What a great day it was to “rock in the summer of 2018”, as Atelier Kids Early Learning & Care took part in the Roncy Rocks Music and Arts Fest West.
Last Saturday, the annual community festival provided concerts, events, and exhibits for all ages. Atelier Kids daycare in Toronto, was a fabulous contributor to the day’s events, as we presented a Reggio-inspired “classroom” right there on Roncesvalles at Fern Avenue.
We created three provocations (or invitations) for our visitors to explore and discover upon their visit to our space.
With beads, beach glass, yarns, and cutouts of mouths, eyes, and noses, we explored the materials to make a “face”. Mirrors on the table contributed to the exchange as the children playfully engaged with their reflection and the materials they were provided. In Reggio teaching, the “image of the child” is a pivotal concept in the approach; it’s the basis for all understanding and teaching that’s developed within the philosophy. At our Toronto childcare centre, we regard the child as creative, capable, and full of potential, so imagine how joyful it was to see their creations and more importantly, to experience their exploration of the given materials.
Our second invitation examined the environment as the “third teacher”, where we presented a zen garden of sorts with which the children could, again, explore with natural materials like fine sand, sea shells, beach glass, stacking tiles, textured spheres, and mini garden rakes. We had a giant table garden for our visitors who came and stayed and got lost in the opportunity for such simple, tactile play and exploration. It was beautiful—so calming and yet so active in their thoughtfulness and intent.
Lastly, we presented the invitation to look at an everyday object, the plastic water bottle, and think of how it could be used as a painting tool. Many of the children used the bottle in a stamping motion after dipping the bottle into trays of vibrantly coloured paints, while others rolled the bottle and tipped it, and some filled it with paint to pour their work of art. The importance of community was explored in this provocation as the children were encouraged to hang their art in our “gallery”, demonstrating how each of us is an important member of Atelier Kids childcare centre, our community, our world.
Saturday was a fantastic opportunity to see the Atelier Kids’ Reggio-inspired approach in action. As we continue to prepare for the opening of the school, it was a gratifying day to bring our teaching philosophy to life. Even more exciting and rewarding were the reactions we observed as the children and families became immediately engaged with our classroom and stayed to engage for lengthy stretches of time. A day that truly “rocked”, as we received such positive response and validation that our Reggio-inspired daycare in Toronto is to be celebrated and embraced. Thanks Roncy Rocks Music and Arts Fest West for the generous invitation to take part in your community event.