The Reggio 5: Exploring the Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities
Allowing children to explore their curiosities and develop their understanding of the world around them through hands-on experience is the main principle at the heart of the Reggio Emilia Approach. Whether it be through painting a picture or engaging in physical activity — extra-curricular activities are some of the best ways to tap into a child’s imagination and give them the tools they need to explore their individuality.
At Reggio Emilia Early Learning Centres, we enhance our early education program with enriching extra-curricular activities, known as The Reggio 5: Art, Fitness, Music, Language, and Earth. Designed to give children knowledge of the world around them as well as develop their own abilities, these five programs both empower and reward children through interaction and engagement.
Read on to find out more about The Reggio 5 and their benefits in early learning.
Expressing Creativity Through Reggio Art
Whether through paper crafts or painting, our Reggio Art program recognises a child’s innate need for self-expression and individuality. This all ties back to an idea originally conceived by Loris Malaguzzi, that became a guiding principle of the Reggio Emilia Approach — that children know roughly 100 languages and can express themselves in a multitude of ways.
To create art, children are prompted to observe and explore the world around them, making connections between what they see and how they translate this information onto a canvas. As a result of this, children are able to develop their critical and scientific thinking skills – crucial for this development stage. Art is an integral element in the Reggio Emilia Approach. As children explore a wide range of artworks, styles and techniques, they’ll develop their creative skills and gain confidence in their abilities. Our extra-curricular art activities are designed to translate children’s thoughts and allow them the space to explore their own identities.
- Meeting circles: Children learn how to mix and paint circles using pastels. They’ll learn about colours and contrasts in a way that’s interesting and engaging.
- Slide painting: This one’s all about getting tactile and messy! Using cars and trucks as their paintbrush — children will make “tracks” and create unique patterns.
- Shredded paper sheep: This lovely sensory project allows children to play around with shredded paper and glue to create a ‘fluffy’ sheep artwork.
Using Reggio Fitness to Keep Active and Healthy
Just as art allows children to express themselves creatively, our Reggio Fitness program encourages them to move and explore their physical capabilities. The program recognises physical activity as vital in a child’s development. It lays the foundations for an active life early on, encouraging children to build healthy habits from a young age and improve their wellbeing.
In our fitness classes, children are introduced to a variety of activities related to soccer. These activities not only promote physical health but also help children develop crucial motor skills and coordination. Through group activities and team sports, children learn the value of collaboration, communication, and sportsmanship, which are valuable skills in all aspects of development.
Exploring Sounds Through Reggio Music
Like children, music explores many languages. Not only does it allow a child to express themselves in a creative way, but also intellectually, socially and emotionally. As the body and mind work together, children are able to develop fine and gross motor skills, language, and overall literacy. As part of our extra-curricular Reggio Music program, children are also given the opportunity to play instruments together — building their connection to their community through group activities and collaboration.
Similar to making art, making music encourages children to explore their individual identities and abilities. They’ll learn how to engage with the world around them – to listen and appreciate a variety of sounds and actively engage with them in a way that is immensely rewarding.
Developing Cognitive Abilities Through Reggio Language
Did you know that children are able to learn a new language more easily than adults? This is because they are able to form neural connections very rapidly. Our Reggio Language program has been designed with this in mind, ensuring that children are given the opportunity to develop their language skills from a young age and maximise the many cognitive benefits.
Through our Bonjour Babies language program, children will learn French. The program is designed with the intention of being fun and interactive. Students will learn absolute basics such as introductions, colours, and numbers that will give them confidence in introductory conversations. But the learning doesn’t stop there! Parents will be given a guidebook to take home — including songs learned in the classroom — to further develop their child’s French-speaking abilities.
Learning How to Care For the Planet with Reggio Earth
Our Reggio Earth program invites children to connect with the world around them in a meaningful way. Through our program, children and their families will gain an awareness of how they might affect the environment and learn strategies to reduce their impact.
By educating children about the planet and their impact on it, we hope to make them more aware of their surroundings. Our earth program aims to address common sustainability issues, concepts and practices to help keep our youngest generations informed and contributing positively to the environment. For example, along with simple recycling lessons, we also teach children how to upcycle items such as old milk cartons and bottles and transform them into something new.
At Reggio Emilia Early Learning Centres, we believe that children are natural learners and explorers. Our commitment to providing enriching extra-curricular activities ensures that they not only acquire knowledge but also develop essential life skills and a deep appreciation for the world around them.
To find out more about how we facilitate The Reggio 5 extra-curricular program at our centres, feel free to reach out to us on 02 9891 2222 or via email at email@example.com.