Spaces Booklet based on Anita Olds by glyniscooper

VIEWS: 145 PAGES: 28

									Pre-K Spaces
design for a quality classroom

               A collaborative effort
               made possible with the advice
               and support of child care
               experts across the country.
Mary was inside
the wonderful
garden and she
could come
through the door
under the ivy
any time and she
felt as if she had
found a world
all her own.
 Frances Hodgson Burnett
 from The Secret Garden.
Pre-K Spaces
design for a quality classroom

         “Our designs shape children’s beliefs about
          themselves and life. In a well designed area,
          children are engaged and feel secure. A well
          designed area can facilitate predictable,
          consistent and intimate care for each child.”
                                                                              – Anita Olds

The Importance of Space .................................................................2
What Makes a Good Space? ............................................................2
Activity Areas .....................................................................................4
Location ...............................................................................................6
    Room Regions and Zones
Boundaries ..........................................................................................8
    Freedom to Explore
Play and Sitting Surfaces .............................................................. 11
Storage ............................................................................................. 12
Mood ................................................................................................. 14
   Empty Space
   Inviting Play
Equipment and Materials .............................................................. 17
    Guiding Environments
    Indoor Air Quality
A Quick Guide to Space Planning ................................................ 20
 The Importance of Space
“Do you still have that loft?”        Too often, childcare takes place in    When children feel
 a former student stops to            society’s cast-off spaces: church
                                                                             comfortable in their physical
 ask Madeline Mulligan on             basements, converted warehouses.
 the street.                          Even centers “purpose-built”           surroundings, they will venture
                                      for childcare are often designed       to explore materials or events
 In Madeline’s child care center,     with more of an eye to adult
 a homemade loft occupies a cozy                                             around them.          – Anita Olds
                                      priorities than children’s needs.
 corner. A science area is tucked     Ideally, architect and child care
 underneath, and from upstairs        professionals work together as
                                                                             What Makes a
 you can see out the classroom        peers to create the best possible      Good Space?
 window. Twenty years later,          environment for young children.        •   Predictability
 young adults still remember          Whether laying out rooms you
 climbing the wide ladder to catch                                           •   Clear paths to activities
                                      helped design or making do with
 a few moments of peace, to watch     the space you’ve been given, your      •   Well-defined boundaries
 the robin build her nest outside,    decisions about room layout are        •   Enough opportunity
 and to gain a fresh perspective on   crucial.                                   for movement
 the room’s activities below.                                                •   Freedom for exploration
                                      Are the children in your care
 Through the centuries, those who     deeply engrossed in their              •   Privacy
 care for children have understood    activities, or are many at loose       •   Variety
 the significance of a child’s        ends? The difference may well          •   Enough complexity
 surroundings. In the 1800s,          stem from room layout. This                (versatile open-ended units)
 the child care expert Friedrich      booklet is designed to help you        •   Flexibility
 Froebel stressed the importance      create spaces your children will       •   Varied levels of stimulation
 of environmental design in terms     remember, even decades later,
 of a garden: natural, organic, and                                          •   A supportive environment
                                      with love.
 ever changing. He maintained                              Your friends at   •   The right amount
 that when care is applied to a                                                  of empty space
                                                   Community Playthings
 child’s surroundings, behavior                                              •   Inviting, welcoming,
 can be guided and inspired. The                                                 home-like feel
 simplest of spaces can become a                                             •   Memorability
 haven of play and learning.
    Activity Areas
    As a parent of a child                     The best child care practitioners    activity station you plan. The
                                               know that learning is a matter       next sections of this booklet will
    attending a facility filled with
                                               of discovery. Reasoning with         discuss these points in detail, for
    your products, and as an                   a kindergarten child about           they are the central units from
    architect, I think your furniture          fulcrums and centers of gravity      which a room grows.
                                               may be fruitless, but a three-       • Location: Where is it in relation
    is wonderful. The Teacher Low
                                               year-old who builds a lopsided         to other physical features and
    Chairs and Woodcrest Chairs                tower soon discovers how to            other activity areas?
    are classics—clean simple                  balance the blocks and distribute    • Boundaries: How well is the
                                               weight evenly!                         area defined?
    lines, one piece maple-ply
                                               “Open structure” rooms let           • Play and Sitting Surfaces:
    construction, comfortable and                                                     Are they appropriate to the
                                               children choose from a variety
    strong. The attention to detail            of activity stations. There may        activities they support?
    is clear throughout all the                be an area for reading, a block      • Storage: The materials children
                                               area, an area for projects, an         need in each activity area
    products I've seen.                                                               should be stored conveniently
                                               area for active play. This room
        – Marc Alan Parsons, Architect & Dad   design uses the natural interests      at hand, and displayed
                                               and impulses of children to their      attractively for effective use.
                                               best advantage—children learn        • Mood: Is the mood of the area
                                               to make smooth transitions by          appropriate to the function? Is
                                               themselves and in their own            it home-like?
                                               time, much as they would do if
                                               they were playing in their own       The child’s play with sand
                                               home. It helps them develop their    or mud is the earliest stage of
                                               own routines and discipline and
                                                                                    experience in shaping matter.
                                               supports happy, motivated play.
                                                                                    Children who are gifted in this
                                               Many factors contribute to
                                               a truly great room layout            way will soon do work of real
                                               that encourages children to          merit. The transition from play
                                               learn through play. Child care       to work is hardly noticeable.
                                               professional Anita Olds lists five
                                               attributes to consider for each                         – Eberhard Arnold

