Reggio Inspired: Color

Woot!  Day two of my sneak peek into a local Reggio inspired preschool, Rosa Parks. The quality of classroom environment in this school is off the charts.

Today I am going to share a few of their color ideas.

 Simple canvas boards with color collections.  I love all the texture.
 A close up of the color collection.
 Almost every classroom had a version of this color application.  Paint value chips were used to designate the place for each color family.
 Love it!
 Here is the same idea on a black shelving.
 Here is a close-up of one where the paint chip was placed in the middle of the shelving unit. I love the inclusion of oil pastels and colored pencils.
 Super cool.  Tree branch containers!
 Each color has its own tree “cup.”  Uber cool.
 And look at this!  A branch with spots for the paint dots.
Another brilliant thought!  This teacher used tin cans on magnetic metal!  The children can pull off the cans and take them to their table.  The metal sits on a easel.
 Here is a light table with colored water.  So beautiful.
A painting center!  And look at the liquid watercolors waiting to be used!  Liquid watercolors are so vibrant and deep in color.

Tomorrow I will share their birthday traditions – so rich and wonderful!!!

Again, I am so grateful for the generosity and kindness of the teachers to allow photos and permission to post them on this blog.  Thank you from all of us Rosa Parks!

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  1. Sally, I am loving these posts! I teach pre-k at a reggio inspired school. I’m getting so many ideas of ways to spruce up my room!

    • Woo Hoo! You are so lucky to be in a reggio inspired school! I am so excited about all the photos yet to come! So much goodness!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Sally-
      Thank you for sharing this wonderful program- Where is it located?

    • It is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

      • Tammie says:

        My school visited there last October. It was a great experience.

        • Sally says:

          Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center in Union Public Schools! Love Riverfield as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these inspiring photos!

  3. Erin says:

    Can you help me understand why Reggio attaliers often have art materials, particularly drawing tools sorted by color? I would guess it is to help build schema (and because it looks so nice), but I just can’t imagine a way for this to be very practical for children who want to really have a good time using the materials. I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I’m genuinely trying to wrap my head around the theory behind the practice and how to make it work. Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide.

    • Sally says:

      I am by no means an expert – all I can address is my own experience. I was very surprised at how wonderful this kind of order in the art materials are for the children. I witnessed it at the 3 and 4 year old level. The children were much more intentional and purposeful in their selections. The materials are far more “delicious” to choose from in this kind of setting. Imagine the difference of having french fries at McDonald’s versus having sweet potato fries at Wolfgang Puck! Presentation sets in motion a deeper response and a richer experience. It is an education of the senses. There is a respect and loving care given to these precious materials. AND many times there are children who create chaos! I witnessed no lack of joy in the process.

      • robin says:

        I agree that this sort of “sorting” and “classifying” gives more intentionality and purpose to the creation. Not all children function best in a beautifully chaotic environment where it is a free for all. (No disrespect meant) However, I have noticed that this type of order brings a sense of calm to the classroom. And, it give the children direction when helping to clean up and organize.

  4. Jo says:

    I grew up going to Montessori school and I am very drawn to the spectrum arranged in a very mindful way. It is so much more soothing to the nervous system than the hodge-podge-ma-jumbo of storing all of the colors together. Thank you for the examples of creative ways to store the materials in such a beautiful and accessible way.

    • robin says:

      Agreed! I also went to a Montessori school and find myself incorporating many of the practices into my own classroom- Disguised as something else. (My co workers don’t understand Montessori) However, they do appreciate the activities and focus my curriculum brings.

  5. Karen says:

    Do you know where they got the tree cup containers? I am working on revamping my classroom with more Reggio inspiration. Were they homemade, or purchases somewhere? Thanks!

    Teaching Ace Blog

    • Sally says:

      They are homemade. Pretty cool!

      • Jamie says:

        I am wondering how the tree cups were made? I have tired to make my own but I cannot seem to make the holes big enough?!

  6. Nina says:

    I have just discovered your blog and I feel inspired! I teach high school English, geography and history to students with special needs and I’m intending to homeschool my two girls so i’m always looking for ideas to make learning more interesting!

    • Sally says:

      So glad you found me! Make sure you are on my subscriber list. I have several wonderful things coming up especially for subscribers!

      • Michelle says:

        I love this organization. Do you put out all of the cups when the children want to make picture using all of the colors or do you have a separate bucket of crayons,etc with all the colors of the rainbow in it?

