School teachers have researched the most effective ways to engage children in learning environments at school, but how do you set up an interactive environment for children at home.
Children are always learning. From birth until adulthood, children are exploring, thinking, playing and developing their knowledge of the way our world works. Here are some things I considered when creating spaces for my children:
- Indoor and outdoor spaces – Children need to have a mixture of indoor and outdoor play available. An outdoor set up with some buckets for water play, or a digger or shovels for playing in a sandpit, will encourage children to play outside.
- Learning vs. Play – If your child has formal homework to complete then this is the best opportunity to introduce good ?study habits? by providing a regular desk space and the equipment. Thinking about the things they might need, like paper, pens and coloured pencils, helps them to learn organisation as well as creating good habits for when they are studying at high school or University.
- Orderly environment – clutter is detrimental to any environment, even more so when it?s a child?s play space. My children seem to ignore our play space when it?s too busy and seek clear open areas to play. By ?resetting? the Playroom back to organised throughout the day, Children will be happy to continue playing in the space. Children can also help you to reset the space, by putting things away as they go or after a period of time.
- For ease of putting things away, each toy, book, Teddy, pencil and car should have a nominated place to live. This may mean a certain shelf in a bookcase, or a particular tub – but without a specific place to be put away, things will never be organised.
- Creating different ?zones? in a playspace can encourage children to move from one activity to the next. You might have a rug and some comfy cushions in a reading nook, a small tables with crayons ready for drawing, a car mat set up for driving cars and trucks around.
- Children get overwhelmed with large amounts of toys and activities – so if you have a larger amount of toys, you can rotate them by storing some away and after a week or fortnight you can get out some different toys. Some families do this in themes; one week it?s babies and doll play and next week it?s a mini-cafe.
Best of luck setting up or altering your playspace to be the most effective space for your family.
Tips from Tutors Field team.