    When considering your room             Room Regions                          construction toys, puzzles, books,
    layout and the location of each                                              games or just places to be cozy.
                                           and Zones
    activity area, there are a few                                               Many of these activities happen
    concepts to keep in mind:              The most successful child care        on the floor. These activities do
                                           rooms are divided into two            best in a protected or somewhat
    Predictability                         regions, wet and dry. This simply     secluded corner.
                                           means that the entry area and
    Institutional settings are                                                   In addition…
                                           messy zones like sand and water
    inherently unpredictable: one          centers are planned into the          5. The Outdoor Zone. The
                                           layout in a practical fashion.        playground is the most important
    is never sure what will happen         Consider these “zones,” suggested     zone. With rapid urbanization and
    next, who will arrive, and for         by Anita Olds as a sensible way to    shrinking wilderness, a child’s last
                                           organize a classroom.                 opportunity to enjoy nature may
    what purpose. Unpredictability
                                                                                 lie in the outdoor play space of a
    increases children’s lack of ease      Wet Region
                                                                                 child care center. We recommend
    and control.            – Anita Olds   1. The Entry Zone (Wet Region)        a natural environment that will
                                           is where children’s personal          encourage rich educational
    Children love to explore and           effects are stored. There should      opportunities such as:
    discover, but they also rely on        be a place where children can         • Climbing trees
    a certain level of predictability;     sit to dress/undress. Sometimes
                                                                                 • Rolling down hills
    they like to be in control of          a door in the entry zone opens
                                           onto the playground.                  • Mud pies
    their environment. They like to
                                                                                 • Building forts
    know what’s going on and what          2. The Messy Zone (Wet Region)
    will happen next. Entries and                                                • Hide and seek
                                           can contain tables, chairs, easels,
    exits need to be clearly defined,      woodworking benches, sand             • Playing in bushes
    and pathways direct. Activity          and water centers, nature study,      • Exploring woods
    areas need to be inviting islands,     and a kitchen area. It needs to       • Gardening
    with room to detour around             have access to sinks, and ideally,    • Sand box play
    them. Even the layout of the           access to the outside play area.
    building itself matters. Children      This is also the most natural zone    Don’t forget to offer challenging
    find clusters of rooms more            to gather the entire group for        and vigorous activities with
    predictable than long corridors.       mealtimes, etc. Floor surface is an   trikes, bikes, scooters and wheeled
    • Doorways should be obvious           important consideration here.         vehicles. Hollow blocks (indoors
                                                                                 and out) provide the ideal
    • Traffic flow should be intuitive
                                           Dry Region                            combination of large muscle and
    • Rooms or areas should be                                                   cognitive development. A swing
      arranged in a cluster rather         3. The Active Zone (Dry
                                           Region) supports large motor          is a good place for a child to gain
      than along a corridor
                                           play, wheeled vehicles, music         respite from the demands of
                                           and movement, climbing and            group care. If you don’t have an
                                           dramatic play.                        outdoor space, you can always
                                                                                 bring nature in.
                                           4. The Quiet Zone (Dry Region)
                                           contains blocks, manipulatives,

    Boundaries protect children’s          Paths                                 perhaps observing the activities
    activities from traffic, lunch and                                           of others. A straight pathway
    other distractions, encouraging        When [pathways are] well              with one beginning and one
    sustained play. Even in a small        designed, entries, exits, and         ending emphasizes reaching the
    room, you can create well-defined                                            destination. Unbroken paths
                                           movement between spaces
    activity areas, and children                                                 encourage, perhaps even insist
    will exhibit a higher degree of        are physically and emotionally        upon, running.”
    exploratory behavior and social        smooth, even during
    interaction. Efficient boundaries
                                           emergencies.        – Jim Greenman
    double as display and shelving
    space. These boundaries need                                                 …Movement is considered to
                                           When paths are well defined,
    not be permanent and must not
                                           children move quickly and easily
                                                                                 be the bedrock of all intellectual
    interfere with supervision. Often a
    carpet or similar visual boundary      from one activity to another.         development… often it is
    defines space. But physical dividers   Ideally, paths detour around          merely limited opportunities for
    can be used as well, solid or clear,   activity spaces. They go to a
                                           destination that is clearly visible   movement that create many so-
    high or low. They can be made
    of fabric, wicker or lattice, or of    from a child’s point of view.         called behavioral and learning
    shelving. Some caregivers even         Most of all, they don’t lead into     difficulties.           – Anita Olds
    create a small corral or “sunken       dead space. Dead space often
    theater” to prevent toys from          occurs when activity areas are        Children need scope for
    getting scattered.                     placed around the wall, leaving       movement. Caregivers can direct
                                           open floor in the center of           movement so that it is safe and
    Often, children want to save their     a room. Instead of moving             doesn’t disrupt other activities.
    projects so they can continue          through dead space, children          Climb-and-slide equipment,
    them the next day. Edgington           tend to get stuck and distracted      like a Nursery Gym, can provide
    (1998) reports that if children        in counterproductive activities.      this movement. These units are
    are allowed to follow an interest      Teachers can avoid dead space         designed to suggest appropriate
    over a period of time, motivation      by placing a low activity area in     activity to a child.
    and concentration improve.             the center of the room, causing
    Clear boundaries protect the           a natural path to form around it      Annemarie Arnold, a Froebel-
    work and play of children. Many        and into other activities.            educated teacher, recommends
    concepts interplay to create this                                            that childcare professionals “let
    sense of defined area:                 Jim Greenman (1988) observes          children follow their own interests.
                                           that different paths encourage        If the whole interest of the child is
    • Paths
                                           different types of behavior. “A       captured, he will be creative.”
    • Movement                             meandering pathway with forks
    • Freedom to Explore                   and T’s encourages shopping
    • Privacy                              for an appropriate activity and

