Recently, I – along with the other members of ORIN (Oklahoma Reggio-Inspired Network) – had the pleasure of touring Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center. This is a Reggio-Inspired preschool in the Union Public School district. This school is beautiful inside and out. For the purpose of the ORIN meeting, the teachers had created nature-inspired provocations for the members to gain inspiration from. While visiting these beautiful invitations to play, I wanted to do just that-play. Unfortunately, I was there for business, not pleasure. If these provocations can provoke wonder and a desire to learn from a 36 year-old (yes, that’s my real age), can you imagine what kind of joy and curiosity they would bring to a child?

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Indoor Provocations

This provocation featured wood cookies fitted with a pre-drilled small hole for hanging, pine cones, dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, corks, wire, wire cutters, woven balls, and other natural materials.

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One of the finished creations.

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This teacher created an invitation to mash-up and blend together natural materials.

Imagine the use of motor skills, color mixing, texture exploration…so many possibilities.

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In this classroom, the class had gathered an abundance of natural materials for the members to create houses or other structures with.

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Building platform supplies were stored on another table.

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The table was overflowing with natural materials to create to your imagination’s desire. I wanted to play so bad!

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This classroom had also gathered an array of natural materials for creation of transient art.

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I loved the addition of the berries.

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This was an invitation to create nature prints in clay.

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Outdoor Provocations

One of my favorite parts of the tour were the outdoor provocations. This one is an invitation to paint the landscape views.

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Love the use of the muffin tin!

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An invitation to paint and create with nature. The teachers explained that the students may use the nature materials as the tools for painting or as inspiration or to paint ON.

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What a beautiful display of materials to paint, glue, cut and create!

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Painting leaves. Notice the “paint brushes”.

I was blown away by the creativity and the use of natural materials in these provocations.

How do you use nature in your classroom?

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