Welcome to the Goldfish classroom! Children in this room range in age from 7-12 months. In this new stage of development, these young learners are all busy navigating their new environment and exploring what they can do with their bodies. They are looking under tables, throwing toys in all directions, and realizing that they can imitate one another. Our role is to help support any curiosity that occurs inside and outside the classroom. Even though in our class the children are not able to talk yet, we are constantly responding to their emotional and physical cues. These observations help us to gauge their interest in a new material, or notice if they avoid a particular activity. This illustrates how we embrace the Reggio tenet of “Teacher as Researcher” and it also allows us discover what our new project will be based on. A project may last one day, several days, or even months. It all depends on the interests of the children and their emotional response to these activities.
Recently, we noticed a new project emerging: Mirrors!
As many projects do, this one began with one child exploring a material of their choice in the classroom, and grew from there as other children joined in the exploration and we as teachers responded with new materials and invitations to investigate. We saw Corinne glance at a mirror, walk away to pick up a toy, then come back to the mirror to make faces. Toby, who was watching Corinne in the background, crawled on over and decided to join her in making faces as well. They stuck out their tongues with wide-open eyes, got close to the mirror, and gave it a kiss. Corinne let go of the toy in her hand and touched the mirror with open hands. This made her laugh with such excitement! She repeated this motion 10 more times, each time getting louder and laughing uncontrollably. The following week, we found a long mirror and put it on the floor without any expectations or showing them what to do. Little by little, as the children were waking up from rest time, I put them on the floor to see how they would respond. These are the pictures of what happened next.
Mirrors are more than just fun – for babies, mirrors are an important learning tool. Whattoexpect.com says: “The mirror game helps your baby learn how to focus, track images, and explore the wonderful things a face can do. Plus, it promotes social and emotional development as she interacts.” Read the full article here, for more info on mirrors and fun activities you can try at home with your little one!
Goldfish Head Teacher, ITC