Why use natural and reclaimed materials?
Some settings are inspired by the Reggio Approach and use natural materials in their environment. The reason why settings use these resources is because they are open ended. They also lead to children using their creativity whilst learning rather than creating an end product or result. The resources can be used over and over again and each time children will use them for different purposes. Using natural and reclaimed material allows children to use their imagination and demonstrate their skills, for the younger children it can enhance their sensory development.
Natural materials can be inspiring; children are fascinated by the resources and are eager to explore them. Observing children using natural material can give adults a more in depth picture of children’s interests. Children are more likely to spend a considerable amount of time exploring these materials. The natural materials are very flexible and can be used for many purposes for example a wooden cable drum can be used as a musical instrument table by attaching natural materials to the edge of the drum.
An advantage of using natural materials in the environment is that children will often make connections with these in their home environment. A great way to gather all these resources is to involve parents as they are more likely to have some resources lying around the house.