Restoring the Importance of Woodworking and Young Children

“I’m strong! I can do hammer by myself. See? This is going to be the bridge for we all build together.” -3 year old boy at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center. I walked into this classroom after the FIRST MONTH of school to find children in engaged in every center...

Storytelling with Loose Parts: 3 Inspiring Provocations

Storytelling with Loose Parts! Yes! This is really where magic happens! I’m a big believer in the power of Fairy Tales to deepen our curiosities, creativity, and love of reading. Setting out invitations or provocations with loose parts to dive deeper into questioning...

5 Paint Invitations to Embrace the Explore Stage

The explore stage is something we need to keep talking about. In a previous post, I talked about the explore stages of clay. Today, I want to share 5 paint invitations that really helped me embrace the explore stage of paint. Conversation Tip While Painting The one...

16 Ways Loose Parts Can Ignite Curiosity

Loose parts and authentic play experiences for children are two vitally important initiatives at Fairy Dust Teaching. Many administrators and supervisors question whether loose parts can meet any academic objectives.  Today I want to share some inspiring invitations...

Restoring the Importance of Woodworking and Young Children

“I’m strong! I can do hammer by myself. See? This is going to be the bridge for we all build together.” -3 year old boy at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center. I walked into this classroom after the FIRST MONTH of school to find children in engaged in every center...

Storytelling with Loose Parts: 3 Inspiring Provocations

Storytelling with Loose Parts! Yes! This is really where magic happens! I’m a big believer in the power of Fairy Tales to deepen our curiosities, creativity, and love of reading. Setting out invitations or provocations with loose parts to dive deeper into questioning...

5 Paint Invitations to Embrace the Explore Stage

The explore stage is something we need to keep talking about. In a previous post, I talked about the explore stages of clay. Today, I want to share 5 paint invitations that really helped me embrace the explore stage of paint. Conversation Tip While Painting The one...

16 Ways Loose Parts Can Ignite Curiosity

Loose parts and authentic play experiences for children are two vitally important initiatives at Fairy Dust Teaching. Many administrators and supervisors question whether loose parts can meet any academic objectives.  Today I want to share some inspiring invitations...

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Metal

Metal Loose Parts! Our last type of Loose Parts in this blog series. If there’s one Loose Part that really engages every child through building, creating, inventing, exploring, and more, it’s metal! From magnet exploration, to big tin cans that clink to make music, to...

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Packaging Parts

Packaging Loose Parts are typically known as the recyclable parts. They tend to be FREE! Cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and egg cartons are just a few of these multi faceted Loose Parts. Packaging Loose Parts Bubble Wrap and Packing Peanuts reused from shipping...

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Ceramic and Glass Based Parts

Ceramic and Glass Loose Parts are those unique materials that don’t often get into the hands of children enough. From glass beads to ceramic tiles to prisms, there are many opportunities for children to explore, build, and create with. A Loose Part can become...

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Fabrics

Fabric Based Loose Parts add such an artistic dynamic to explorations and creations with children. From fort building in construction, to weaving, to dress up, and so much more, the possibilities are endless when it comes to Fabric Based Loose Parts! Fabric Based...

Loose Parts: Playing with Plastic!

"The child, making use of all that he finds around him, shapes himself for the future.” - Maria Montessori Plastic is one of the best Loose Parts when it comes to Recycled and Repurposed Items. These are items that most any family can help and donate as they’re taking...

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Nature!

Nature Based Loose Parts! My favorite! Between going on walks with your children to find these treasures to watching how children reconnect with nature, nothing beats this. (Not to mention FREE!) Pinecones and sweet gum balls picked up from walk. Wood cookies cut from...

Loose Parts: Let’s Play With Wood Reuse Parts

Wood Reuse Loose Parts are used all around the classroom. From using big old chair legs as ramps to balancing corks on a tower to using wood frames as a backdrop for designing in art, Wood Reuse Parts are multidimensional! Wood Reuse Loose Parts Reused golf tees...

How Unique Storage Solutions Reinvented My Atelier

The atelier is one of my favorite spaces to set up when getting the third teacher ready. But, one thing that can be tricky is figuring out unique and accessible ways to display your materials in the atelier for ease of access for children. Today I’m going to share...

