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Learning in freedom: Experiences about Children’s Active Education between game, music and nature

“Help me do it alone.” On this principle are based the methods of active education that the child does not have to be spectator of the learning process but protagonist.
Through experience, space exploration, building and destroying, relationship with others, the little one will have the opportunity to become a free man and with his own critical thinking.

In fact, Maria Montessori, the founder of modern pedagogy and Active Education in Italy, supports the importance of educating the child to independence and autonomy. This does not mean leaving him free to do whatever he wants, but to help him do his experiences, discover and acquire knowledge and skills.

The activity of the child thus becomes the central point of the educational process, as well as the environment and educational materials are of crucial importance.

Here are some principles inspired by an Active child’s Education:
The educator must observe and never intervene
The task of parents and educators is to help them accomplish their own achievements as they learn to walk, run, and wash. “The master must minimize his intervention. It must be like a guardian angel, who watches for the child not to be disturbed in his free activity. (M. Montessori “Educating Freedom”)

Educational environments must be child-friendly
The school environment must be welcoming and familiar. Inside all the furniture and objects (chairs, tables, sinks …) must be modeled and used according to the needs of the small. It is important that spaces are open so that children can move easily and autonomously, but also interact with the outside environment.

Educate children with the right teaching materials
The teaching materials should be simple even if specially studied, such as objects to be assembled, ribbons, cards that can promote the intellectual development of the child and encourage self-correction of the error.
Educational materials must also educate the senses, develop motor skills, logical-mathematical, linguistic and musical skills.

Game is the baby’s work
The game plays an important role in helping children to be active, to learn to make choices, and to increase their mastery of their actions. As children grow, they have to experience a wide range of disciplines (art, music, language, science, mathematics, social relationships); Each of these matters is important for the development of a complex and integrated brain.
The toys must be simple, usable in autonomy, so very safe too. Through these, children learn to know themselves, others, and the world around them.
Active education prefers individual and free games to collective ones though supervised by the educator. The child must be free to do so while respecting the order of things and be able to collaborate with others by following the method of mutual teaching.

The child must be in contact with nature
It is important to make the child in contact with nature as much as possible, because the feeling of nature grows with attendance and exercise. A child left in the midst of nature pulls out muscle energies higher than what parents think.

Children should approach music to preschool age
According to Maria Montessori, music promotes autonomy in the small, the spirit of collaboration and participation, respect for each other, freedom. This is because it has the ability to open up the heart and make it more sensitive and human.
Compared to the language that tends to create walls between people, music unites all men into a single large community and must therefore remain a good accessible for everyone.

Halloween party and children’s fears

Every day children are fighting with their own shadows and for this reason many people think is useful to avoid other difficulties to them, making children growing up in a sweetened world without confrontation with fear. In some cases parents also demonize folk tales that speak of bad, orcs or monstrous characters that could increase the sense of insecurity and anxiety of children. Over the years many stories, considered too sad and bloody, have even been rewritten and transformed into colorful and sparkling tales where the characters have happy families and happy lives.

Fairy tales, however, are a metaphor of life and how can be denied to a child that death exists, as well as pain and difficult times to overcome?

Actually fear is a primary emotion and probably has a self-protective function which is useful to the growth of the child, because it activates in him behaviors that defend it from potential dangers: for example, if a child would not be afraid of the dark would not be held back by walk in unsafe and dark places, risking easily to get hurt.

The various fears of children, during their growth, are potentially infinite and depend largely on individual histories, but there are a number of fears that may be considered typical of developmental age (Quadrio Aristarchi, Puggelli, 2006): separation, darkness, death, abandonment, snakes, ghosts, monsters, doctor, etc. (To learn more we recommend the article: Quali sono le paure dei bambini …)

Precisely for this reason it is essential that a parent will help the child to recognize and understand their fears helping him to externalize and to overcome them. It is also important to understand when, behind some fears, are hiding real needs and requests for help.

Many times the fears of the children also end up to distress parents and often these are the ones that feed them through the mechanism called “emotional contagion.”

If parents are frightened, the child will be much more scared because he learns and reinforces that stimulous is really dangerous; if parents minimize the events on the contrary help him to frame the fact into perspective (Quadrio Aristarchi, Puggelli, 2006).

The storytelling of the fairy tales is definitely one of the most effective among the various methods recommended by child psychologists to help children deal with their fears.

The famous psychologist Bruno Bettelheim argued that telling scary stories to children was important because it helped them to exorcise the anguish and to disclose it externally.

Through stories children learn to live the strongest emotions in a secure manner, without being directly involved, and enjoying the reassuring proximity of a parent. At the same time they learn that, as in fairy tales the heroes get the kingdom and the happiness, even in real life you can overcome adversity with strength, intelligence and courage.

In almost all the folk tales we find some common elements as fear, courage, defeat of the danger, happy ending.

Bad characters in folktales embodies precisely the danger that will be defeated by the bravery and intelligence. Stories always have a happy ending and all the good characters are stronger and happier than before.

“Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”

~ G. K. Chesterton, writer

Talking about Ocarina #1 Halloween Writing Competition

It’s the time of year for Spooky Stories. How would you like to hear your own words read out on Storynory, this Halloween? You would? Well get writing!

Richard will be reading the winning entries out here on

And the grand prize is a tough and stylish MP3 player made in Italy by our friends at Ocarina.

Ocarina comes preloaded with stories – including some from Storynory – and as a special bonus, the winner can hear her or his story on the player.

It’s easy to carry, thanks to its distinctive loop handle. It plays hundreds of mp3 files through a loudspeaker, and it can record live sounds. Its smooth non-toxic rubber coating is secure, safe and durable.

Entirely Made in Italy, it is designed and produced in Florence,

So are you ready?

Send in your scariest story to this email address ( that’s ‘comp’ short for competition )

There are only two rules – your story should not be more than 900 words And you should get it to us by October 27 – so get writing quick!

Today Ocarina listens #03 “Tim Learns About the Olympics” to Storynory

2016 is the year of the Olympics! After the excitement for the Olympic Games of last August we just ended to feel great emotions looking at the Paralympic Games, which was attended by over 4,300 athletes, in their own unique and (without doubt) exceptional way.

From the first edition of the modern era, in Athens in 1896, it has been 120 years, but the Olympic Games still continue to fascinate young and old people.
The question is how many people know the history and the importance of the Ancient Olympics, born in ancient Greece where they had sacred significance and the strength to interrupt the wars to let the sport win? The ancient Olympic Games were staged for almost a thousand years before falling into oblivion for a long time.

We like to greet the closing of the 31 ° th modern Olympics with a funny story entitled “Tim Learns About the Olympics” proposed by Storynory, a new Ocarina’s partner that collects more than 100 audio stories for children to download online for free.

Together with the young Tim you can learn of the history of the Olympic games in a curious and funny way.

Founded in 2005, Storynory has grown in popularity, every month around half a million mp3 files are downloaded from families, teachers and educators.  You can find a mix of original stories, fairy tales, myths and original stories, all read by professional actors and recorded with a high quality sound.

Playlist Bloom – la radio des enfants

This week we asked to our friends of Bloom, the best radio for children made in France, to propose a selection of their work.
We are very happy to publish here their response:
Bloom – the children’s radio – produces rich and varied audio tracks to listen with ears in alert and eyes wide open to the world.
We launched Bloom four years ago, noting a lack in this sector in France. There is an huge offer of video animation for children: cartoons, movies, video games, mobile applications. We wanted to offer something different, an alternative to this world of all screens.
There are also many CD of tales and nursery rhymes, but not a real media Radio for children. We started with enthusiasm in producing playful and intelligent tracks: tales and nursery rhymes, of course, but also entries on the world of gymnastics, of children’s questions and stories, games… We can do everything with the audio!
We met a great success with the arrival of our first compilation: Bloom – radio des enfants: Y’en a marre! production where we joined with the children to see how beautiful life is. Children and parents have listened to our programs with family fun. It has been especially our quirky tone that caught their attention.
We then published several compilations: Bloom – radio des enfants: En route! to go around the world, Trop fort!where we discover the great heroes of everyday life, Le froid c’est magique describing the winter delights, une journée avec Bloom! to accompany the youngest in the awakening, and a whole series of questions to see life through the eyes of children, solar polar expedition programs of two eco-adventurers, and many other things …
All of our compilations are designed to be listened to by car, train or plane, to occupy the children during long trips.
Bloom – radio des enfants is primarily a proposal for children to rediscover the pleasure of listening, as we did when young. Allow them to imagine, to dream and to project to the world. All early childhood’s professionals agree in saying what the sound is good for the development and welfare of the child.
We have prepared for you today a selection of English-French bilingual songs that are sure to satisfy your children. You will be amazed to see the words repeated in a foreign language with much ease.
But the aim is above all to have fun and dance!
Good listening to Bloom – radio des enfants and see you soon.

Music as rebirth. The history of the Orchestra of Children founded by Abreu

Today we want to tell you about a beautiful story born in Venezuela 40 years ago. In 1975 the economist and musician José Antonio Abreu founded El Sistema, an educational and musical pattern system that guarantees free and open access to music for children of all walks of life. The system has as its main purpose the protection of children and young people through commitment and the study of music, preventing anti-social and criminal behavior. An artistic and social importance at the same time. José Antonio Abreu started with the idea of redeeming the young people of his country, but to date the ‘Fundación del Estado para el System of Juvenile and Orquesta Infantil de Venezuela’ has become much more, which is a model for the entire South America and for all Western countries. In Italy, only six years ago he was born the System of Orchestras and Choirs Youth and Children with the aim of spreading the music education as a response to the difficulties which affect the youth. Already more than 8500 children and teens, aged 4 to 16 years, are participating in the growth of this social project, meeting 44 orchestral Nuclei distributed in 14 Italian regions.


