08 Jun 2016
Play is an instinct that children have from birth. Play provides learning that can produce immeasurable joy for children in their early years. Loris Malaguzzi (1920 – 1994), Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach, writes about this joy in his poem, The Hundred Languages of Children. In the poem he refers to the multitude of ways young children learn to understand and that nothing in their learning should happen without joy. Children need learning that engages the development of their mind and body. Discovering something new, repeated occasions to practise skills, hands-on experiences, nurturing relationships or mastering a task that was challenging, all can lead to joyous emotions.
At Ruyton Early Learning the educators embed joy into the everyday experiences of the children and consider that play is not separate from learning. On offer are playful activities that present children with immediate purpose and intrinsic motivation to seek meaning. The physical environment is arranged with materials to invite, suggest provocations, and provide ‘a hundred’ ways for them to express themselves. Secure relationships between students and educators are fostered in order to share wonder, discoveries and perspectives. The learning journey is valued over the end product, with children being allowed time to process their understandings and to voice the fun, delight, magic and joy experienced.
As I contemplate the joy-filled play of our young learners I am reminded of the inspirational quote by Malaguzzi, ‘There’s nothing without joy.’ The poem The Hundred Languages of Children is on display in the Ruyton Early Learning foyer.
Ms Teresa Wojcik
Acting Director of Early Learning
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