spaces

room layout for early childhood education

................... consistent and intimate care for each child......................................................... 11 Amount-to-do Stimulation Supportive Environment A Quick Guide to Space Planning . 5 Paths Movement Freedom to Explore Privacy Play and Sitting Surfaces .............. 8 Flexibility Mood ...... A well designed area can facilitate predictable....................................... 2 Activity Areas .............. 3 Location ................................................ 7 Variety Storage ............................. 13 .................... 9 Empty Space Inviting Memorable Equipment and Materials .... In a well designed area........................................................................ children are engaged and feel secure........... 4 Predictability Room Regions and Zones Boundaries .......... 2 What Makes a Good Space? ............................” Anita Olds Contents: The Importance of Space .....................spaces room layout for early childhood education “O ur designs shape children’s beliefs about themselves and life.......

Spend time with these pages and study some of the works referenced here. or making do with the space you’ve been given. young adults still remember climbing the wide ladder to catch a few moments of peace. Through the centuries. Too often. He maintained that when care is applied to children’s surroundings. The simplest of locations can become a haven of play and learning. natural. or are many at loose ends? The difference may well stem from room layout. Twenty years later. with love. and to gain a fresh perspective on the room’s activities below. ever-changing. behavior can be guided and inspired. church basements. Anita Olds The Importance of Space “Do you still have that loft?” college students stop to ask Madeline Mulligan on the street. architect and childcare professionals work together as peers to create the best possible environment for young children. We hope it helps you create spaces your children will remember. Ideally. Madeline’s home-made loft occupies a corner in her child care center. organic. Whether laying out rooms you helped design. home-like feel Memorability 2 . the childcare expert Froebel stressed the importance of environmental design in the sense of a garden. This booklet is meant to help you understand the difference. even decades later. welcoming.When children feel comfortable in their physical surroundings. your decisions about room layout are crucial. they will venture to explore materials or events around them. good or bad. Your friends at Community Playthings What Makes a Good Space? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Predictability Clear paths to activities Well-defined boundaries Enough opportunity for movement Freedom for exploration Privacy Variety Enough complexity (versatile open-ended units) Flexibility Varied levels of stimulation A supportive environment The right amount of empty space Inviting. to watch the robin build her nest outside. those who care for children have understood the significance of a child’s surroundings. converted warehouses. childcare takes place in society’s cast-off spaces. Even centers “purpose-built” for childcare are often designed with more of an eye to adult priorities than children’s needs. and from upstairs you can see out the classroom window. Are the children in your care deeply engrossed in their activities. A science area is tucked underneath. Already in the 1800’s.

The best childcare practitioners know that learning is a matter of discovery. to a design that guides and encourages children to learn through play. for they are the central units from which a room grows. Children who are gifted in this way will soon do work of real merit. and supports happy. but a three-year-old who builds a lopsided tower soon discovers how to balance the blocks and distribute weight evenly! Many factors contribute to a truly great room layout. The transition from play to work is hardly noticeable. an area for projects. Childcare professional Anita Olds lists five attributes to consider for each activity station you plan. Reasoning with a kindergarten child about fulcrums and centers of gravity may be fruitless. It helps them develop their own routines and disciplines. Blenkin & Whitehead “Open structure” rooms let children choose from a variety of activity stations. much as they would do if they were playing in their own home. The next sections of this booklet will discuss these points in detail. There may be an area for reading. Motivated children will learn through discovery. This room design uses the natural interests and impulses of children to their best advantage— children learn to make smooth transitions by themselves and in their own time. • Location: Where is it in relation to other physical features and other activity areas? • Boundaries: How well is the area defined? • Play and Sitting Surfaces: are they appropriate to the activities they support? • Storage: The materials children need in each activity area should be stored conveniently at hand. and this selfteaching process is key to a child’s development. and displayed attractively for effective use. a block area. an area for active play. motivated play. Eberhard Arnold 3 .Activity Areas The most neglected and misunderstood dimension of the planned curriculum is the creation of an environment or setting in which education is to take place. • Mood: Is the mood of the area appropriate to the function? Is it home-like? The child’s play with sand or mud is the earliest stage of experience in shaping matter.

