Feng Shui aka Developmental Space

Organizing the room in such a way that toys and furniture occupy most of the space and that boundaries and pathways between play areas are obvious, can elicit a very different reaction from children. Providing that there are warm and accepting adults encouraging children, a well-organized room with interesting materials and equipment generally communicates to children that they can play comfortably and focus on their activities.  The well-planned arrangement of the setting also creates a safer environment for children. Early childhood educators must be aware of the routes that children take to get from one play area to another, to the bathroom or to the out-of-doors. A setting which lacks clear pathways can cause unsafe and annoying situations to occur. A block play area set up in the middle of a path which children use to go back and forth to the out-of-doors may seldom be used or may be the scene of conflict between children. It is essential that early childhood educators look at the areas of the environment that are used as pathways and make sure that these are not being occupied by other activities. They must also make sure that pathways adequately direct the movement of children.

Kindergarten_Kids

In order that a setting meets children’s developmental needs, it is important that it contain a wide variety of things to do. Equipment can be looked at in terms of the activity that a child is invited to perform with it. The greater the variety of equipment and materials, the more likely it is that children will find activities that appeal to them. An early childhood setting which offers water play, sand play, construction, climbing, sliding, and painting gives many more choices to children than does a setting in which swinging and digging are the only activities available. It is important to look at the amount of variety within the setting, making sure that there is sufficient diversity to appeal to the individual differences and the developmental levels of all of the children in the setting.  Interesting activities, invitingly displayed can, however, be sabotaged by their juxtaposition to very different activities which call for different energy outputs by the children using them.

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