PLAYING TOGETHER AT HOME
by Preschools and Infant-toddler centres – Istituzione of the Municipality Reggio Emilia, and Reggio Children
Children are curious and attentive explorers of the surrounding world.
If we invite them to observe things carefully – living things, and objects - they can perceive their different qualities and imagine how they might transform in poetical and ironical ways.
This concept of transformation is very close to the world of children because they experience it themselves each day as they get older, and as they grow.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR CHILDREN
WHAT YOU NEED
A few borlotti, pinto, or other speckled beans, pencils, colouring pencils, felt tip pens, a container, potting soil, a camera or Smartphone.
TRANSFORMING A BEAN – PART 1
Have you ever tried to observe beans very carefully?
What a lot of differences there are between them!
No one bean is the same as another.
Let’s look at the different marks on the beans and try to imagine transforming them.
What does this bean look like? What might it remind you of?
Take a sheet of paper, and a pencil, and try and transform it with just a few lines.
It might turn into a fish, or a bear’s paw, or an ear.
Or try and use your felt tip pens, or colouring pencils, to continue the different compositions of shape and colour on the skin of the beans.
TRANSFORMING A BEAN – PART 2
What if we try and get the bean to be “born”?
What kind of “tummy” can it grow in?
Would it like to be in a “tummy pot” alone, or with other beans?
LOOKING FOR A “TUMMY POT”
Look around your home to see if you have any pots and vases. There are lots of different varieties!
Perhaps you’ll find a blue pottery vase, or a transparent glass jam jar, or an egg box. Or maybe a small white elegant vase, a terracotta plant pot, natural and welcoming, or a minimalist black beaker, all the way from China.
PLANTING THE BEAN
Put the bean in the soil, two fingers deep. Press the soil downto cover the bean like a snug blanket.
Water the bean straight away with a little water, and again as soon as you see the soil is dry.
For beans that prefer the company of other beans, choose a bigger plant pot that can contain several plants.
Beans plants grow very tall, so they will need supports to help them climb.
Will the bean transform?
How much will it grow?
How tall will it be?
Try and imagine… then take a sheet of paper and pencil and try to draw your ideas.
LOOKING FOR A SUITABLE PLACE
Look around and see if you can find a place where you can imagine the birth of your bean.
What is bean-friendly place like? Bright, warm, pleasant, happy, beautiful, kind?
By the French window opening to the balcony, looking at birds? Or at a window, taking the sun and looking out at the trees? What will they say to each other?
Hidden in the middle of periwinkles in the garden? Or keeping company on the windowsill?
Or perhaps with shells, thinking about the sea, or in with the toys?
WAITING AND DOCUMENTING
Gently talk to the beans every day, and when the little plants begin to sprout take a picture.
Take a picture every day to document your bean plant growing. But be careful you choose to frame it from the same position every day.
Which bean will be most excited to see the world and the light of day (or moonlight)?
Which bean, perhaps a little lazier, will prefer to stay warm under its blanket of soil?
We will be waiting patiently.
… it needs all the silent time to grow
Adele 5 years