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Il progetto scintillae — play and learning in the digital age si pone come obbiettivo l’indagine sul rapporto tra il gioco e l’apprendimento nell’era digitale.

The joint atelier between Reggio Children Foundation and LEGO Foundation will be focused on how play and learning are influenced by digital technologies: it will allow children and adults to embrace and strengthen their creativity, and also encourage connections and collaborations with peer-to-peer networks.  Lego Idea Studio will contribute with the understanding of technologies and how to demonstrate the experience with other partners, and it will benefit from the documentation principles and early childhood experience from Reggio Emilia.

In Reggio Emilia the atelier has come to be developed as a metaphor not just for creative languages but also for a strategy of knowing, a way of structuring knowledge and organizing learning. That is why the atelier is the main place of research within the Reggio Approach.

We believe that each child has rights, and among these is the right to play.In fact, play is a fundamental ​​experience, an attitude towards oneself and the community thanks to which children actively construct a model of the world. This construction is created in a reciprocal, shared way in a dimension characterized by a harmonious balance between learning and teaching. By creating new meanings through play, children give life to authentic cognitive processes in relation to the learning contexts. In the age of neo-technologies digital media constitute, at least in part, one of the main places of experience, as its etymological root medius indicates: a place of relationship, exchange, and therefore n unavoidable places of playing and learning that characterize our era.  Learning to communicate with and through digital media can become, as suggested by Seymour Papert, a natural process (1980).

Symbolically, in fact, imagination and intellect play freely thanks to experiences and perceptions, giving form to new ideas in both adults and children, making innovative relational properties and meanings visible. In free imagination, coherence is not exclusively logical, it is also linked to a wide variety of possible interpretations. In play, children explore the properties and the different relational dimensions that the contexts offered enable, aware that it is impossible to completely grasp their totality. In fact, free play activates cognitive and imaginative faculties, leading to something else with respect to the contextual dimension of the experience and the perception of it, provoking pleasure linked to the construction of meaning that characterize playful learning experiences. Like play, “learning processes are broad, interconnected and dynamic” (Zosh et al., 2017). The cognitive act of play can thus be understood as “a creative act that involves the assumption of responsibility, autonomy and freedom”, in a dimension “of solidarity between play and learning” (Rinaldi, 2006).

The scintillae atelier will make possible:

→    Building a new space powered by digital and analog resources, tools, and technologies;

→   Developing and displaying playful learning tools and activities with technology to support/empower children learning through play;


→   Pioneering new approaches to documentation, augmented and mediated with technology, that make visible how children and adults create and learn with technology;


→    Facilitating communications and exchanges of ideas and practices in the relationship between learning and play with technology among Reggio Emilia, LEGO Foundation and their respective research networks.