The holiday season is the perfect time to infuse some Reggio inspired practices into your home. The Reggio Emilia Approach is all about encouraging children to explore the world around them, and to learn from what fascinates them. Every child loves winter holidays, and for the entire month of December, the holiday spirit can be seen everywhere. This is also a time of year when children are full of questions. You will hear everything from “How does Santa come in our house if we don’t have a chimney?” to “What do reindeer like to eat? And even “How did they get those lights all the way at the top of that tree?”
These kinds of questions are perfect for encouraging critical thinking skills, and further research. Ask your child what they think you could do to make sure that Santa can get in the house, and where they think they could look to find out what reindeer eat. Their answers might surprise you, and they might even start a new tradition of their own.
It is also important to encourage children to explore their surroundings and interact with new items. There are always going to be some things that you are afraid to let the children play with – maybe the glass nativity set is a family heirloom, or the tree topper is one that you bought on a trip to Italy. Find other ways for children to explore these things. They could take photos of them with your camera, or draw a picture of them. You could also find similar substitutes that they could interact with, pick up a nativity set at a garage sale, or get a tree topper at a craft store that the children can decorate.
The holidays are also a time of year when children say the best things! Make sure to document these quotes, questions, and conversations. They will make great additions to holiday photo books and scrapbooks and lasting memories for years to come.