Preschool children thrive in learning environments that are designed with their unique needs and interests in mind. This course will help you plan engaging interest areas and also address how indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to support learning. You will also learn how to select developmentally appropriate materials, and how to create a flexible, but predictable, classroom schedule.
Learning Environments: An Introduction
Research tells us preschool-age children learn best in environments where they can have secure relationships with caring and responsive adults, where they feel safe, and where they feel free to explore and learn. A well-arranged environment can help you meet preschool-age children’s needs during play and routines. This lesson highlights the importance of the environment and provides an overview of what to consider when creating and maintaining developmentally appropriate preschool learning environments.
The Indoor Environment: Designing and Organizing
As teachers, it is our job to make sure the classroom is thoughtfully designed and materials for play are well organized. This lesson highlights how to design your room for group activities, privacy, storage, and display, with attention to all learners. It introduces design elements that promote a sense of comfort and invite exploration and engagement. This lesson also examines how to organize materials for independence, easy use, and learning.
The Outdoor Environment: Designing For Learning
Learning occurs both indoors and out. Outdoor learning environments offer preschoolers opportunities to explore and learn. This lesson will focus on designing safe outdoor spaces to promote learning, engagement, and active play.
The Environment: Materials
There are countless toys and materials available for preschool classrooms. While it can be difficult to decide what to include in your space, this lesson will help you ensure that a variety of developmentally appropriate materials are available. You will read about how to choose materials based on cultural relevance, children’s interests, and learning goals.
The Environment: Schedules and Routines
Children need time each day to play, read, eat, interact, and engage with the world around them. Designing your schedule and space to support effective routines helps promote children’s development and learning. This lesson will focus on providing a schedule that is flexible but meets children’s need for routine and play.