Carla Rinaldi
- Reggio Children



Play is a universal phenomenon, present throughout history. It is a shared knowledge, a silent knowledge accessed by children of every epoch and culture with incredible sensitivity, originality, and creativity.

It is knowledge that is learned, but not taught.
Play and playing, in fact, cannot be taught, just as you cannot tell someone to play. You play or you don’t play, because playing is a way of being in the experience, in reality, in life.
Play has its own intrinsic force and incisiveness, but also the aspects of jocosity and lightness for which it is too often viewed in opposition to learning, to work, to the “serious things that matter.” Yet play gives us a glimpse of ways and styles of being that are alternative to the dominant ones and, by suggesting paths of project design, engages us as individuals and educators.

In fact, if play is a framework within which the events of life can be interpreted, as suggested by Gregory Bateson, then giving quality to play means giving quality to “play-based thinking”; that is, to a way of relating to the world and to life that involves “putting yourself into play”, where imagination, transgression, humor, and irony become strategies of everyday life.
For this reason, in order to construct welcoming contexts for play, we must make available times, spaces, furnishings, materials, and toys that lend themselves to play, that lend themselves to being used and transformed within the play.
Objects offered in their flexible identities, open to receiving the actions, thoughts, desires, and learning of children and adults who know how to “stay in the game.” But at the same time, objects (furnishings, materials, toys) that, thanks to their colors, shapes, and materials, are able to suggest possibilities, ideas, and emotions that enrich the projects of play, learning, and life of the children and adults alike.


*drawings by chidren of the Municipal Infant-toddler Centers and Preschools of Reggio Emilia - all rights reserved

© 2010 PLAY+ arredi per l'infanzia - All rights reserved. Patent pending. Made in Italy.