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Designing the Perfect Environment
For Child Care providers
Type: For Child Care providers   Skills: Science & EnvironmentSocial & Emotional Skills
In this activity, you’ll learn how to create two environments for children – a soft space area and a building area. Remember, a successful environment is an area that works with children, not against them. Designing the Perfect Environment
What We Learn
Calm, cozy & comfortable sets the mood
A nurturing environment embraces kids at their level
A positive environment sets kids up to succeed
Supply List
Soft Space Area:
Stuffed animals Building Area:
Toy Cars
Connecting toys (Legos)
To create a soft space area, simply designate a quiet area where the children can go to lay down, read, or get away from the hectic activity around them. Corners often make a great soft space area. Not only do the walls of a corner offer protection from other activities, but a corner provides a solid structure where you can pile pillows and comforters to create your soft space. A soft space provides children with an outlet when they’re feeling overwhelmed and need to find calm and peace.

Your building area is a space where children will be able to construct and assemble using blocks and toys. This area is intended to provide an opportunity for imaginative play by building whatever comes to the child’s mind. Gather all of the toys a child may use in this space, such as building blocks, connecting toys (Legos), dinosaurs, toy cars, etc. You may choose to clearly designate the area by laying down a blanket or masking tape to mark off the area.

When setting up any area, remember that the environment needs to speak to children. For example, if you have a big open room and all the furniture is up against the walls and there’s an open space in the middle, that space is telling children to run. If you don’t want children to run, you should arrange your furniture in creative ways that divide the space and limits the ability to lose control.

When designating environments for children, keep in mind all of the age groups that live in the home. You can have an area for a baby, but at the same time, have a “building area” for an older child. Just be respectful of both ages and their needs.

Finally, don’t designate a “token” area for a child with special needs. If adaptations are needed in a play area, then make a change to the environment so it’s inclusive of all the children in your care.
Find Activities

Related Episode
Creating a Positive Environment
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