Thursday, April 7, 2011

patterning with natural(ish) materials

I was just reading Dialogue with Places, a Reggio Children Publication. I was inspired by the way they organized the materials for the children to use to create a gift for the Loris Malaguzzi International Center (similar to the photo below).

I thought materials organized like this would be enticing to the children so I set out a box of mostly natural materials for the children to pattern with along with some flat boards.

Here is a close up of the box which included wood chips, scrabble pieces, buck eyes, acorns, florist jewels, shells, rocks, sand dollars, tile spacers, mosaic tiles, and slate :
I encouraged the children to make patterns with the materials and to read them out loud to check their progress.

I also encouraged them to build vertical patterns as well:
T(3) with help:
They really enjoyed making patterns with these materials. E kept repeating how he loved making patterns. They were intrigued by the idea of vertical patterns. I think for the next experience we may try making curvy patterns as well.

The end!


  1. I am in love with this presentation of natural items. Where did u get the box with many compartments? I have been having trouble finding one for my room?

  2. Sarah, this box held oil pastels. But you might have boxes of crayons or markers sorted like this as well. I too have been hunting high and low for boxes or trays suitable for sorting. I have seen these beautiful clear acrylic ones in reggio but I have yet to see them here. Google searches have come up empty as well. Ill let you know if I find others!

  3. Not sure if the size of each compartment is what you're looking for, but this site is a great site for not only containers for nature tables / observation, but really cool specimens, books, etc.

    I've also found clear and sturdy three sectioned trays in the closet/drawer organizer section of home stores (Target, etc.).

  4. Thank you for the links. I love the clear sectioned boxes!


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