        • Sally says:

          The crayons and markers are displayed in each color like it’s shown in the picture. The children choose the colors they wish to use. When they are finished, they put the crayons back where they belong. It’s a great sorting, organizing, and color recognition skill. Of course, we go through the procedures and start small in the beginning! It’s a beautiful way to display the colors and it helps the children care for the crayons and markers instead of just tossing them in a bucket.

  7. Sally,
    Which school in Tulsa? Thanks. I live in Stroud, OK which is 45 minutes from Tulsa. I teach prek and would love to visit it.

    • Sally says:

      Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center, Union Public Schools. Amazing place.

  8. Debbie Grace says:

    I have just found your site and am delighted by my first glimpse! I’ve been a family child care provider for 35 years and have a preschool program in my home. I love Reggio and have been including a little more each year. I’m looking for new ways to set up my environment for the new year of preschool. Thanks for these lovely ideas! Love the tree branch containers! We have a Nature Explore outdoor classroom, so displaying art materials like this would feel like we’d brought the outdoors inside! We have lots of logs and tree cookies outside…

  9. Sally Stanley says:

    Who did you get to make those tree crayon holders? LOve them!!!!! Sally S.

  10. Karen says:

    I am so inspired by your blog. I am in teachers college and doing my block in a Reggio inspired ELKP classroom. I am enjoying my experience so far but do feel a bit lost. I am looking forward to future posts to get some neat ideas.

  11. Tanya says:

    Hi I just found your wedsites and it is great. I work at a non-Reggio daycare center in MD. I have worked their for three years and feeling uninspired. We have so many restrictions on how to decorate our room it feels like a hospital. The only area for inspiration is the homeliving area. Thanks for the wonderful ideas

  12. Judy says:

    Hi Tanya, I to worked in a ‘sterile’ centre, i lasted 3 months. Many years on with the experience to go with it, make changes slowly. Each week /fortnight bring something in new the children will become excited and want to come the parents will see a change in their children’s learning and managment will see the changes and hopefully start to embrace them as well encouraging the other educators to follow you. Judy

  13. Tina S. says:

    These classrooms are lovely – the arrangement of colors is indeed soothing, and prompts the children to practice sorting when they use the materials. You had a similar post awhile ago, which inspired me to arrange my writing / art tools in clear plastic containers by color. They had crayons, markers, pencils, stampers, and oil pastels of the same color in each one, and we called them “Color Kits”. I found it didn’t work very well though, as the children had to bring all of the kits to the table (or onto the rug) and clean up time wasn’t easy. But it sure does look pretty!

  14. Marijanna says:

    Sally, I am a Mom to 4 under 4 (including 11mo twins, a 2.5 year old and 4yr old) We homeschool, but are trying to incorporate much art and nature into our learning experiences. I have many art materials that I’ve been looking for a good way to store or display for the older girls in particular (they literally wake up every morning and before I’m out of bed are clamoring to color or paint… way before coffee). I would like them to be able to be more independent with getting their own materials and being able to work on what they would like, but with very mobile twins around it isn’t possible to display in the beautiful way you show here. It’s also a home and they have often used our walls to create large LARGE murals (for example, we have one that is about 4×4 feet in our dining room and was made using thick black permanent magic marker) if I happen to go back for an extra cup of coffee or try to take a shower, lol. I’m looking for suggestions on how to sort/display art materials that are in accessible containers (but not breakable with babies around). We have so many. Any suggestions for a home setting?

  15. Melissa says:

    Thanks for a great site! I work in a Reggio Inspired program as a pre-k teacher of special needs students. I also worked in a different Reggio Inspired daycare prior to becoming certified. My new room was very commercialized from the old teacher. We are currently working on our “color board display project” and so far they look awesome. Instead of canvases we used wooden boards that we painted and then I mod-podged and now the kids are in the process of gluing down all of their color odds and ends. I CANT WAIT to get it displayed.

  16. Nancy says:

    Hi There!
    I am applying to teach at a school where their pre-k is reggio inspired. I will be observed teaching lesson. Do you have any ideas on what I could teach to really WOW the teachers observing me? I was planning on reading a book, then doing some sort of activity….
    Thank you so much for your help!

  17. says:

    Hello there, You have done a great job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest
    to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this
    web site.

    • Sally says:

      Thank you! I love the collaborative nature of teachers all around the world. We really look after each other, don’t we?

  18. julie christopher says:

    I am wondering about the small canvas color collages… where they made by the teacher for display or were they made by the teacher for “decorative” discovery?

    • Sally says:

      They were made by the students! Aren’t they lovely? I just LOVE how beautiful they are, don’t you?

      • Julie says:

        Yes… I might just have to do this with my class! Thank you!

        • Sally says:

          Can’t wait to hear how it goes! Good luck!

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