     Boundaries (continued)

     Freedom to Explore                    making connections in the life-        Privacy
                                           learning process. Dramatic play
     Richness of experience, not           costumes want to find their way        In an ideal setting, the
     tidy perfection, is the point of      into the kitchen corner. It’s a        children have access to rooms
                                           natural result of role-play. Allow
     the whole thing.                                                             where they can withdraw from
                                           children to take the art materials
                   – Katherine Whitehorn   to the block area to make traffic      the main group if they wish, to
                                           signs for the city, or use the toy     play without interruption, to
     Children need to explore              animals on the farm.
     using all their senses. It is                                                relax and daydream.
     important to allow children           The most inspiring rooms are                                 – Mark Dudek
     to move freely between                organized from a perspective that
     activity centers to explore and       encourages children to move,           Variety and complexity can
     experiment, mix and match.            explore and experiment, not a          entertain children for a long
     Hutt et al (1989) observed a          housekeeping perspective that          time, but it is important that
     center where staff would not          encourages children to sit still, be   opportunities and places are
     allow the activity areas to           quiet and not disturb the order of     created where children can simply
     “cross-pollinate,” unwittingly        the center.                            be. It is wonderful to have a few
     preventing the children from          Children need the freedom to:          simple units where a child can
                                           • explore using all their senses.      play alone.
                                           • move between activity areas.         Children instinctively recognize
                                           • mix or connect different             the most protected, secure space
                                             activities.                          in a room. It is often the corner
                                                                                  directly opposite the entry. This
                                                                                  is probably the ideal place for a
                                           If you want to do something            quiet zone, a place where children
                                           good for a child…give him              can go for a bit of privacy.
                                           an environment where he can            Cubbies and comfortable corners
                                           touch things as much as he             are a child’s favorite. They find
                                                                                  it reassuring to put their backs
                                           wants.          – Buckminster Fuller
                                                                                  against something solid. Even
                                                                                  adults feel this way. This is why
                                                                                  many people find a hospital
                                                                                  waiting room unnerving—it
                                                                                  is often a large, open space
                                                                                  crisscrossed with chairs. Activity
                                                                                  happens behind and around the
                                                                                  chairs, making security and quiet
                                                                                  waiting an impossibility.

Play and Sitting Surfaces
Anita Olds asks if playing and      Others will look at the pictures     collaboration, perhaps you
sitting surfaces are appropriate    or make believe they are reading,    will have a couch instead of
to the activities they support.     or perhaps sing from them. Still     individual chairs.
Consider each area: what do         others will copy text or pictures.
                                                                         This variety can reach all areas,
children do in this area? What      They may do these things alone
                                                                         indoors and outdoors. A wide
props do they need to support       or in groups of two or three. So
                                                                         variety of activities stretches
this activity?                      it makes sense to have different
                                                                         children’s imaginations and keeps
                                    props to support the different
                                                                         them interested.
Variety                             activities that books suggest.
                                                                         Encourage variety:
Children’s play areas can offer     Paper and crayons in the book
                                    corner encourage children            • Small motor activities and large
a variety of occupations, and
                                    to copy pictures or letters.           muscle play
a variety of places in which
                                    To encourage make-believe,           • Solitary play and cooperative
to do them. A bookshelf, for
                                    you might have costumes, to            group play
example, offers picture books and
reading books, fiction and fact,    encourage singing, some musical      • Open-ended play and pre-
songbooks and reference books.      instruments. Have a listening          scribed activities
Some children will read the text.   center for enjoying Audio-           • Sensory stimulation and islands
                                    books. If you want to encourage        of quiet

