spacesroom layoutfor early childhood education
spacesroom layout            for early childhood education      “O       ur designs shape children’s beliefs about themsel...
When children feel                                                                    comfortable in their                ...
Activity AreasThe most neglected and                     Motivated children will learn          • Location: Where is it in...
Location   We are all familiar with a real        Room Regions                           games or just places to be cozy. ...
BoundariesBoundaries protect children’s         dren. Many concepts interplay to      Jim Greenman (1988) observesactiviti...
Freedom to Explore                     Jim Greenman (1988) points out          Variety and complexity can enter-          ...
Play and Sitting SurfacesAnita Olds asks if playing and        or in groups of two or three. So    Encourage variety:sitti...
StorageWhich teacher hasn’t thought           Some centers support literacy by        ins, and rather consider moveableabo...
MoodIs the mood of the area                     the reading area should be quiet        The first impression children and...
To make an area welcoming it        Jim Greenman (1988) notes,             It is a beautiful thing to seeshould include:  ...
Complexity                                                                                    Children need equipment with...
About contrasts…Anita Olds (2000) suggests thatvariety in the following sixcontrasts simulate the choicesnature would give...
A Quick Guide to Space PlanningThe fixed features of a building can constrain its                      partitions and she...
Corri dor                                                                                          4. Divide into Wet and ...
Spaces for Under 5s
Spaces for Under 5s
Spaces for Under 5s
Spaces for Under 5s
Spaces for Under 5s
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Spaces for Under 5s

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Spaces for Under 5s

  1. 1. spacesroom layoutfor early childhood education
  2. 2. spacesroom layout for early childhood education “O ur 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 OldsContents: The Importance of Space .............................. 2 What Makes a Good Space? ........................ 2 Activity Areas ............................................... 3 Location ........................................................ 4 Predictability Room Regions and Zones Boundaries ................................................... 5 Paths Movement Freedom to Explore Privacy Play and Sitting Surfaces ............................. 7 Variety Storage ........................................................ 8 Flexibility Mood ............................................................ 9 Empty Space Inviting Memorable Equipment and Materials ........................... 11 Amount-to-do Stimulation Supportive Environment A Quick Guide to Space Planning .............. 13
  3. 3. When children feel comfortable in their physical surroundings, they will venture to explore materials or events around them.The Importance of Space Anita Olds“Do you still have that loft?” college students stop to askMadeline Mulligan on the street. What MakesMadeline’s home-made loft occupies a corner in her child care a Good Space?center. A science area is tucked underneath, and from upstairs • Predictabilityyou can see out the classroom window. Twenty years later, • Clear paths to activitiesyoung adults still remember climbing the wide ladder to catch • Well-defined boundariesa few moments of peace, to watch the robin build her nestoutside, and to gain a fresh perspective on the room’s activities • Enough opportunity for movementbelow. • Freedom for explorationThrough the centuries, those who care for children have un- • Privacyderstood the significance of a child’s surroundings. Already • Varietyin the 1800’s, the childcare expert Froebel stressed the im-portance of environmental design in the sense of a garden, • Enough complexity (versatile open-ended units)natural, organic, ever-changing. He maintained that whencare is applied to children’s surroundings, behavior can be • Flexibilityguided and inspired. The simplest of locations can become a • Varied levels of stimulationhaven of play and learning. • A supportive environmentToo often, childcare takes place in society’s cast-off spaces, • The right amount of empty spacechurch basements, converted warehouses. Even centers“purpose-built” for childcare are often designed with more • Inviting, welcoming,of an eye to adult priorities than children’s needs. Ideally, home-like feelarchitect and childcare professionals work together as peers • Memorabilityto create the best possible environment for young children.Whether laying out rooms you helped design, or making dowith the space you’ve been given, your decisions about roomlayout are crucial.Are the children in your care deeply engrossed in their activi-ties, or are many at loose ends? The difference may well stemfrom room layout, good or bad. This booklet is meant to helpyou understand the difference.Spend time with these pages and study some of the worksreferenced here. We hope it helps you create spaces yourchildren will remember, even decades later, with love. Your friends at Community Playthings2