It needs to have access to sinks. Activity areas need to be inviting islands. Many of these activities happen on the floor. They like to know what’s going on and what will happen next.” When considering your room layout and the location of each activity area. 2. access to the outside play area. scooters and wheeled vehicles. books. Children find clusters of rooms more predictable than long corridors. you can always bring nature in. puzzles. Entries and exits need to be clearly defined. nature study. Dry Region 3. and pathways direct. With rapid urbanization and shrinking wilderness. climbing and dramatic play. We recommend a natural environment that will encourage rich educational opportunities such as: • Climbing trees • Rolling down hills • Mud pies • Building forts • Hide and seek • Playing in bushes • Exploring woods • Gardening • Sand box play Don’t forget to offer challenging and vigorous activities with trikes. • Doorways should be obvious • Traffic flow should be intuitive • Rooms or areas should be arranged in a cluster rather than along a corridor 4 . and a kitchen area. In addition… 5. they like to be in control of their environment. A swing is a good place for a child to gain respite from the demands of group care. Predictability Institutional settings are inherently unpredictable: one is never sure what will happen next. The Outdoor Zone. Hollow blocks (indoors and out) provide the ideal combination of large muscle and cognitive development. music and movement.” suggested by Anita Olds as a sensible way to organize a classroom. The Messy Zone can contain tables. The Active Zone (Dry region) supports large motor play. easels. The Quiet Zone (Dry region) contains blocks. and ideally. chairs. This is also the most natural zone to gather the entire group for mealtimes. Sometimes a door in the entry zone opens onto the playground. but they also rely on a certain level of predictability. location.Location We are all familiar with a real estate agent’s jingle: “location. wheeled vehicles. construction toys. who will arrive. Floor surface is an important consideration here. etc. Even the layout of the building itself matters. Unpredictability increases children’s lack of ease and control. Consider these “zones. wet and dry. 4. If you don’t have an outdoor space. Anita Olds Children love to explore and discover. manipulatives. The Entry Zone is where children’s personal effects are stored. and for what purpose. Wet Region 1. location. These activities do best in a protected or somewhat secluded corner. The playground is the most important zone. This just means that the entry area and messy zones like sand and water centers are planned into the layout in a practical fashion. woodworking benches. bikes. games or just places to be cozy. there are a few concepts to keep in mind: Room Regions and Zones The most successful childcare rooms are divided into two regions. There should be a place where children can sit to dress/undress. a child’s last opportunity to enjoy nature may lie in the outdoor play space of a day care center. with room to detour around them. sand and water centers.

” Paths A total absence of path. Efficient boundaries double as display and shelving space. A straight pathway with one beginning and one ending emphasizes reaching the destination. These units are designed to suggest appropriate activity to a child. they don’t lead into dead space.” 5 . or of shelving. children want to save their projects so they can continue them the next day. you can create well-defined activity areas and children will exhibit a higher degree of exploratory behavior and social interaction. running. Children need scope for movement. Even in a small room. because of too much equipment placed too close together. Ideally. “A meandering pathway with forks and T’s encourages shopping for an appropriate activity and perhaps observing the activities of others. leaving open floor in the center of a room. he will be creative. Kritchevsky and Prescott Movement …movement is considered to be the bedrock of all intellectual development… often it is merely limited opportunities for movement that create many so-called behavioral and learning difficulties. Often. Most of all. They go to a destination that is clearly visible from a child’s point of view. motivation and concentration improve. perhaps even insist upon. paths detour around activity spaces. children move quickly and easily from one activity to another. can provide this movement. Caregivers can direct movement so that it is safe and doesn’t disrupt other activities. If the whole interest of the child is captured. Clear boundaries protect the work and play of children. is very disruptive. Some caregivers even create a small corral or “sunken theater” to prevent toys from getting scattered. children tend to get stuck and distracted in counterproductive activities. causing a natural path to form around it and into other activities. Many concepts interplay to create this sense of defined area: • Paths • Movement • Freedom to Explore • Privacy Jim Greenman (1988) observes that different paths encourage different types of behaviour. wicker or lattice. Climb-and-slide equipment. solid or clear. Anita Olds When paths are well defined. Instead of moving through dead space. sustained play. high or low. Often a carpet or similar visual boundary defines space.Boundaries Boundaries protect children’s activities from traffic. Dead space often occurs when activity areas are placed around the wall. Annemarie Arnold (1940) recommends that childcare professionals “let children follow their own interests. lunch and other distractions encouraging longer-lasting. like a nursery gym. But physical dividers can be used as well. They can be made of fabric. Teachers can avoid dead space by placing a low activity area in the center of the room. These boundaries need not be permanent and must not interfere with supervision. Unbroken paths encourage. Edgington (1998) reports that if children are allowed to follow an interest over a period of time.

