The infant/toddler centers and preschools convey many messages, of which the most immediate is: this is a place where adults have thought about the quality and the instructive power of space. The layout of physical space fosters encounters, communication, and relationships. Children learn a great deal in exchanges and negotiations with their peers; therefore teach- ers organize spaces that support the engagement of small groups. ” Lella Gandini
This is the part of the Reggio theory of teaching that most people try to hit though it is more than how things look. It is more than the tree branches hanging. It is more than the white twinkle lights that are strung. It is the thought process that brings you to that point.
Why did I change out the large expensive lakeshore cubbies that I had to the IKEA cubes ? I wanted to promote a more calm homelike atmosphere.
Why do I have tree branches hung ? I believe that children deserve beauty and nature in their daily life. The way I set up and decorate their space should reflect what they love .
Why do I have spaces that are set up for one child to play in ? Why do I have spaces for two or more children to play in ? Do you ever just have a time you want to be along ? I am sure that kids do too. They should have the right to be alone. The centers for two or more children promotes friendship and collaboration.
Why do I have glass dishes in the playroom ? I believe children are capable and learn through experience and small risk taking.
The list goes on and on. Throwing natural materials in a space does not a Reggio space make.