  4. 4. Activity AreasThe most neglected and Motivated children will learn • Location: Where is it in relationmisunderstood dimension of through discovery, and this self- to other physical features and teaching process is key to a child’s other activity areas?the planned curriculum is the development. The best childcare • Boundaries: How well is thecreation of an environment or practitioners know that learning area defined? is a matter of discovery. Reason-setting in which education is • Play and Sitting Surfaces: are ing with a kindergarten childto take place. they appropriate to the activities about fulcrums and centers of they support? gravity may be fruitless, but a Blenkin & Whitehead • Storage: The materials children three-year-old who builds a lop- sided tower soon discovers how to need in each activity area should “Open structure” rooms let be stored conveniently at hand, balance the blocks and distribute children choose from a variety of and displayed attractively for weight evenly! activity stations. There may be an effective use. area for reading, a block area, an Many factors contribute to a truly • Mood: Is the mood of the area area for projects, an area for active great room layout, to a design that appropriate to the function? Is it play. This room design uses the guides and encourages children home-like? natural interests and impulses of to learn through play. Childcare children to their best advantage— professional Anita Olds lists five children learn to make smooth attributes to consider for each transitions by themselves and activity station you plan. The in their own time, much as they next sections of this booklet will would do if they were playing in discuss these points in detail, for their own home. It helps them they are the central units from develop their own routines and which a room grows. disciplines, and supports happy, motivated play. The child’s play with sand or mud is the earliest stage of experience in shaping matter. Children who are gifted in this way will soon do work of real merit. The transition from play to work is hardly noticeable. Eberhard Arnold 3
  5. 5. Location We are all familiar with a real Room Regions games or just places to be cozy. estate agent’s jingle: “location, and Zones Many of these activities happen location, location.” When consid- The most successful childcare on the floor. These activities do ering your room layout and the rooms are divided into two best in a protected or somewhat location of each activity area, regions, wet and dry. This just secluded corner. there are a few concepts to keep means that the entry area and In addition… in mind: messy zones like sand and water 5. The Outdoor Zone. The play- centers are planned into the ground is the most important Predictability layout in a practical fashion. zone. With rapid urbanizationInstitutional settings are Consider these “zones,” suggested and shrinking wilderness, a child’s by Anita Olds as a sensible way toinherently unpredictable: one last opportunity to enjoy nature organize a classroom.is never sure what will happen may lie in the outdoor play space Wet Region of a day care center. We recom-next, who will arrive, and for 1. The Entry Zone is where chil- mend a natural environment thatwhat purpose. Unpredictability will encourage rich educational dren’s personal effects are stored.increases children’s lack of opportunities such as: There should be a place whereease and control. children can sit to dress/undress. • Climbing trees Anita Olds Sometimes a door in the entry • Rolling down hills zone opens onto the playground. • Mud pies Children love to explore and 2. The Messy Zone can contain • Building forts discover, but they also rely on tables, chairs, easels, woodworking benches, sand and water centers, • Hide and seek a certain level of predictability; they like to be in control of their nature study, and a kitchen area. It • Playing in bushes environment. They like to know needs to have access to sinks, and • Exploring woods what’s going on and what will ideally, access to the outside play • Gardening happen next. Entries and exits area. This is also the most natural zone to gather the entire group for • Sand box play need to be clearly defined, and pathways direct. Activity areas mealtimes, etc. Floor surface is an Don’t forget to offer challeng- need