or use the toy animals on the farm. Mark Dudek 6 . making security and quiet waiting an impossibility. It is wonderful to have a few simple units where a child can play alone. art becomes a narrowly defined set of activities in a set location. is the point of the whole thing. Children need the freedom to: • Explore using all their senses • Move between activity areas • Mix or connect different activities Variety and complexity can entertain children for a long time. but it is important that opportunities and places are created where children can simply be. Even adults feel this way. open space crisscrossed with chairs.Freedom to Explore If you want to do something good for a child… give him an environment where he can touch things as much as he wants. not a housekeeping perspective that encourages children to sit still. Dramatic play costumes want to find their way into the kitchen corner. Children instinctively recognize the most protected. Jim Greenman (1988) points out a drawback to defining areas by content: “It is easy to lose sight of the reality that the content exists everywhere in many activities. Science is viewed not as a process of investigation …but as a selection of materials and experiments. promoting a sense of security. explore and experiment. secure space in a room. Instead of a grand conception of art as both an approach to the world and a manifestation of life’s grandeur. Provide lots of softness in the room. This is why many people find a hospital waiting room unnerving—it is often a large. Privacy In an ideal setting the children have access to rooms where they can withdraw from the main group if they wish.” The most inspiring rooms are organized from a perspective that encourages children to move. It is important to allow children to move freely between activity centers to explore and experiment. Hutt et al (1989) observed a center where staff would not allow the activity areas to “cross-pollinate. It’s a natural result of role-play. to play without interruption.” unwittingly preventing the children from making connections in the life-learning process. Buckminster Fuller Richness of experience. Activity happens behind and around the chairs. It is often the corner directly opposite the entry. a place where children can go for a bit of privacy. They find it reassuring to put their backs against something solid. mix and match. to relax and daydream. be quiet and not disturb the order of the center. This is probably the ideal place for a quiet zone. Katherine Whitehorn Children need to explore using all their senses. Cubbies and comfortable corners are a child’s favorite. Allow children to take the art materials to the block area to make traffic signs for the city. not tidy perfection.

To encourage make-believe. Still others will copy text or pictures. some musical instruments. or perhaps sing from them. perhaps you will have a couch instead of individual chairs. If you want to encourage collaboration. indoors and outdoors. This variety can reach all areas. and a variety of places in which to do them. Others will look at the pictures or make believe they are reading. songbooks and reference books. to encourage singing. They may do these things alone . Paper and crayons in the book corner encourage children to copy pictures or letters.Play and Sitting Surfaces Anita Olds asks if playing and sitting surfaces are appropriate to the activities they support. Some children will read the text. offers picture books and reading books. you might have costumes. A bookshelf. for example. Encourage variety: • Small motor activities and large muscle play • Solitary play and cooperative group play • Open-ended play and prescribed activities • Sensory stimulation and islands of quiet Variety Children’s play areas can offer a variety of occupations. Consider each area: what do children do in this area? What props do they need to support this activity? or in groups of two or three. Have a listening center to hear books on tape. A wide variety of activities stretches children’s imaginations and keeps them interested. fiction and fact. So it makes sense to have different props to support the different activities that books suggest.