7 Must-Have Books In Your Atelier

“A True Artist is Not One That is Inspired, But One Who Inspires Others.” ~ Salvador Dali Inspiring children to be creative and express their curiosities about the world with the language of art materials is magical! While there are so many truly inspiring books about...

Clay: Don’t Forget the Explore Stage

I think many times when it comes to material introduction, we jump to the "create and make stage" yet forget the explore stage. Yes! The magic and wonder of the explore stage is crucial! The language of clay! It’s different from playdough. Clay comes from the earth....

Hopes and Dreams featuring The Orchard School

Wow.  I love how social media connects us.  The Orchard School in Plano, Texas saw the hopes and dreams project for families on our Instagram and brought a new spin to it. They made a Faculty Hopes and Dreams hanging! Something that would be incredible if we all did...

Going Beyond Cupcakes: Reggio Inspired Birthday Traditions

Birthday Traditions are an important component to celebrating children in your class. A birthday tradition celebrates the day with a special tradition rather than food. It goes deeper than the cupcake and engrains from an early age the importance of celebrating one...

 3 Steps to Creating a Hopes and Dreams Display

One of the most meaningful family projects is the Hopes & Dreams Display.   This is a visual piece displayed all year long in the classroom.  It holds the hopes and dreams of the families for their child in your class. There are basic 3 steps to creating a Hopes &...

How To Make A Family Chandelier In Your Classroom

“Our job is too difficult and too beautiful to do alone.” -Amelia Gambetti, Reggio Emilia Family Chandeliers are one of my favorite connections to do with families at the beginning of the year. Today, I want to give you a step by step guide on how to make a family...

Guest Post: How can I create a collaborative school culture?

Written by Chanie Wilschanski DiscoverED Consulting   I was chatting with a director a few months ago about school cultures. She was sharing that she feels her school goes through phases of different environments and cultures. I thought about what she said a lot and...

3 Must Read Books When Preparing for Self-Portraits

I wanted to share with you three books to inspire children during the creation of self-portraits. TIPS for using these books: Read a couple pages per day and focus on a unique trait or aspect of self Explore a medium - using our creativity to find objects to represent...

Setting up the 3rd Teacher: A Peek into Nammi’s Classroom

I am incredibly excited to share a peek into an incredible Reggio Inspired Classroom. This is Nammi's Classroom. She is a teacher at  Educare.  Her classroom is for 3 to 4 year olds.  It is the end of the year for her, so you will notice how the children,...

Setting up the 3rd Teacher: A peek into Sidney’s Classroom

“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes, and culture of the people who live in it. This is what we are working towards.” Loris Malaguzzi With the new school year fast approaching for many, setting up the classroom...

5 Ways to Take Your Sensory Table to the Next Level

  For over 27 years, Tom Bedard has been building apparatuses for the sensory table. And it all started with a bucket. The bucket answered a NEED at the sensory table - transporting the sand out of the table. Hello!  How many of you have fought the “there’s more sand...

3 Simple Ways to Get Children to Pick Up Loose Parts

If I were completely honest, I’d tell you I nearly gave up on loose parts because of the mess in my classroom at the end of the day. I remember seeing all of those beautiful photos of loose parts in action. I loved the creativity, exploration, and inventiveness the...

How to Engage and Inspire Young Children

I am super excited to share my guest appearance on Patty Palmer’s podcast Art Made Easy. Deep Space Sparkle has been one of my favorite go to blogs for years. I was so honored to be interviewed. Go HERE to listen in. ....

Hand Sewing for Literacy

When I decided to attend a NAEYC session on sewing with young children - I had no idea I would walk into a session with an author I love! In her book "Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make" I had adored the simple but highly engaging projects like...

Sandra Duncan: Classroom Containers as Invitations

This year at the NAEYC Annual Conference I had the delight of meeting Sandra Duncan. It was exciting because I love her book Inspiring Spaces for Young Children. Sandra is such an inspiration!  I asked her to inspire us at my 2017 Winter Conference. She said she...