to be inviting islands, with important consideration here. ing and vigorous activities room to detour around them. with trikes, bikes, scooters and Dry Region Even the layout of the building wheeled vehicles. Hollow blocks itself matters. Children find clus- 3. The Active Zone (Dry region) (indoors and out) provide the ters of rooms more predictable supports large motor play, ideal combination of large muscle than long corridors. wheeled vehicles, music and and cognitive development. A movement, climbing and swing is a good place for a child • Doorways should be obvious dramatic play. to gain respite from the demands • Traffic flow should be intuitive 4. The Quiet Zone (Dry region) of group care. If you don’t have • Rooms or areas should be contains blocks, manipulatives, an outdoor space, you can always arranged in a cluster rather than construction toys, puzzles, books, bring nature in. along a corridor 4
  6. 6. BoundariesBoundaries protect children’s dren. Many concepts interplay to Jim Greenman (1988) observesactivities from traffic, lunch and create this sense of defined area: that different paths encourageother distractions encouraging • Paths different types of behaviour. “Alonger-lasting, sustained play. meandering pathway with forks • MovementEven in a small room, you can and T’s encourages shopping for ancreate well-defined activity areas • Freedom to Explore appropriate activity and perhapsand children will exhibit a higher • Privacy observing the activities of others.degree of exploratory behavior A straight pathway with one begin-and social interaction. Efficient Paths ning and one ending emphasizesboundaries double as display and reaching the destination. Unbroken A total absence of path, paths encourage, perhaps even insistshelving space. These boundariesneed not be permanent and must because of too much equip- upon, running.”not interfere with supervision. ment placed too closeOften a carpet or similar visual together, is very disruptive. Movementboundary defines space. But Kritchevsky and Prescott …movement is consideredphysical dividers can be used aswell, solid or clear, high or low. to be the bedrock of allThey can be made of fabric, When paths are well defined, intellectual development…wicker or lattice, or of shelving. children move quickly and easily often it is merely limitedSome caregivers even create a from one activity to another. opportunities for movementsmall corral or “sunken theater” Ideally, paths detour around activ-to prevent toys from getting ity spaces. They go to a destina- that create many so-calledscattered. tion that is clearly visible from a behavioral and learning child’s point of view. Most of all, difficulties.Often, children want to save their they don’t lead into dead space.projects so they can continue them Anita Olds Dead space often occurs whenthe next day. Edgington (1998) re- activity areas are placed aroundports that if children are allowed Children need scope for movement. the wall, leaving open floor in the Caregivers can direct movementto follow an interest over a period center of a room. Instead of mov-of time, motivation and concen- so that it is safe and doesn’t disrupt ing through dead space, children other activities. Climb-and-slidetration improve. Clear boundaries tend to get stuck and distractedprotect the work and play of chil- equipment, like a nursery gym, can in counterproductive activities. provide this movement. These units Teachers can avoid dead space are designed to suggest appropriate by placing a low activity area in activity to a child. the center of the room, causing a natural path to form around it Annemarie Arnold (1940) recom- and into other activities. mends that childcare professionals “let children follow their own inter- ests. If the whole interest of the child is captured, he will be creative.” 5
  7. 7. Freedom to Explore Jim Greenman (1988) points out Variety and complexity can enter- a drawback to defining areas by tain children for a long time, butIf you want to do something content: “It is easy to lose sight of it is important that opportunitiesgood for a child… give him the reality that the content exists and places are created where chil-an environment where he everywhere in many activities. dren can simply be. It is wonderful Instead of a grand conception of to have a few simple units where acan touch things as much art as both an approach to the child can play alone.as he wants. world and a manifestation of life’s Children instinctively recognize the grandeur, art becomes a narrowly Buckminster Fuller most protected, secure space in a defined set of activities in a set room. It is often the corner directly location. Science is viewed not as aRichness of experience, not opposite the entry. This is probably process of investigation …but as a the ideal place for a quiet zone, atidy