     When it comes to storage, there         Some centers support the display       storage shelves. This allows
     never seems to be enough. As            of relevant books in each activity     manipulation of the environment
     one of the five most important          area—bringing literacy beyond          by teachers and children.
     attributes of activity areas, storage   the book corner.
                                                                                    Flexibility in room layout is
     must be considered early in the
                                             Well-designed storage shelves          valuable for:
     room layout process.
                                             provide display areas on their         • changes in enrollment.
     According to Jim Greenman’s             backs. This supports the logical       • accommodating new staff with
     (1988) helpful list, good storage is:   practice of using shelving to define     different preferences.
     • located close to the point of use.    the boundaries of activity areas
                                                                                    • adjusting to different groups
     • able to comfortably hold and          and saves precious wall space.
                                                                                      with different needs.
       distinctively display contents        Don’t neglect the need for             • seasonal changes.
       when open.                            personal storage. Children have        • changes in children’s interests,
     • the right size and shape for          their cubbies, but teachers also         educational objectives, etc.
       the space.                            need space they can call their own.    • adapting the environment to
     • aesthetically pleasing.                                                        meet behavioral needs.
                                             Finally each area—whether
     • clear and understandable to           it accommodates books,                 • letting children change their
       its user, whether 20 months           manipulatives, sand and water,           environment to suit their play.
       or 20 years old.
                                             blocks, or large muscle play—has       • accommodating adaptive equip-
     • safe.                                 characteristics that must be             ment for ADA compliance.
     The mention of display above            reflected in the storage methods
                                                                                    With portable screens and
     deserves special attention. If          employed there.
                                                                                    dividers, you can create versatile,
     they are deep enough and at the                                                changeable interest areas that
     right height, the tops of shelving      Flexibility                            hold children’s attention. For
     can hold children’s sculptures,                                                example, expand an area for a
                                             The ideal room is an empty shell
     objects, or nature exhibits. This                                              group gathering or create a small
                                             filled with movable furniture.
     practice conveys without words                                                 cozy space for individual work.
                                             Built-in features severely restrict
     that this is the children’s space,                                             Supply children with large hollow
                                             flexible room arrangements and
     and it demonstrates the respect                                                blocks, boxes, and pillows so they
                                             the opportunity for future changes
     the teacher has for their work.                                                can create spaces to suit their play.
                                             and improvements. Avoid built-
                                             ins, and instead consider movable

     Empty Space                            children and staff relaxed and         Good design can clearly create
                                            happy is a key factor for reducing     a sense of welcome. In general,
     The amount of space in a room          stress. A well-organized, homelike     curves are perceived as warm and
     and how it is organized affects        environment encourages good            feminine, while straight lines are
     children’s behavior. A tight space     behavior and positive interaction.     hard and masculine. Obtuse angles
     may encourage working together                                                are inviting and acute angles are
     but can also lead to aggression        Ann Epstein (The Intentional
                                                                                   rejecting. To be really welcoming,
     and frustration. Reducing              Teacher) points out “When
                                                                                   the reception area should be
     clutter and installing flexible        children are in a large space, they
                                                                                   concave in shape. The whole area
     furnishings can maximize the use       feel small in comparison to their
                                                                                   should be intimately scaled and
     of each area. On the other hand,       surroundings, and time seems to
                                                                                   child-oriented. A fish tank can
     too much space in a room can           pass more slowly for them. When
                                                                                   work wonders. So can natural light.
     cause children to be restless and      children are in a playhouse, in a
     unfocused and reduce interaction       play yard tent, or under a table       In addition, Chizea et al say,
     with peers. Using dividers to          feel large in comparison to their      “All children—and all adults—
     create activity areas or pockets       surroundings, and attentions seems     should be able to find positive
     reduces distraction and can help       to be sustained. Perception of the     images of the group of people
     teachers facilitate absorbed play.     size of the space in which children    with whom they feel themselves
                                            play affects the quality of the play   to be identified. This includes
     Rooms should have a balance of         and thus the potential for learning.   issues of culture, ethnicity, age
     well-defined spaces for a variety of                                          and gender, and also people’s
     activities, suggesting a mood that     Altering space to make chidlren
     reflects the task in each of these     feel large in relation to their
     mini-environments. For example,        environment may enable children        Well designed spaces
     the reading area should be quiet       to enter complex play more
                                                                                   should reflect the style, cultural
     and soft; the art area, colorful and   quickly and to continue complex
     creative; and the dramatic play        play for longer periods of time.”      values and architectural
     area, imaginative and fun. Children                                           heritage of the surrounding
     take cues from the environment to      Inviting Play                          community. Each classroom
     regulate their behavior.
                                            Play has long been                     should also reflect the
     Research and experience show
                                            recognized as the key way in           personality of both the children
     that too many hours spent
     in an institutional setting are        which children come to make            and adults who work there.
     stressful for children and can         their own sense of their often-                            – Vicki Stoecklin
     have a negative effect on their
     development. It is therefore
                                            confusing world. Play provides
                                                                                   Some parents will want to drop
     important to provide homelike          a rich method for children to          off their children and go, but a
     surroundings so that children          express what they know and,            well designed space will encourage
     can be relaxed, comfortable and                                               them to stay and interact, creating
     free to learn. Attention to detail     most significantly, how they
                                                                                   a bridge between home and the
     such as plants, area rugs, wall        feel about the world and their         big impersonal world. It says: we
     hangings etc., creates a beautiful     relationships.      – Marjorie Ouvry   understand children; you can be a
     and caring atmosphere. Keeping                                                child here.

