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Nature’s invitations - Endless Possibilities

By Teacher Sarah

Loris Malaguzzi defined the environment as ‘the third teacher’.

By offering materials sourced from the natural world, we offer possibilities full of potential for wonder, for exploration, for developing hypotheses, for growing understanding.

Children, fueled by their innate curiosity, are in a constant state of active learning. By providing an environment that enhances their creativity and supports in-depth exploration of their ideas and theories, both as an individual and in collaboration with others, they can flourish as they make connections and develop their understanding of the world around them.


Natural materials such as feathers, bird nests, pine cones, grass, rocks, fossils, leaves, snail shells, spider webs, sticks, frogs, fossils, dirt, seashells, pebbles, and sand,  all provide endless possibilities for play, imagination and exploration. Natural materials don't come with instructions: The children come up with ideas of how to use them.


By offering materials that foster their innate sense of wonder, initial questions can be puzzled over and then new areas of understanding can be explored and supported in detail, by asking open-ended questions. What do you think they are? What can they do? What do they look like? How do they feel? What does it smell like? How does it move? How does it grow? What can you do with this? What did you discover? What does it look like? What is inside? 

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