perfection, is the point selection of materials and experi- place where children can go for a ments.” The most inspiring roomsof the whole thing. bit of privacy. are organized from a perspective that encourages children to move, Cubbies and comfortable corners Katherine Whitehorn explore and experiment, not a are a child’s favorite. They find Children need to explore using housekeeping perspective that it reassuring to put their backs all their senses. It is important encourages children to sit still, be against something solid. Even to allow children to move freely quiet and not disturb the order of adults feel this way. This is why between activity centers to explore the center. many people find a hospital wait- and experiment, mix and match. ing room unnerving—it is often Children need the freedom to: Hutt et al (1989) observed a center a large, open space crisscrossed • Explore using all their senses with chairs. Activity happens where staff would not allow the activity areas to “cross-pollinate,” • Move between activity areas behind and around the chairs, unwittingly preventing the chil- • Mix or connect different making security and quiet waiting dren from making connections in activities an impossibility. Provide lots of the life-learning process. Dramatic softness in the room, promoting a play costumes want to find their Privacy sense of security. way into the kitchen corner. It’s a natural result of role-play. Allow In an ideal setting the children children to take the art materials have access to rooms where to the block area to make traffic they can withdraw from the signs for the city, or use the toy animals on the farm. main group if they wish, to play without interruption, to relax and daydream. Mark Dudek 6
  8. 8. Play and Sitting SurfacesAnita Olds asks if playing and or in groups of two or three. So Encourage variety:sitting surfaces are appropriate to it makes sense to have different • Small motor activities and largethe activities they support. Con- props to support the different muscle playsider each area: what do children activities that books suggest. • Solitary play and cooperativedo in this area? What props do Paper and crayons in the book group playthey need to support this activity? corner encourage children • Open-ended play and to copy pictures or letters. prescribed activitiesVariety To encourage make-believe, • Sensory stimulation and islandsChildren’s play areas can offer you might have costumes, to of quieta variety of occupations, and encourage singing, some musicala variety of places in which to instruments. Have a listen-do them. A bookshelf, for ex- ing center to hear books onample, offers picture books and tape. If you want to encouragereading books, fiction and fact, collaboration, perhaps yousongbooks and reference books. will have a couch instead ofSome children will read the text. individual chairs.Others will look at the pictures This variety can reach all areas,or make believe they are reading, indoors and outdoors. A wideor perhaps sing from them. Still variety of activities stretchesothers will copy text or pictures. children’s imaginations and keepsThey may do these things alone them interested.
  9. 9. StorageWhich teacher hasn’t thought Some centers support literacy by ins, and rather consider moveableabout storage? There never seems displaying books that relate to what storage shelves. This allows ma-to be enough. As one of the five is going on in the various activ- nipulation of the environment bymost important attributes of ity areas, right in each area, rather teachers and children.activity areas, storage needs to than just in the book corner. With moveable furniture and equip-be considered early in the room Well-designed storage shelves ment, flexibility in room layout be-layout process, or both teachers accommodate vertical display on comes a powerful tool. Eight reasonsand children will be frustrated in their backs. This supports the for this are:their use of the room. logical practice of using shelv- • Changes in enrollmentJim Greenman’s (1988) list of ing to define the boundaries of • New staff with differentcharacteristics of good storage is activity areas, and saves precious preferenceshelpful. Good storage is: wall space. • Different groups with• Located close to the point of use Don’t neglect the need for personal different needs• Able to comfortably hold and storage. Children get their cubbies, • Seasonal changes distinctively display contents but teachers, too, need space they when open. can call their own. • Changes in children’s interests, educational objectives, etc.