Free play, rationale June 03 2016
At Twoodie we love free play for all ages. We were inspired to create our inaugural Pret-a-play toy, the “Twoodie Gems” after spending time in the Tokyo Toy Museum. This special place showcases the country's best toys and it’s noticeable that almost all of them are wooden and produced by artisans or designers for whom toys are a lifelong passion.
The ‘philosophy’ (if you’ll excuse us for being so highfalutin about wooden blocks) in creating the Twoodie Gems is what many people refer to as the Reggio Emilia approach; named after the Italian city of its origins.
There are a few important elements that you’ll observe with the Twoodie gems or in the Tokyo Toy museum’s dedicated 0-2yrs play room that are consistent with this approach:
1 – Children direct their own play
2 – They learn through the experiences of touching, moving, listening, observing and interacting with objects, but also with others
3 – The physical space and surroundings are designed to encourage discovery
In summary Reggio Emilia and its grown up cousin Constructivist learning are all about discovery. This approach stresses the importance of art, the environment (context), individual expression and respect for others also “playing”. Play is not formulated or prescriptive. It’s free to fail.
We think parents/educators and startups should encourage this “learn by doing & discovery” methodology: because in our experience it can be a very powerful thing.