Sunday, May 1, 2011

Laboratory for the Senses

Dateline: Reggio Emilia, ITALY!!!!
In case you're 'finding' this post all by itself, thru Pinterest, or a google search, or perhaps because it's in my top-10 post list, or maybe due to Deborah Stewart's linkie party, I'll give you just a little bit of background on me: music-lady, author + illustrator woman. Invited to Italy (and Germany) to work with the children of our deployed US Army personnel on 4 of our Army bases. Invited abroad to introduce my nationally award winning picture book, "Red, White and Blue."

The Italian province of Reggio Emilia is very near our base at Vicenza. Bingo-bango, zingo-zango!! We just added a day to my tour of "Month of the Young Military Child" to tour and perform for the Italian children in Reggio. Be still my heart!!!!

Of course that sounds absolutely brilliant, right?? The only hitch in this Disney-like-princess story, is that the morning of our tour, we got separated from the HUGE van carrying our hosting organization of 16 Early Childhood educators. And I mean desperately LOST, in Reggio, in Italy -- without a word of Italian besides 'prego' (you're welcome.) Thru a hilarious, slap-stick amount of effort and charades and a hand-drawn map by an elderly woman -- we were eventually reunited with our fellow touring educators.... hours late. So I missed the official tour of the center & arrived just a few heart beats ahead of my own performing for the Italian children. So now you know 'the rest-of-the-story.'

In my hastily jiffed together, thank-goodness you're here, personal tour, which followed the staff's official tour of the brand-new-center I was able to spend a couple of minutes in a rather large room devoted to sensory exploration. My Italian interpreter translated it for me as the "Laboratory for the Senses." [Sure wish there had been enough time to have written down the Italian label, but I was doing well to remember to snap up some photos in the scant couple of moments available.]

We entered the space thru colorful blue streamers floating effortlessly from the ceiling into a subdivision of the space which had suspended/hanging apparatus for children to explore. Tambourines to bump and jangle, car hubcaps to pound upon, kitchen utensils that were interchangeable for touching and fluffing and swooping and dinging and clanging and experimenting and chosen for their feedback-giving & receiving possibilities.

I can imagine the sheer delight for a young child to regularly have such a space to discover just how things work, how they interact, what sounds they make, what they feel like. There would indeed be much sensory stimulation and joy in a lab of this design and insight.

 [Click here for all of the related posts on my day in Reggio.]

This post has been added to a link-up over at Teach Preschool on sensory play, spend some time popping around to see all of the other amazing ideas in the blog hop by clicking below on the hand-print image.
Every Day Sensory Play

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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