     Mood (continued)

     Is the mood of the area                 Jim Greenman (1988) notes,              It is a beautiful thing
                                             “Objects lay claim to our feelings
     appropriate to the function?                                                    to see a child thoroughly
                                             because of associations and
     Is it home-like?         – Anita Olds   qualities of the objects. Wood,         absorbed in his play…. Play
                                             leather, and some natural stone         brings joy, contentment, and
     To make an area welcoming               and brick objects beckon to
                                                                                     detachment from the troubles
     it should include:                      be touched. Objects made of
     • opportunities for play.               these materials tend to wear            of the day. And especially
                                             with grace. The smoothings and          nowadays, in our hectic, time-
     • creative use of light, both
                                             cracks and weathering and nicks
        natural and artificial.
                                             often add character.”
                                                                                     and money-driven culture, the
     • curves vs. straight lines.                                                    importance of those things
     • obtuse vs. acute angles.              Memorable centers are places of
                                             wonder and enchantment. They            for every child cannot be
     • concave vs. convex shape.
     • opportunities to explore.
                                             do not feel completely civilized        emphasized enough.
                                             and repressed. The challenge for
                                                                                               – Johann Christoph Arnold
     • counters and interest areas           child care practitioners is to foster
        at child height.                     places of freedom and delight
     • opportunities to work                 where the enchantments and
        on the floor.                        mysteries of childhood can be
                                             given full expression.
     A spirited place satisfies
     children’s souls. It possesses
     a wholeness that makes the
     heart sing, the soul rejoice, the
     body feel safe and at rest. It is
     the spirit of a place that makes
     it memorable, that expands our
     sense of possibility and puts
     us in touch with what is most
     loving, creative, and human
     about ourselves.        – Anita Olds

Equipment and Materials                                                                Complexity
                                                                                       Children need equipment with
                                                                                       enough complexity to hold their
                                                                                       interest for an extended time.
Thus far this book has                  Play places are linked to the                  Kritchevsky (1977) suggests that
considered the layout of                complexity of each unit. (See                  equipment can be categorized into
individual activity areas in a          sidebar and chart.)                            four types:
room. But what about the actual                                                        • A Potential Unit is a clearly defined
equipment and materials within          Stimulation                                      space with no play materials, for
those spaces? Here are a few ideas                                                       example, an empty table. It is im-
to help you make good choices.          Nature provides the perfect
                                                                                         portant to identify these areas and
                                        example of an environment that                   predict the kind of activities that
                                        stimulates all the senses in a
Amount-to-do                                                                             may develop. (0 play places.)
                                        variety of different ways. Large
                                                                                       • A Simple Play Unit has only one
Are there enough units in your          areas like the earth, the sky,
                                                                                         obvious use, and no sub-parts or
room to keep children happily           and the grass are green, blue or                 additional materials. Consider a
occupied? The right balance             various shades of brown. The                     tricycle or a swing. Usually only
helps to avoid conflicts over           smaller points of color are mainly               one child can play with a simple
one unit and lets children move         primary colors. Blue, green, and                 play unit, and sometimes that is just
quickly from one play place to          brown are calm colors, while red                 what is needed. (1 play place.)
the next. Conversely, if there is       and yellow are exciting.                       • A Complex Play Unit has sub-parts
only one play place per child, a                                                         or several materials that allow you to
                                        Light and reflection help bring
child who finishes his activity                                                          improvise. A nursery gym is consid-
                                        this level of interest indoors.
will have very little choice over                                                        ered a complex play unit. Children
                                        For opportunities for interplay
what he does next.                                                                       may also discover that by combining
                                        between light and shadow, like
                                                                                         two simpler units they can create a
This amount-to-do formula can           a rattan screen hanging in a
                                                                                         more exciting system. When road
help avoid conflicts (Kritchevsky       window and blowing in the
                                                                                         signs are added to the tricycle area, it
1977): Start by comparing your          breeze. Mirrors, too, stimulate                  becomes a city street. Unit blocks are
layout to a game of musical chairs.     beautiful play.                                  inherently open-ended. When cars,
When “the music stops” there                                                             trucks, farm animals, and toy figures
                                        Transitions, however, should be
should be plenty of play places to                                                       are added to a block set, the level
                                        gradual and predictable so as not
choose from, more than 1.5 per                                                           of interest is raised, but the way in
                                        to intimidate. A transition area
child. Divide the number of play                                                         which the blocks are used becomes
                                        helps alert the children that they
places by the number of children                                                         more specific. (4 play places.)
                                        are entering a new space with
expected to play there to help you                                                     • A Super Play Unit has three or more
                                        different limits and possibilities.
establish successful layouts.                                                            play materials, for example: a home
                                        This link may be as simple as a
                                                                                         corner with dolls, dishes and dra-
                                        doormat, a doorstep, or a porch
                                                                                         matic play costumes. (8 play places.)
                                        or entryway with lockers.

                          Example                    Number of Obvious Uses   Number of Different       Number of Play
                                                                              Subparts or Materials     Places per Unit
Potential Unit            Empty Table                0                        0                         0
Simple Play Unit          Tricycle                   1                        0                         1
Complex Play Unit         Sand & Water Table         Multiple                 1 or 2                    4
Super Play Unit           Home Corner with            Multiple                3 or more                 8
                          dolls, dishes, and costumes

             Equipment and Materials (continued)

