Friday 23 August 2013

Discover and Play at a Reggio Inspired Atelier

This is another backdated post..and happened almost a year ago. I enjoyed bringing Kaitlin to Blue House Nursery's Reggio inspired atelier and find it a good place to share with fellow parents, hence I'm here to share more about the place with you!

There are lots of teaching methods like Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia and many so on. To be frank, I really like the Waldorf and Reggio Emilia teaching methods the most. K's school doesn't really use either of the methods above but since her current school's teaching philosophy did appeal to us and because of practical reasons we made the decision to enrol her there. This is why I try to incorporate the Waldorf and Reggio Emilia teaching methods in our home learning.

Blue House Nursery is one of the few schools in Singapore to adopt the Reggio Emilia teaching method. It was also my first choice for Kaitlin. We didn't go with it in the end as the fees were simply too high and they didn't have the option of a full day child care.

Anyway! I found out about their nursery programmes only after visiting their Reggio Inspired Atelier with Daddy Li and K for their baby and toddler discovery programme. We went on a weekend, so both Daddy Li and I could attend.

Now, don't expect it to be like a class programme with teachers telling/guiding your children what to do. Instead, it's almost the complete opposite. Children get to roam freely throughout the atelier and play and explore with whatever interests them for however long they like. In the process they learn based on their own exploration and through interaction with their caregivers/teachers and environment.

The materials made available are largely recycled and natural materials or everyday household items. You don't have to worry about hygiene issues just cos of the recycled materials. I assure you they are completely clean and safe. With some creativity and modification, it's really amazing to see how simple everyday objects can interest and entertain the young ones.

One of the few noteworthy features are the light table and the projector used. The light table is actually one of the more common teaching tools used in the Reggio Emilia teaching approach. It can provide an almost complete sensory learning experience as the light highlights what otherwise can be difficult to see and this fascinates kids and even adults. Yes, I admit I was a fan of the light table!

The projector stimulates the child's curiosity about light, shadows and reflection. All these will naturally lead the children to explore and find out more.

Midway through the programme, the teacher will gather the children and they will sing a few songs and interact a little bit more. Afterwhich, the babies and toddlers are free to roam the different areas of the spacious classroom again. It's so spacious and there's so much to explore that K didn't even finish checking out the different areas when the class had ended. She didn't even want to leave..and honestly, I would have wanted to stay longer if possible.

All in all I felt like it was a different change from the usual programmes we had previously tried out like Julia Gabriel, Gymnademics, GUG and Gymboree. A good change and an eye-opening one.

Not many parents may be keen on the idea of paying to let your children play and explore. Though it's a teaching approach, being Singaporeans, we are all probably more concerned on how much our kids are going to get out of the programme and would more rather pay for intensive teaching progammes that produce results. However, I will still encourage parents to give the baby and toddler progamme a trial. It's really new and different, and hopefully in time to come our education system in Singapore could adopt certain aspects of this learning approach which I feel is an intelligent and engaging way of learning.

If you are interested to check out the atelier or any of their other programmes here's their site.

Linking up with:

Amazingly Still


  1. Thanks for linking up, Beverly!

    This nursery looks really amazing. The open spaces and no fixed classrooms/routines - a very different concept indeed.

    1. Hi Mabel! Haha no problem :)

      Yes the classroom's pretty fun! Would totally bring Kaitlin again except it's quite hard for us to travel. If you have the chance, I do recommend you to bring Nakayla!

  2. Looks like a fun place for small kids, I like that they use recycled materials and a little creativity to turn these into fun learning tools! =) Thanks for sharing, Beverly! =)