I’m gearing up to do a Book Study with some parents in my kindergarten class, using the Playful Learning book. I started thinking about how this book, by Mariah Bruehl, and the e-courses she has hosted have introduced me to new ideas and opened my eyes to a whole new approach to teaching and learning.
I pulled up a few old posts about the book and e-courses, as I was thinking about my love for Playful Learning, and decided this one was worth a repost.
Several weeks ago I was participating in an online course, offered at Mariah’s Playful Learning Site. It was a wonderful e-course, which really inspired me bring the playful learning we do at home up to the next level. During one of the weeks, we turned our attention to the art areas of our homes (and classroom in my case). We have always had art materials at our house, but not REAL artist-quality materials. I can’t even begin to tell you the inspiration that came flooding to our kitchen table, once we had some high quality materials to work with. You can read more about it at my home blog, Home is Where my Story Begins.
That’s not where the story ends, though. Through working with Mariah, I began learning about Reggio Emilia. A teacher I work with also presented recently about the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education. I was fascinated by the idea of creating a common area for art in my school. In Reggio Emilia, Italy, each school has an art atelier, which houses high quality art supplies for kids to use. The art area in our school, just outside of my classroom, was created with help from several teachers in our building. It has been a wonderful destination for the kids in our school. Some kids come to add art work to a school project. Other kids come at recess and just take time to create. It has been a wonderful addition for the kids in our school. I have been so inspired to learn more about Reggio Emilia. I’m reading a book on this philosophy right now and it is quite fascinating!
In addition to adding new art materials to our home art area, and creating our art atelier at school, we have also been learning more about creating art. I’m REALLY not much of an artist, so when my kids want to draw or paint something I usually need to find directions. We found some wonderful “how to draw” books at the library. My son also enjoyed looking up “how to draw” videos on You Tube. There was also a painting book included in the set of watercolor pencils we bought at Michael’s. I’m still not a great artist, but at least I can say I’m having fun trying!