The physical environment that a child spends time in isn’t just a room – it’s a tool they can use to learn, explore, create, grow, and make meaning from experiences. Children are constantly learning from their surroundings, so it’s important that they gain a feeling of comfort and engagement from the spaces that are meant especially for them.
So, here are 5 of the things we consider when we’re setting up every one of our child care spaces. Of course, you can use these methods too! Whether it’s a bedroom, a basement rec room, or even a corner of the living room – if it’s a space designed for kids, we’ve got you covered.
Room to Grow
The first ingredient in a complete kid-friendly space is just that – space! Kids need to be able to move in order to explore, to engage and to play freely. A cluttered space is a limited space. Evaluate how much space you have available to you before you start selecting furniture and such.
Lots of Natural Light
Natural light is a powerful thing. An adequate amount of exposure to natural light throughout the day can help to boost a bad mood and relax a stressed mind. Having lots of windows also acts as another way to keep kids engaged. There are so many things going on outside your window for your kids to ask questions and learn about.
Create a space for everyone!
Everyone needs some quiet time every now and again. In all of our child care centres, there are comfy places to sit and flip through a book. At the same time, there are other areas that are designated for different kinds of play. There’s kitchen sets for imaginative play, art stations for the creative types – you get the idea. Make sure that your space matches your kid’s moods so that they can feel comfortable no matter what emotions they may be experiencing that day.
Think about the role the space will play
Think about which areas are meant for which activities, and how children will behave in the specific areas of your space. You can paint different areas different colours to suggest separation of space – muted tones for sleep areas, lively hues for play areas. Alternatively, you can select a light, neutral colour if you want your entire space to evoke feelings of well-being, calm, and focus.
Also keep in mind the age of the kids your space will cater to. For example, infants are most engaged when they are exposed to lots of contrasting colours – especially black and white.
Nurture childhood independence
Okay, this one sounds a bit overwhelming – but it’s simple! By having lots of options of things to do, you’re helping your child’s decision making skills. What will they play with next? Also, by making sure that these things-to-do are within reach for small hands, you’re helping to foster their independent.
Regardless of how you decide you want your space to look, what’s most important is that it invites your kids to investigate, imagine, think, create, solve problems and make meaning from the experiences that happen within your space.
Thanks for joining us this week, and thanks to our Lakewood Child Care Centre in Port Dover for sharing your amazing space!
Until next time,
– Today’s Family