton balls
- Bean Plant Diary (download my version for free) for observational drawings and notes

  1. Soak your beans for 8-12 hours to make the germination process faster if you like.
  2. Simply put some cotton balls or soil in a zip lock bag or CD case (for easy observation or sprouts and roots).
  3. Place 2 beans inside and ensure the soil or cotton balls are damp.
  4. Tape zip lock bag to sunny window and keep damp. You should see beginning shoot around day 3.

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My favourite ways to learn about plants are unintentional and child-led. These come about through nature scavenger hunts as Cameron finds odd coloured seeds under a tree or insect holes in leaves. And through the observation around our own yard – a blossoming gumtree and tending to our herb pot.

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Be sure to see our new pages which document our ongoing home education co-op experiences and the lovely learning experiences (photo of the day) where I share our everyday home education activities.links

Learning and Play Pinterest Board