Creating a physical environment that supports positive learning and exploration is a crucial job for early childhood educators. Jessica Horne-Kennedy, a Gowrie NSW consultant, believes that establishing a rich, playful space is vital to inspiring the young children in our care.
“As educators we constantly need to keep in mind that children not only learn through their relationships with people but also through their relationships with places, spaces and things,” Jessica said.
Here she offers some tips on how educators can create an environment that is fun, safe and stimulating for children:
1. Take a step back ask: ‘what does the environment say?’ ‘Is it busy or slow?’ ‘Loud or quiet?’
2. Educators should spend time reflecting on how the environment ‘feels’.
3. Consider what message the space eludes i.e. do children and families get a sense of safety and security?
4. Introduce simple elements that create a homely and safe atmosphere, such as; soft lighting, natural fibres and colours, real objects like special baskets or special pictures in frames, real plates and crockery, plants and fresh flowers, soft cushions and floor mats.
“The motto ‘less is more’ can be a good one when we come to setting up an environment, and for the team considering the children’s and the adult’s connections to elements in the environment is helpful,” Jessica explained.
Jessica has worked with several childcare providers, focusing on improving the physical setting that creates an environment conducive to positive learning and play.
“I love to look at the entire space and imagine different possibilities for children to play and engage in through the elements of space.”
“I offer specialised consultancy that builds on the strengths of the centre’s environment and by offering ideas for creating calm, home-like and visually inspiring spaces that support wellbeing and connection,” Jessica added.
If you are interested in getting more information on this topic contact Jessica Horne-Kennedy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.