The process of putting together our boxes evolved naturally. Once deciding on the focus, the Montessori approach led the way in creating a child-led, hands-on learning experience. We offer Practical Life tools such as tongs, and little by little, with increasing control, your child will become more confident to use tools purposefully and build up their fine motor skills.

In Steiner, handcrafts are an important part of the daily rhythm – the teacher perhaps quietly sewing in the corner fosters curiosity. Our Parent and Child craft is a time to work together and introduce new skills. We want to ignite passion to learn more and offer extensions to perhaps revisit another day.

Reggio Emilia inspires our creativity to give your child rich experiences. We offer both a child-led and a Parent and Child creative project in each box. Once you’ve helped to set up the child activity, step back and let them explore, and remember it’s about the process, not just the end result.

Each box includes a Forest School activity your child can take outside, which engages children in nature and can enable connectivity and calmness. Whatever the weather, spotting lots of different wildlife, creating adventures under trees, uses both physical and creative energy and helps builds confidence and happy childhood memories.

Montessori

Follow the child’ – Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was one of the most important early years educators of the 20th century, the innovator of classroom practices and ideas which have profound influence on education of young children the world over.

Children are encouraged to:

  • Choose activities according to their interests
  • Promote independence, for example prepare their own snacks
  • Learn at their own pace

Montessori promotes:

  • Classes that are not segregated by age
  • Freedom within a structured environment
  • Following the child

For a fuller understanding of Montessori, visit www.montessori.org.uk

Paula’s recommended book: ‘The Montessori Toddler‘ by Simone Davies

Steiner

‘All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds’ – Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an innovative academic born in Austria. The priority of the Steiner ethos is to provide an unhurried and creative learning environment where children can find joy in play.

The Steiner approach:

  • Sees artistic activity and the development of the imagination as integral to learning
  • Is based on the understanding and relevance of different phases of child development
  • Takes account of the whole child – academic, physical, emotional and spiritual
  • Enables the child to think independently and make their own judgements

For a fuller understanding of Steiner, visit www. steinerwaldorf.org

Paula’s recommended book: ‘Free to Learn’ by Lynne Oldfield

Reggio Emilia

‘See the wonder through their eyes’ – Loris Malaguzzi

Founder Loris Malaguzzi described ‘the infinite ways that children can express, explore, and connect their thoughts, feelings and imaginings’ as ‘The 100 Languages of Children’. Named after the Northern Italian city in which it emerged after World War II, the Reggio Emilia approach values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge.

  • The 100 languages of children – they are symbolic and open to the endless potentials in children
  • Children’s ability to wonder
  • Multiple ways of seeng and multiple ways of being
  • The 100 languages expressed through drawings, sculpting, dramatic play, writing and painting

For a fuller understanding of Reggio, visit www.reggiochildren.it

Paula’s recommended book: ‘Understanding the Reggio Approach’ by Linda Thornton, Pat Brunton

Forest School

‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing’ – Alfred Wainwright

Originating from Sweden, The Forest School movement is growing in popularity as we increasingly value the importance of outdoor education and being in nature. Studies have shown that being in the woods benefits the whole child, this has never been more vital than today for our children who have experienced lockdown.

The Forest School approach promotes:

  • Hands-on experience in a woodland or natural environment with trees
  • Holistic development – building resilience, confidence and independence
  • Strong positive relationship with the natural world
  • Positive mental health and wellbeing
  • Experiencing appropriate risk and challenge

For a fuller understanding of Forest School visit www.forestschoolassociation.org

Paula’s recommended book: ‘Play the Forest School Way’ by Peter Houghton & Jane Worroll

About the Author: Helen Griffiths

Helen Griffiths
Helen is a creative director and designer, holistic health practitioner and mother to a very active 3-year-old