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Through the eyes of a child.

Terra Tominelli


The Reggio Emilia Approach

Imagine that you are 4 years old again.  You’re wearing your favorite dress or your best pair of sneakers that make you run super fast!  You have brushed your teeth, had a yummy breakfast and are ready for school.  In the car you are thinking about what your day has in store for you.  “Hmm I wonder what we will have for snack today?”  Soon your car pulls into the TerraNichol parking lot.  As you are getting out one of your “bestest” friends arrives too!  You chit chat all the way into the school as you hang up your lunchboxes and head to the play garden!

As you arrive you say good morning to your teachers and look around.  Even though you have seen the play yard many times you still look around in wonder.  Every day you notice something new and interesting whether it is new activities that the teachers have set out or a new plant growing in Eco-Village.  Wow! Today is a super exciting day as you notice that due to the rain we had last night our rain barrel is almost full.  You decide that first you will show all of the special plants some TLC and give them a drink of water.  As you are walking around with your watering can, you notice a big fat snail on the composter!  “Look a snail” you announce as you let the others know of your remarkable finding. 


Soon there is a group of students and a teacher all gathered around watching the snail moving ever so slowly.  You feel so proud that you are the one to find this amazing creature all by yourself! Everyone is talking about the snail.  Everyone is curious where it came from and where his home might be.  A group of students decides that they are going to get out the large magnifiers and go on a hunt to see if they can locate the snail’s home. Another group of students are very interested in how slowly the snail is moving and with the teachers assistance we decide to track and graph how far the snail moves while we are playing outdoors.

“Ring Ding Ding”!  You know what that sound means as you and a few others announce “Clean-Up Bell!”  As your friends sing the Clean Up song everyone quickly gets busy putting their materials away.  You return your watering can and magnifier and meet up with the rest of your friends and classmates at the Meeting Tree.  Before heading inside you all talk about your experiences today in the Play Garden.  You smile uncontrollably as everyone is talking about what they discovered about the snail.  After looking at our tracking and graphing the snail only moved 1 and ½ inches in the time that we were outdoors!  We never found his home but we decided that he probably likes to live in Eco-Village in the soil with all of the plants because snails like cool wet places. We are excited to come back out before our lunch picnic to see how far our new friend “Slow Poke”, as he has been affectionately named, has moved by then.

After our meeting we head inside.  We find a seat at circle time and begin to sing our morning meeting songs.  I am excited because I love to sing especially the good morning songs!  I look at my friends and we giggle while we sing.  My teacher is making silly faces at us and we practice saying “Hola”, and “Ciao” to our friends.  After our morning meeting I go to the yoga mat basket as my teacher puts on the relaxing yoga music.  I find a place to relax my body and place my yoga pillow over my eyes.  “Hmmm it smells like lavender!”  I take a deep inhale and exhale and feel my body start to calm.  We do four poses and then we are all inspired to do a snail pose.  First we curl up in a snail shell and then inch forward so so slowly.  It takes a lot of control to move so slowly! I know to go back to the butterfly pose as my teacher gives us all some Lazy Lizard Lavender Lotion.  I love getting the lotion it smells so good.  I rub it on my arms and legs.  “Hmmmm I feel ready now”.  I go to the tea table and make a warm cup of tea.  “I think I will make raspberry tea today.”  “Umm I think I will have green tea” says my friend.  

As we finish our tea everyone begins to make their choice of activities.  I see that some friends are checking on our fish “Red Soul” and giving him some fish food.  Oooh another friend has the glow time projector on and is making a tall tower like the one on the screen.  “That looks fun, I like your tower but I think I will go to the art studio first.”  When I get to the studio I see that there are many colors of paint and all different kinds of painting tools out!  “Yeah I love to paint!”  First I decide to look at an art book before I start.  I find a book that has a picture of a garden.  I show my teacher and she says that it a painting by Van Gogh.  I say “I think I am going to paint a garden but mine will be different because I am going to paint a snail like Slow Poke in mine.”  My teacher says “Wow it sounds like you have a great plan; I can’t wait to see what colors you use and what painting tools you choose.  Will you show me when you are finished being an artist!”  I am so excited my teacher just said I am an artist and as I put on my beret and find my big long paintbrush that I want to use I feel like an artist!  What a great day today is turning out to be.  I am excited to see what the rest of the day has in store for me and my friends.

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