                                             Consider:                             Indoor Air Quality
                                             • Equipment
                                                                                   The indoor air children
     About contrasts…                        • Floor surface: carpet, tile, wood   breathe affects their health and
                                             • Outside surface: pavement,          development. To quote Anita Rui
     Anita Olds (2000) suggests                grass, bare earth, etc.             Olds’ Child Care Design Guide:
     that variety in the following six       • Walls, fences, windows,             “Unlike in the past, when wind
     contrasts simulate the choices            dividers, screens, shelving         was relied upon to bring fresh
     nature gives a child.                   • Ceiling, roofs, trees, canopies     air into buildings, and leaky
                                               hung from ceilings                  building envelopes allowed
     • In/Out: the contrast between                                                indoor pollutants to move out
       indoors and outdoors (accented
       by windows, porches, fences,          Guiding Environments                  doors, today’s buildings have
                                                                                   become more tightly sealed, and
       transition areas)                     Areas in a room can be designed       mechanical cooling and heating
     • Up/Down: varying heights of           to convey their possibilities         systems are common in all climate
       floor and ceiling (steps, ramps,      and limits. This helps children       zones. At the same time, thousands
       lofts)                                understand what activity is           of new materials and products
     • Light/Dark: bright areas and          appropriate in that area. They can    used as goods, finishes and
       dimmer corners (lattices,             move from place to place without      furnishings have increased sources
       screens, curtains, awnings,           a lot of instruction. Choice of       of interior pollution. Indoor
       shadows)                              activity is empowering!               air quality depends upon the
     • Exposed/Tempered: wet and                                                   absence of pollutant, the power of
       dry, hot and cold, windblown          Studies show that the
                                             arrangement of materials              ventilation systems to pump fresh
       and still (porch, garden wall,
                                             and equipment has an effect           air indoors, and the power of filters
       shrubs, shade)
                                             on how they are used. Nash            to remove polluting substances.
     • Something/Nothing: the contrast                                             The choice of ventilation system
       between a wall and a window,          (1981) observed that materials
                                             and equipment stored close            will affect children’s current
       empty or cluttered space (win-
                                             to each other are often used          and future respiratory health
       dow seat, arches, alcoves, corners)
                                             together. Teets (1995) found that     and their environmental and
     • Order/Mystery: the contrast                                                 chemical sensitivity. ...Avoid using
       between order and chaos, pre-         when materials are displayed
                                             systematically, children can see      materials that off-gas volatile
       dictability and surprise (partially
                                             how the materials are categorized     organic compounds into the air,
       concealed entrances, winding
                                             and make much better use              particularly formaldehyde-based
       paths, possibilities for discovery)
                                             of them. The arrangement of           finishes, adhesives, carpeting and
                                             equipment supports learning and       particleboard.”
                                             self-reliance without continuous      To provide the best protection for
                                             teacher intervention.                 children, Community Playthings
                                                                                   furniture is now certified to the
                                                                                   Indoor Advantage Gold standard;
                                                                                   one of the toughest certifications
                                                                                   for indoor emissions and so far,
                                                                                   the only human health-based
                                                                                   standard for indoor air quality.

     Guide to Space Planning
     The fixed features of a building can constrain its               and shelving. Consider, too, features like electrical
     interior design. Where possible, the fixed features              outlets, plumbing, floor surfacing, and lighting,
     should be kept to a minimum to allow for greater                 including all-important natural light from windows.
     flexibility. For example, try to keep to the minimum             Once the room is created, here is a step-by-step
     of two doors per room and avoid built-in partitions              guide on how to lay it out.

                                       Corri dor

                                                                            1. Make an overall room plan.
                                                   Carp et Li ne
                                                                                • Draw the basic shape of the room, to
              To ilets
                                                                                  scale, on graph paper.
                                                                                • Mark in all the fixed features: windows,
                                                                                  doors, sinks, and floor surfacing.

                            Yar d

                                       Corri dor

                                                                            2. Mark in the flow.
                                                      Carp et Li ne
                                                                                • Paths must have direct access to all areas
              To ilets
                                                                                  and doors.
                                                                                • Main flow goes from the entry door to
                                                                                  all other doors, exits, bathrooms, and
                                                                                  storage closets, with one path going into
                                                                                  the center of the room.

                                                                            3. Locate and circle the
                                                                               Protected Corners.
                                                                                • This will help you reserve prime space
                                                                                  for quiet activities such as reading.
                            Yar d
                                                                                • Farthest from the entry door.
                                                                                • No doors or flow-paths going through.

                                                 Corri dor

                                                                                                 4. Divide into Wet and Dry
                                                                 Carp et Li ne
            To ilets

                                  zo        ne                                                       • Wet Region: Apply the “3F” rule to
                            entry                                                                      determine the wet region: flow, flooring,
                                                                active zone
                                                                                                       and fixed plumbing (sinks and toilets).
                                                                                                     • Dry Region: Should contain at least one
                         Wet Region
                                                                                                       protected corner and can be carpeted.
                                                             Dry Region
             messy zone                                                                          5. Divide into Zones.
                                                                                                     Wet Region:
                                                                   zon           e
                                                             quiet                                   • Entry Zone
                               Yar d                                                                 • Messy Zone
                                                                                                     Dry Region:
                                                                                                     • Active Zone
                                                                                                     • Quiet Zone
                                                                                                     • Don’t forget the Outdoor Zone

Entry/                   Quiet Zone                      Messy Zone                  Active Zone            Outdoor Zone              Additional
Transition Zone                                                                                                                       Spaces
Children’s personal      Sleeping/resting                Toileting or changing       Large blocks           Imaginative play          Large group meeting

Staff personal storage   Reading                         Eating/snack                Dramatic play          Building & construction   Private
                                                                                                                                      & semi-private

Parent sign-in &         Listening                       Water                       Housekeeping           Physical activity &       Staff work area &
communication                                                                                               movement                  telephone

                         Manipulatives                   Sand                        Doll play              Small motor activity      Staff project storage

                         Writing                         Clay                        Miniatures             Horticultural work

                         Small blocks                    Painting                    Puppet play &          Scientific and
                                                                                     store front            environmental discovery

                         Maths                           Art/Woodworking             Music & movement       Quiet play

                                                         Cooking, science,           Gross motor play
                                                         nature, & pets

                                                                                                 6. Decide what activity areas
                                                                                                    are needed and locate them
                                                                                                    in the appropriate zone.

