Creating learning environments for children
Creating learning environments for children inspires learning and creativityCongratulations! You've graduated with your degree in early childhood education, and you're about to start your first job in a preschool or elementary classroom.
Odds are one of your first priorities is creating a learning environment for children to grow and explore. Here are some great ideas for turning four walls and a floor into a rich and inspiring setting for your precious students.
Start with the floor
Did you know that learning can even start with the rugs on the floor of your classroom? Bring your themes to life with rugs that feature world or U.S. maps, animals,seasons, alphabets, language helps and more. Change these educational area rugs when you start a new unit to keep kids engaged and learning even when they're sitting on the floor!
Make books a part of your classroom
Yes, there's always the library, but keeping a wide selection of books within reach in your classroom is a great way to encourage reading. Choose a colorful carousel book rack, a space-saving 4-sided library cube or traditional bookshelves to keep age-appropriate books within reach of eager little hands in your classroom.
Take it where you need to go
When it comes to math manipulatives, art supplies, laptops and other small items, shelves and cabinets are great, but a cart that lets you move the supplies where you need them without loading and unloading each time. Select pre-loaded carts for a subject like math, or buy several basic carts and stock them yourself for each subject.
Let them dig in to learning
Some of the best learning doesn't come from books. Letting kids touch and experience textures can enhance learning, especially for preschool and early primary grades. Consider buying or building a sand table, a water table or a box for kids to feel and explore things like ping pong balls,dried beans, marbles or soft materials like jello or pudding.
Give them their own little space
Kids love to crawl into spaces that are just their size. Consider adding a play loft, tent, castle or fort to your classroom. Buy a premade kids' space, or create one with movable walls, fabric or cardboard. Creating learning environments for children doesn't have to be expensive or complex. It just has to work for your students.
Make space for make-believe
A classroom without room for pretend play will never be the kind of place to inspire young minds. Make sure your classroom has spaces and tools for pretend house play, building toys, animal or transportation toys and other make-believe inspiring props. A puppet theatre is a simple item to add to your classroom, but it can become one of your most powerful teaching tools.
Have a seat...or several
Make sure your classroom has the right seats for your students' size...and for different kinds of activities. Choose easy-to-care-for chairs for work at tables and desks, then add comfortable bean bag chairs or lounge chairs for reading time. Pillows and cushions are great for circle time or sharing time when the floor is their first choice.