• The right size and shape for The variety of materials employed the space. • Adapting the environment to in a particular activity area needs meet behavioral needs• Aesthetically pleasing. careful consideration. Books, manipulatives, sand and water, • Letting children change their• Clear and understandable to blocks, large muscle play—each has environment to suit their play its user, whether 20 months or 20 years old. its particular characteristics which • Creating ADA-compliant spaces must be reflected in the storage by being able to move shelving• Safe methods employed there. and equipment to accommodateThe mention of display above adaptive equipmentdeserves special attention. The Flexibility With portable screens and dividers,tops of shelving can hold children’s The ideal room is an empty shell you can create versatile, changeablesculptures, found objects, or nature filled with moveable furniture. interest areas that hold children’sexhibits, if they are deep enough Built-in features severely restrict attention. For example, expandand at the right height. This prac- flexible room arrangements and an area for a group gathering ortice conveys without words that this the opportunity for future changes instantly create a small cozy spaceis the children’s space, and it dem- and improvements. Avoid built- for individual work. Supply childrenonstrates the respect the teacher with large hollow blocks, boxes, andholds for their work. pillows so they can create spaces to suit their play.8
  10. 10. MoodIs the mood of the area the reading area should be quiet The first impression children andappropriate to the function? and soft; the art area, colorful and parents gain from a center is its creative; and the dramatic play entry and reception area. PrasadIs it home-like? area, imaginative and fun. Children (2000) comments that “…clear Anita Olds take cues from the environment to but non-intimidating siting of an regulate their behavior. office or reception desk can helpEmpty Space people be at ease and feel that they Research and experience proveLarger numbers of children… belong.” Design plays a big part in that many hours spent in an in-need a larger proportion of this sense of welcome. In general, stitutional setting are stressful for curves are perceived as warm andempty space. The findings of children and can have a negative feminine, while straight lines are effect on their development. It isour day care study suggest hard and masculine. Obtuse angles therefore important to providethat the range of no less than are inviting and acute angles are re- homelike surroundings so that jecting. To be really welcoming, theone-third to no more than children can be relaxed, comfort- reception area should be concaveone-half uncovered surface able and free to learn. Attention in shape. The whole area should to detail such as plants, area rugs,is appropriate to good be intimately scaled and child- wall hangings etc., creates a beau-organization. oriented. A fish tank can work tiful and caring atmosphere. Keep- wonders. So can natural light. ing children and staff relaxed and Kritchevsky and Prescott happy is a key factor for reducing Spaces for children need to be stress. A well-organized, homelike inviting for all. Chizea et al say, The amount of space in a room environment encourages good “All children—and all adults— and how it is organized affects behavior and positive interaction. should be able to find positive children’s behavior. A tight space images of the group of people may encourage working together but can also lead to aggression Inviting with whom they feel themselves to be identified. This includes and frustration. Reducing clutter Play has long been recog- issues of culture, ethnicity, age and installing flexible furnish- nized as the key way in and gender, and also people’s ings can maximize the use of abilities/disabilities.” each area. On the other hand, too which children come to much space in a room can cause make their own sense of Some parents will want to drop children to be restless and unfo- their often confusing world. off their children and go. Well- cused and have low interaction designed space will encourage Play provides a rich method them to stay and interact, a bridge with their peers. Using dividers to create activity areas or pockets for children to express between home and the big imper- reduces distraction and can help what they know and, most sonal world. It says: we understand teachers facilitate absorbed play. children; you can be a child here. significantly, how they feel Rooms should have a balance of about the world and their well-defined spaces for a variety of relationships. activities, suggesting a mood that reflects the task in each of these Marjorie Ouvry mini-environments. For example, 9