     Guide to Space Planning (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                             1 squa re = 1 ft.square

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         C orr idor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       7. Create a space for
                                                                                                   F7 56Post
                                                                                                               F 00 Bulleti Pan el [24H]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A724 We l ome Cub bies8 [48H]
                                                                                                                                                     F6 81 Tote She l [24

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  F 45 F ixed Shelf [3 2 1/16H]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          each area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Welcome Area


                                                                                                   F7 56Post

                                                     To il t

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A735Co rner Be

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         This space includes storage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       c e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               A723 We l o m Cub bies6 [48H]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A735Co rner Ben
     Wall Mo unte Sink

                                                                               T oilets                                                                                                                                                                                    F7 56Post                                                                                              F7 56 Post

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A73 Co rner Bench

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            te    f H]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    F6 82 T o She l [24

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         for items used in that area. It

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c       ub       8H]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A723We l o me C bies 6 [4



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    F756 Post

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     F7 56Post

                                                                               Wa Mo unted Sink

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Group Activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      C362 Sin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             k                                                                 C361 Sto ve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          F6 85T ote She f [32H]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         communicates possibilities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and limitations. For example,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  C363 Refrige rat r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and Mealtimes

                                                  To il t

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  C2 Tab le
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    F7 29 Wing st
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       F7 56 Po
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         a space with little cozy nooks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       D130 DollHigh Chair

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            F6 12 F ixedShelf [1 6H]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      C364 Cupbo ard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   indo w Pa n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A951 M ultTa ble

                                                    A738 Wal Peg s 8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                J712                                                                                                                                                            J710

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         communicates, “Here is a place

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            F7 43 W
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A951M ultiTa ble



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         for quiet play.” An arch across

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      L31 0 Model 2 Star t r Kit [8 7 1/16H]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A951 M ultiT ble
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      F7 56 Po
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  F7 29 Wing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Play Area




                                                     H520 Junior Ar t Island                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      D12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     0 Pu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      J                        J710                                                                                   J712                                                shcart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         the entry tells you, “Leave

                                                                       Science/Discovery                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 your tricycle outside, you are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          C           p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           705 Dress-U Unit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       C110 Bed
                         A627 SAND & W ERCENTER

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 F7 54 Post
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         entering a protected space.”
                                                                                                               F7 74 Displa It-All withClear Pa ne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 3/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ) [3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              F7 51

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     F6 86 T oteShe l [32H]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 6H] ost
                                                                                                                                                                             A919 T ra p[22 1/16H]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     p (In


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         F6 79
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/ 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     F7 54Post






                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Math Manipulatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              F6 76

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     10                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Reading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         F7 76Lib rary Shelf [48 3 /8H]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Play                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Corner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A951 MultiTa ble



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           F671 Cor ner S elf [16H]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 F613 F ixed Shelf [1 6H]

     Arnold, A. 1940. The Place of ‘Hort’ in the Life of      Hutt, S. et al. 1989. Play, Exploration and Learning: A
     Bruderhof Children, Bruderhof Curriculum                 Natural History of the Preschool, London: Routledge
     Arnold, E. 1976. Children’s Education in Community,      Kritchevsky, S. & Prescott, E. & Walling, L.
     Bruderhof Curriculum                                     1977. Planning Environments for Young Children,
     Arnold, J.C. 2000. Endangered: Your Child in a Hostile   Physical Space, NAEYC
     World, Plough Publishing House                           Lasenby, M. 1990. The Early Years: A Curriculum for
     Bates, B. 1996. Like Rats in a Rage, The Times           Young Children. Outdoor Play, London: Harcourt
     Education Supplement, Sept 20th                          Brace Jovanovich

     Chizea, C., Henderson, A. & Jones, G. Inclusion, PLA     Moyles, J. 1992. Just Playing?, Open University Press

     Dudek, M. 2001. Building for Young Children, National    Nash, B. 1981. British Journal of Educational
     Early Years Network                                      Psychology: “The Effects of Classroom Spatial
                                                              Organization on Four- and Five-year-old Children’s
     Edgington, M. 1999. The Nursery Teacher in Action,
     (2nd ed.) London: Paul Chapman Publishing
                                                              Olds, A. 2000. Child Care Design Guide, McGraw-Hill
     Edwards et al. 1993. The Hundred Languages of
     Children-The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early             Ouvry, M. 2000. Exercising Muscles and Minds,
     Childhood Education, Norwood, NJ: Ablex                  National Early Years Network