Even the Fiesole School of Music is sponsoring it, like many other realities scattered throughout Italy. In the district of Piagge, in collaboration with the high school Duca D’Aosta and Unicoop Scuola, it was born the orchestra project Mammamù. Mamma Musica, keeping music at the heart as an effective instrument of integration. As told by the master Antonello Farulli: “the criterion that ordered the inspiring ideas of the training program was that the deprivation even before discomfort and marginality is the cause of most of the individual’s intellectual development problems. Sound-Movement-Mind is the human path. The mind, the thought, borns from the voice of the mother, through movement. Our job is to trace the human being in the opposite direction. From the mind through movement we come to the sound. We try thus to solicit in children all the perception that somehow the environment had not solicited in them. Studying the music means to be born again from a educational and perceptual point of view. In Piagge as in Ramallah, in Palestine, in Venezuela, but also in Medellin into the Colombia of Narcos, or in Mexico rather than in Brooklyn, the music indicates the path that leads human beings from fear to freedom. ”

If you have the wish to go further into that, we recommend the documentary over El Sistema, directed by Alberto Arvelo, entitled Tocar y Luchar (2004) and that of Helmut Failoni and Francesco Merini “The other voice of music. Traveling with Claudio Abbado between Caracas and Havana “(2006) and the film “El sistema. Music to change life” (2008) by Paul Smaczny and Mary Stodtmeier.



Our playlist with the most famous Andersen’s tales

On the occasion of the Andersen Festival, the most important Italian Festival dedicated to fairy tales and theater, that will be held in Sestri Levante from June 9 to 12, this week we dedicate our playlist to the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen.
Translated all over the world, the tales of Andersen are directed to both children and adults and, although are characterized by a colloquial and ingenue writing, they actually contain moral teachings that are sometimes very sophisticated.

Many of Andersen’s fairy tales have inspired cartoons and famous animated films, loved by children and not only, as “The Little Mermaid” and “Frozen”.
Below we highlight some of the most famous tales in cartoon version in three different languages: Italian, English and French:

The Little Mermaid

The little match girl

The snow queen

Le scarpette rosse

La principessa sul pisello


Le briquet

Le sapin dessin animé

La princesse et le porcher

Il brutto anatroccolo – Sinfonia

Traveling with children

Leaving is exploring new sensations definitely it falls among the “good” emotions that a child can breathe next to the parents. The little ones have the innate gift to adapt to situations, what matters is that they are supported by peaceful adults who make live a positive atmosphere. Will choose the sea like last year or you’ll launch at a time for a new adventure? Remember that there are no privileged destinations than other for traveling with small children, the important thing is to privilege situations where even the youngest can find interest in and feel at ease. The trip helps make a living experience of novelty, discovery and deepening that staying at home in the usual environment is rarely experienced. Travelling means looking at the world with new eyes as those of our children and discover with them unexplored places sharing the same magic and wonder.

There are at least five good reasons to go with Ocarina:
To record sounds and thoughts
To fall asleep lulled by the sound
To develop the travel diary and storytelling
To cuddle anywhere
To reassure him with the sound of “home”

Ocarina is also passionate about travel and the journey has been the key element of the project since its inception. The idea was born five years ago from the experience of a young Florentine family dynamic that has tested the first ancestor of Ocarina during a trip to Cambodia. That both the sea or the mountain is your summer destination, the first music player designed for the little ones is the perfect companion to take on the go. Mobile, versatile and durable Ocarina is synonymous with security, made in Italy using non-toxic materials. Travelling with her allows you to record sounds and thoughts and tell a fairy tale. Ocarina immerses your children in a safe and quiet situation making him “breathe” the air of home while traveling. Close your eyes and Ocarina brings you home. And remember, dear mom and dad, no matter go to the ends of the earth because traveling is a condition, just do it with curiosity and discovery

What are you waiting for? Plans the next trip. Ocarina will be happy to be with you!

Music Day and is already summer. Win Ocarina with Evian!

The Music Day is a great popular event that takes place every year on June 21 in many cities in the world. Started in France in 1982 with the purpose to celebrate the summer solstice is the anniversary par excellence dedicated to all music lovers, professionals and amateurs who share their love for music. The celebration has involved many European cities and has spread widely around the world. Every street is pervaded by the magic that is created thanks to those who experience it and loves music in all its forms and declination. The main feature of the events is the spontaneity that comes from the desire to play freely.The Edition 2016 in Italy is supported for the first time by theMinistry of Cultural Heritage Culture and Tourism and SIAE.

 All around Europe many cities today will put music at the center. From Paris to Barcelone, from London to Atene to Berlin each cities celebrate the music on his own way. Many concerts in the streets, squares, gardens, courtyards, palaces, museums and castles to the rhythm of jazz, soul, funk, rock, and many genres of music marking the time of this special day.

Ocarina love and support the Music Day that puts music at the center to share it and celebrate it in all its forms: a special occasion of celebration that helps us remember a day more the importance that music plays in people’s lives regardless of the apparent differences such as demographic, gender or cultural.

Today to celebrate the music we can do even more, by attending in the Evian competition where you can win Ocarina. Joining is simple and fun: Tell us in a few words what music your baby listen. You can partecipate until July 13!


 Today more than ever, celebrate the Music all together!