  11. 11. To make an area welcoming it Jim Greenman (1988) notes, It is a beautiful thing to seeshould include: “Objects lay claim to our feelings a child thoroughly absorbed• Opportunities for play because of associations and qual- ities of the objects. Wood, leather, in his play… Play brings joy,• Creative use of light, both and some natural stone and brick contentment, and detach- natural and artificial objects beckon to be touched. Ob-• Curves as opposed to straight ment from the troubles of jects made of these materials tend lines to wear with grace. The smooth- the day. And especially now-• Obtuse angles rather than ings and cracks and weathering adays, in our hectic, time- and acute ones and nicks often add character.” money-driven culture, the• Concave rather than convex Memorable centers are places of shape importance of those things wonder and enchantment. They• Opportunities to explore do not feel completely civilized for every child cannot be• Counters and interest areas at and repressed. Much loved places emphasized enough. a child’s height are frequently found outdoors. They may include trees with long Johann Christoph Arnold• Opportunities to work on bent branches, the smell of ripe the floor tomatoes, the sound of water, the feel of dew-wet grass, andMemorable the taste of a radish. The chal-A spirited place satisfies lenge for childcare practitioners is to create such child-friendlychildren’s souls. It possesses areas within our own indoor anda wholeness that makes the outdoor environments, to fosterheart sing, the soul rejoice, places of freedom and delight where the enchantments andthe body feel safe and at mysteries of childhood can berest. It is the spirit of a place given full expression.that makes it memorable,that expands our sense ofpossibility and puts us intouch with what is mostloving, creative, and humanabout ourselves. Anita Olds10
  12. 12. Complexity Children need equipment with enough complexity to hold their interest for an extended time. Kritchevsky (1977) suggests that equipment can be categorized into four types:Equipment and Materials A Potential Unit is a clearly definedSo far this book has considered Play places are linked to the com- space with no play materials, for ex-the layout of individual activity plexity of each unit. (See sidebar ample, an empty table. It is importantareas in a room. What about the and chart.) to identify these areas and predict theactual equipment and materials kind of activities that may develop.for your room? If you bear these Stimulation (0 play places.)points in mind, it should help you Nature provides the perfect exam- A Simple Play Unit has only onethrough the often bewildering ple of an environment that gently obvious use, and no sub-parts orchoices that must be made. stimulates all the senses in a variety additional materials. Consider a of different ways. Large areas like tricycle or a swing. Usually only oneAmount-to-do the earth, the sky, and the grass are child can play with a simple playAre there enough units in your green, blue or various shades of unit, and sometimes that is just whatroom to keep children occupied brown. The smaller points of color is needed. (1 play place.)happily? The right balance helps are mainly primary colors. Blue, A Complex Play Unit has sub-to avoid conflicts over one unit, green, and brown are calm colors, parts or several materials that allowand lets children move quickly while red and yellow are exciting. you to improvise. A nursery gymfrom one play place to the next. Nature deeply satisfies our other is considered a complex play unit.Conversely, if there is only one four senses too. It is a source of in- Children may also discover that byplay place per child, a child who spiration informing our children of combining two simpler units they canfinishes his activity will have the environment around them. create a more exciting system. Whenvery little choice over what he Light and reflection help bring road signs are added to the tricycledoes next. this level of interest indoors, as the area, it becomes a city street.The amount-to-do formula can movement sparked by the Ital- Unit blocks are inherently open-end-help avoid conflicts (Kritchevsky ian district of Reggio Emelia has ed. When cars, trucks, farm animals,1977). Compare layout to a game demonstrated so delightfully. Look and toy figures are added to a blockof musical chairs. When “the mu- for opportunities for interplay set, the level of interest is raised, butsic stops” there should be plenty between light and shadow, like a the way in which the blocks are usedof play places to choose from, rattan screen hanging in a window becomes more specific. (4 play places.)well over 1.5 per child. Divide and blowing in the breeze. Mirrorsthe number of play places by the stimulate beautiful play. A Super Play Unit has three or morenumber of children expected to play materials, for example: a homeplay there to help you establish corner with dolls, dishes and dramaticsuccessful layouts. play costumes. (8 play places.) Example Number of Number of Different Number of Play Obvious Uses Sub-parts or Materials Places per UnitPotential Unit Empty Table 0 0 0Simple Play Unit Tricycle 1 0 1Complex Play Unit Sand & Water Table Multiple 1 or 2 4Super Play Unit Home Corner with Multiple 3 or more 8 dolls, dishes, and costumes