     Fuller, B. Letter to Children of Earth quoted in         Stone, J. 1991. A Guide to Discipline, NAEYC
     Greenman, J. 2005. Caring Spaces, Learning Places,       Teets, S.T. 1985. ‘Modifications of play behaviors
     Exchange Press Inc.                                      of preschool children through manipulation
     Greenman, J. 2005. Caring Spaces, Learning Places,       of environmental variables’, in Frost, J.L.
     Exchange Press Inc.                                      and Sunderlin, S. (eds) When Children Play.
     Gura, P. 1992. Exploring Learning, London: Paul          Proceedings of the International Conference
     Chapman Publishing                                       on Play and Play Environments, Wheaton,
                                                              MD: Association for Childhood Education
     Hodgson Burnett, F. 1911. The Secret Garden, The
     Phillips Publishing Co.
                                                              Whitehorn, K. quoted in Greenman, J. 1988. Caring
     Hutt, C. 1972. Males and Females, Harmondsworth:
                                                              Spaces, Learning Places, Exchange Press Inc.
     Penguin Education

     Additional Sources for
     Room Design
     Early Learning Environments That Work,
     Isbell, R. & Exelby, B. 2001. Gryphon House, Inc
     Designs for Living and Learning,
     Curtis, D. & Carter, M. 2003. Redleaf Press
     Planning Environments for Young Children,
     Kritchevsky, S. & Prescott, E. & Walling, L. 1977.
     Physical Space, NAEYC

                                                                                            Caring Spaces,                                                                Child Care
                                                                                            Learning Places:                                                              Design Guide
                                                                                            Children’s Environments                                                       Helps architects understand
                                                                                            That Work                                                                     the needs of children and design
                                                                                                                                                                          functional, developmentally
                                                                                           A guide for directors, trainers,                                               rich centers. Helps child care
                                                             professors and their students, architects—everyone involved                       professionals understand architects’ design issues. Author
                                                             in the world of quality childcare. Jim Greenman’s writings have                   Anita Rui Olds brings to this work over 25 years of design
                                                             always been a strong voice on behalf of children and their                        experience with children’s facilities. She gives you step-by-
                                                             unique needs in a rapidly changing world. With this new edition                   step explanations of interior and exterior layout and design
                                                             of a time-tested volume, Greenman adds apt new insights on                        principles. Her guide includes over 300 floor plans for infant,
                                                             today’s issues and addresses everything from site and building                    toddler, preschool, and after-school spaces, plus areas for
                                                             evaluation to what goes on in a baby’s brain.                                     outdoor play and more.
                                                             Jim Greenman, 2005, Exchange Press, Inc.                                          Anita Rui Olds, 2000. McGraw-Hill,
                                                                                                                                               352 pages $54, Order directly by calling Community Playthings.

                                                             Free Resources from Community Playthings
                                                                                 Community                                          Infant and                                              Collage
                                                                                 Playthings                                         Toddler                                                 Our quarterly e-mail
                                                                                 catalog                                            Spaces                                                  newsletter provides
                                                                                                                                    Design for a                                            valuable articles on
                                                                                Community Playthings                                                                                        timely subjects for early
                                                                                makes solid maple furniture                         quality classroom.
                                                                                                                                                                                            childhood educators.
                                                             and toys designed for child care settings. We        Infant and Toddler Spaces is the room design        Each issue includes 3 hand-picked articles
                                                             create environments that welcome children            booklet for 0 to 3-year-old environments.           on a single topic such as:
                                                             into a space of beauty, simplicity, and stability,   Design your own infant or toddler room
                                                                                                                                                                          • Block Play
                                                             where they can explore, discover and learn           with these guidelines for developmentally
                                                                                                                                                                          • Celebrating Culture
                                                             through play.                                        appropriate space.
                                                                                                                                                                          • Environmental Education
This publication © 2009 by Community Products, LLC. Apr/09

                                                             For a free catalog, call 800-777-4244, or visit      call 800-777-4244, or visit
                                                                                                                                                                      Collage can be a valuable staff development
                                                                                                                                                                      tool for your program. Each issue includes
                                                                                                                                                                      the theory behind the topic, practical
                                                                                                                                                                      applications and links to lots of resources
                                                                                                                                                                      you won’t want to miss. Best of all, it’s free.
                                                                                                                                                                      to subscribe.

                                                                                                                                                          Working on a Start-up or Renovation?
                                                                                                                                                          Give us a call about our free room planning service.
                                                                                                                                                          Our planners can work with you to design developmentally
                                                                                                                                                          appropriate classrooms that match your curriculum.

                                                                                                                                                          For other free resources: 1-800-777-4244
After human interaction, the physical environment is critical in the care
  and learning of young children. It must stimulate and structure their
 world, while conveying the value of what children naturally do best—
  play, explore and manipulate. Pre-K Spaces provides clear and simple
 ideas for how to carefully set up these environments, while reminding
    those of us who are no longer children why they are so important.
                               – Francis Wardle, PhD, writer, educator and consultant

                                                                          For our certifications and memberships, visit our website.

                                                                                                     FSC Supplier
                                                                                                     © 1996 Forest Stewardship
                                                                                                     Council A.C.


 Cert no. XXX-XXX-XXXX                                                      800 777 4244 •

To top