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?


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.


One of the finished creations.


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.


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


Building platform supplies were stored on another table.


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


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


I loved the addition of the berries.


This was an invitation to create nature prints in clay.


Outdoor Provocations

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


Love the use of the muffin tin!


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.


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


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?