  13. 13. About contrasts…Anita Olds (2000) suggests thatvariety in the following sixcontrasts simulate the choicesnature would give a child.• In/Out: the contrast between When moving from one contrast Supportive Environment indoors and outdoors (accented to another, the change needs to A supportive environment helps by windows, porches, fences, be gradual and predictable so as children fulfill their own needs. transition areas) not to intimidate. A transition Children love to hang up their• Up/Down: varying heights of area helps alert the children that coats, turn on the light, turn floor and ceiling (steps, ramps, they are entering a new area with on taps, and open doors and lofts) different limits and possibilities. cupboards. They can do this• Light/Dark: bright areas and This link may involve a doormat, when materials are at the point dimmer corners (lattices, a doorstep, or there may be a of use and accessible. Areas in a screens, curtains, awnings, shad- porch or entryway with lockers. room can be designed to convey ows) their possibilities and limits. Consider:• Exposed/Tempered: wet and This helps children understand • Equipment what activity is appropriate in dry, hot and cold, windblown and still (porch, garden wall, • Floor surface: carpet, tile, wood that area. They can move from shrubs, shade) • Outside surface: pavement, place to place without a lot of grass, bare earth, etc. guidance. Choice of activity is• Something/Nothing: the con- • Walls, fences, windows, dividers, empowering. trast between a wall and a win- dow, empty or cluttered space screens, shelving Studies show that the (window seat, arches, alcoves, • Ceiling, roofs, trees, canopies arrangement of materials and corners) hung from ceilings equipment has an effect on• Order/Mystery: the contrast how they are used. Nash (1981) between order and chaos, observed that materials and predictability and surprise equipment stored close to each (partially concealed entrances, other were often used together. winding paths, possibilities for Teets (1985) found that when discovery) materials were displayed system- atically, children could see how the materials were categorized and made much better use of them. The arrangement of equip- ment supported learning and self-reliance without continuous teacher intervention. 12
  14. 14. A Quick Guide to Space PlanningThe fixed features of a building can constrain its partitions and shelving. Consider, too, features likeinterior design. Where possible, the fixed features electrical outlets, plumbing, floor surfacing, andshould be kept to a minimum to allow for greater lighting, including all-important natural light fromflexibility. For example, try to keep to the min- windows. Once the room is created, here is a step-imum of two doors per room and avoid built-in by-step guide on how to lay it out. Corri dor 1. Make an overall Carp et Li ne room plan. To ilets • Draw the basic shape of the room, to scale, on graph paper. • Mark in all the fixed features: windows, doors, sinks, floor surfacing. Play Yar d Corri dor 2. Mark in the flow. Carp et Li ne • Paths must have direct access to all areas and doors. To ilets • 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 activi- ties such as reading. • Farthest from the entry door. Play Yar d • No doors or flow-paths going through. 13
  15. 15. Corri dor 4. Divide into Wet and Dry Carp et Li ne Regions. To ilets • Wet Region: Apply the “3F” rule zon e entry to determine the wet region: flow, active zone flooring, and fixed plumbing (sinks and toilets). Wet Region • Dry Region: Should contain at least one protected corner and can be carpeted. Dry Region messy zone 5. Divide into Zones. Wet Region: zo ne quiet • Entry Zone Play Yar d • Messy Zone Dry Region: • Active Zone • Quiet Zone Don’t forget the Outdoor Zone6. Decide what activity areas areneeded and locate them in theappropriate zone.Entry/ Quiet Zone Messy Zone Active Zone Outdoors Additional SpacesTransition ZoneChildren’s Sleeping / Toileting or Large blocks Imaginative play Large grouppersonal storage resting changing meetingStaff personal Reading Eating / snack Dramatic play Building & Privatestorage construction & semi‑privateParent sign‑in & Listening Water Housekeeping Physical activity & Staff work area &communication movement telephone Manipulatives Sand Doll play Small motor Staff project storage activity Writing Clay Miniatures Horticultural work Small blocks Painting Puppet play & Scientific and store front environmental discovery Maths Collages Music & Quiet play Woodworking movement Cooking Gross motor play Science & nature Pets14

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