As educators, we highly respect the importance of play for all children; and that value is a critical part of our daily practice with the Reggio Approach.
A significant (and very exciting) development for older infants is the discovery and transition into imitative play.Imitative play is when children imitate actions that they see and experience in their daily life.Some examples that we have observed recently include:
*Rocking, wrapping, feeding and washing babies*Using cloths to wipe tables and/or the floor
*Using the broom and dustpan to sweep the floor/walls*Helping to carry and fold laundry
To foster this play, we have been gradually incorporating our house centre props into the learning environment.At this time we have included a stove, cupboards, realistic play food props and dishes and some utensils.Whenever possible, we strive to find actual ‘real’ pieces to add into the house centre; always taking into account durability, safety and the appropriate sizes for the children to manipulate successfully.
Using the house props is also a great way to introduce other skills; such as problem solving, turn-taking, open and closing of doors and containers with lids, building vocabulary and labelling the items the children are using.
We are eagerly looking forward to see how this play develops and evolves over the next several weeks!
Don McMahon RECE, Tawni Johnston RECE, BA BEd