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Beautiful Stuff!: Learning with Found Materials Hardcover – December 31, 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

Beautiful Stuff!: Learning with Found Materials + The Language of Art: Reggio-Inspired Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings + Inspiring Spaces for Young Children
Price for all three: $68.38

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Davis (December 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871923882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871923882
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cathy Weisman Topal has been an art teacher for over 20 years. She teaches three- to eight-year-olds at the Smith College Campus School, and also teaches art education at Smith College. She is the author of Children, Clay, and Sculpture and Children and Painting.

Lella Gandini is an author, a correspondent for the Italian early childhood magazine Bambini, and adjunct professor in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She serves as Reggio Children Liason in the United States for Dissemination of the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Other Books by This Author:
Children, Clay, and Sculpture
Children and Painting.


More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I have recommended this book to teachers countless times.
SANDRA BURWELL
This book has great photos and easy to read text showing readers the process that children and staff went through in developing this long term project.
P. Heaphy
It makes one stop and think before discarding anything at all.
M. Ericson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In Beautiful Stuff!: Learning With Found Materials, Cathy Topal and Lella Gandini collaborate to share how real teachers in Reggio Emilia, Italy use ordinary and diverse materials found in any home to stimulate their student's imaginations, inspire storytelling and interactions between children, and serve to launch children into such creative activities as drawing, collage making, sculpture, and construction. Beautiful Stuff! is a marvelous, practical, inspiring, and easy-to-read compendium of ideas and suggestions for nurturing the innate creative of a child and adapting within the context of a classroom.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Carruthers on August 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you are a Reggio inspired teacher as I am, you will love this book. It takes you through the wonderful process of sharing the joys of all those little treasures that young children find and love. You will be amazed at how clever the children in your class become at sorting and classifying through the kinds of experiences that working with 'Beautiful Stuff' involes. I just love this book, it has changed the way I view the materials that I put out for the children, and how I use them. My friends also love this book and all ask, "where did you get it?" Thank you Cathy Topal Weisman and Lella Gandini you are inspiring.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By britneyxyz on December 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am not a teacher and I was not experienced in the Reggio Emilia approach to preschool education (project approach) before reading this book. I sought this book for handwork ideas with the items my girls collect on their nature walks. I could not put this book down!
Beautiful stuff outlines the projects developed with found materials at the pre-school in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It starts at the beginning with the ideas of the teachers, the method of including parents and increasing children's awareness of everyday objects. (This book is full of details - they mention how the teachers scan materials and remove inappropriate / dangerous materials).
The book is filled with photographs from beginning to end. The photographs themselves show the story. I especially like the different approaches to sorting suggested in this book and the amount of time the children were permitting to sort, touch, feel, enjoy, and organize the materials. I also liked the three-dimensional project where the children first drew what they were going to build.
The children are quoted throughout the book. The quotes are memorable and sweet and show the children's enjoyment of this entire project.
I would recommend this book to pre-school teachers, day care centers, people who baby-sit in their home or parents looking for ideas for found objects. I loved it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. Heaphy on August 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great way to ease yourself into Reggio or to inspire others on your team. You do not have to be "Reggio inspired" to know that young children love small, collectable items. They find such wonderful treasures, but classrooms are not often set up to make good use of this "Beautiful Stuff". This book has great photos and easy to read text showing readers the process that children and staff went through in developing this long term project. I particularly enjoyed the summaries at the end of each chapter on what the adults learned during the process. My only complaint would be that I wanted MORE!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Ericson on August 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains many ideas for storing and using things that we ordinarily throw away! It makes one stop and think before discarding anything at all. We have found our children using these "findings" in a myrisd of ways - time after time. After the initial "collecting" we have found that the collection was so large that we have not "collected" again for two years, and still have a great variety of materials. Goes to show that one does not need many of the expensive items in the catalogs in order to have interesting materials for teaching children!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lola on June 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are working with early childhood are children, this book is a wonderful resource! I plan to put many of the ideas into practice. Teaching kids to see beauty in common objects is an important lesson along with the idea that art can be created from anything.
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By Tammy Halter on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been looking for the inspiration to start a beautiful stuff project in my own preschool classroom. This is just what I was looking for.
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