Reggio-inspired Books

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an early childhood approach intended for preschools. While the fundamental principles can be effectively applied to beyond this as well as for infants and toddlers, I have not really come across too many books which don’t focus on preschool settings. Saying this though, there are some which I would recommend:

(Most of the links are for Amazon but if you are in Australia, try Fishpond, they have reasonable prices and free shipping. But of course, try your local library first.)

   Bringing Reggio Emilia Home: An Innovative Approach to Early Childhood Education 

This book is fantastic. It tracks the journey of an American teacher who travelled to Reggio Emilia to study the approach and then returned to implement the principles in a group of American early childhood centres. It gives an excellent overview of the approach. It is a wordy book though with very few pictures.

   Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming Early Childhood Environments

 As the name suggests, this books provides strategies for creating inspiring and engaging environments for children. While the pictures are a little dated, the information is still useful. This book (as well as the next dot point), for me, have been the most informative for applying the Reggio Emilia Approach, with lots of practical suggestions that can be transferred from the pre-school setting to the home.

   Learning Together with Young Children: A Curriculum Framework for Reflective Teachers

While this book is intended for teachers, it very concisely explains how to create an engaging environment for children using Reggio-inspired principles.

   Project-based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self Directed Learners

This is the only book I have found which focusses on applying child-led explorations at home. While the book is a homeschooling guide for parents, you don’t need to be homeschooling to get enormous benefit from it. I would recommend buying this book. Personable and practical.

   Rapunzel’s Supermarket: All About Young Children and their Art

This book was first published back in 2001 and while the pictures are a little dated now the information in this book is still very inspiring and informative. Rapunzel’s Supermarket is not your typical children’s art book, it talks about shapes, colours, textures, light and shadow, as well as drawing, painting, clay and collage but from a perspective of discovery. If you have any questions about how to present Reggio-inspired art activities/experiences for your children then this book will fill you with inspiration. Check out the library for this book.

   In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia

 This book focusses on the role of art in the Reggio Emilia Approach. It gives a very thorough background to the importance of art in Reggio-inspired settings, the thinking behind it, as well as practical suggestions for creating an atelier (art area) in your own school (or home). The photos in this book, while a little dated, are very inspiring for understanding how Reggio focusses on art which makes learning visible as opposed to art activities or craft projects.

   The Language of Art: Inquiry-based Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings  

I have found this book very useful and inspiring. I am a novice when it comes to art and so this book has really helped me to understand different art mediums and processes and how to apply them in order to create an art experience. It introduces different art mediums like watercolour paints, oil pastels, chalk pastels, clay and loose parts as well as suggesting for presenting them to children. I really like this book. Worth purchasing.

   The Art of Awareness: How Observation Can Transform Your Teaching

 This book really is intended for teachers in an educational setting. It provides small lessons for teachers to complete in a group situation. However the information that it provides is still useful. The book focusses on observing children, truly seeing them, and using these observations to guide the experiences you offer. The lessons, while intended for teachers, give you plenty of opportunity to practice you observation skills but mostly I liked how it gives strategies to use your observations effectively. Check out the library for this book.

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Setting up a Reggio-inspired Activity

4 thoughts on “Reggio-inspired Books

  1. Thanks so much for all the information Kate, it’s really helpful! Looked for the Rapunzel’s Supermarket book, but I think it’s not available here in USA. Ordered the learning together book from the library, can’t wait to start. Doing the gel bags this weekend, so excited to see how my son will react 🙂

    • I think Repunzel’s Supermarket is an Australian book. It’s good but the learning together book has lots of very specific things you can do to order your environment and set up provocations. Even though it is intended for preschools, I still get a lot from it, there is definitely a lot that you can do at home. I hope you like it.

  2. copying my comments over from your post, i really like “authentic childhood: experiencing reggio emilia in the classroom” by fraser and gestwicki. and even though it is kind of a mixed bag, i think there is a tremendous amount of value in “the hundred languages of children.” those are the books i refer to most often.

    i would also recommend “first steps toward teaching the reggio way” if you can get it through the library. and ursula kolbe has another great book, “it’s not a bird yet.”

    one of my favorite educational theory books is ivan illich’s “deschooling society.” you can actually read it online for free.

    thank you again so much for your kind words about my book!

    • I only speak the truth 😀 But seriously, you really have put together such an invaluable guide for parents. I love it and refer to it almost daily!

      I’m going to check out those other books. Unfortunately our libraries here don’t have a lot of these types of books which is a shame. But if you recommend those other ones I might just go and buy them. I also find a lot of reassurance in Alfie Kohn’s writing and John Holt’s writing on unschooling.

Thanks for coming by. I do love meeting all of you who follow our days.

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