Some centers support literacy by displaying books that relate to what is going on in the various activity areas. manipulatives. This allows manipulation of the environment by teachers and children. too. The variety of materials employed in a particular activity area needs careful consideration. educational objectives. ins. • Aesthetically pleasing. whether 20 months or 20 years old. For example. changeable interest areas that hold children’s attention. As one of the five most important attributes of activity areas. etc. Don’t neglect the need for personal storage. rather than just in the book corner. • Adapting the environment to meet behavioral needs • Letting children change their environment to suit their play • Creating ADA-compliant spaces by being able to move shelving and equipment to accommodate adaptive equipment With portable screens and dividers. or both teachers and children will be frustrated in their use of the room. and it demonstrates the respect the teacher holds for their work. Jim Greenman’s (1988) list of characteristics of good storage is helpful. • Clear and understandable to its user. This supports the logical practice of using shelving to define the boundaries of activity areas. Well-designed storage shelves accommodate vertical display on their backs. you can create versatile. With moveable furniture and equipment. large muscle play—each has its particular characteristics which must be reflected in the storage methods employed there. Flexibility The ideal room is an empty shell filled with moveable furniture. found objects. Children get their cubbies. flexibility in room layout becomes a powerful tool. Supply children with large hollow blocks. Built-in features severely restrict flexible room arrangements and the opportunity for future changes and improvements. Good storage is: • Located close to the point of use • Able to comfortably hold and distinctively display contents when open. • The right size and shape for the space. Avoid built- 8 . and rather consider moveable storage shelves. storage needs to be considered early in the room layout process. expand an area for a group gathering or instantly create a small cozy space for individual work. • Safe The mention of display above deserves special attention.Storage Which teacher hasn’t thought about storage? There never seems to be enough. and saves precious wall space. if they are deep enough and at the right height. Books. right in each area. This practice conveys without words that this is the children’s space. blocks. sand and water. but teachers. Eight reasons for this are: • Changes in enrollment • New staff with different preferences • Different groups with different needs • Seasonal changes • Changes in children’s interests. need space they can call their own. and pillows so they can create spaces to suit their play. or nature exhibits. boxes. The tops of shelving can hold children’s sculptures.

A well-organized. the art area. imaginative and fun. Keeping children and staff relaxed and happy is a key factor for reducing stress. Research and experience prove that many hours spent in an institutional setting are stressful for children and can have a negative effect on their development. For example. area rugs. Inviting Play has long been recognized as the key way in which children come to make their own sense of their often confusing world.” Design plays a big part in this sense of welcome. age and gender. A fish tank can work wonders. So can natural light. On the other hand. while straight lines are hard and masculine. colorful and creative. To be really welcoming. The findings of our day care study suggest that the range of no less than one-third to no more than one-half uncovered surface is appropriate to good organization. Rooms should have a balance of well-defined spaces for a variety of activities. homelike environment encourages good behavior and positive interaction. the reception area should be concave in shape. and the dramatic play area. The whole area should be intimately scaled and childoriented. This includes issues of culture. Prasad (2000) comments that “…clear but non-intimidating siting of an office or reception desk can help people be at ease and feel that they belong. curves are perceived as warm and feminine. Kritchevsky and Prescott the reading area should be quiet and soft. too much space in a room can cause children to be restless and unfocused and have low interaction with their peers. most significantly. comfortable and free to learn.. It says: we understand children. Chizea et al say. The amount of space in a room and how it is organized affects children’s behavior. how they feel about the world and their relationships. The first impression children and parents gain from a center is its entry and reception area. Marjorie Ouvry 9 . Play provides a rich method for children to express what they know and. Reducing clutter and installing flexible furnishings can maximize the use of each area. suggesting a mood that reflects the task in each of these mini-environments. a bridge between home and the big impersonal world. “All children—and all adults— should be able to find positive images of the group of people with whom they feel themselves to be identified. Using dividers to create activity areas or pockets reduces distraction and can help teachers facilitate absorbed play. Attention to detail such as plants. Obtuse angles are inviting and acute angles are rejecting. creates a beautiful and caring atmosphere. ethnicity. wall hangings etc. Spaces for children need to be inviting for all. A tight space may encourage working together but can also lead to aggression and frustration. and also people’s abilities/disabilities. Welldesigned space will encourage them to stay and interact. In general.Mood Is the mood of the area appropriate to the function? Is it home-like? Anita Olds Empty Space Larger numbers of children… need a larger proportion of empty space. you can be a child here.” Some parents will want to drop off their children and go. It is therefore important to provide homelike surroundings so that children can be relaxed. Children take cues from the environment to regulate their behavior.

that expands our sense of possibility and puts us in touch with what is most loving. the soul rejoice. and human about ourselves. It is the spirit of a place that makes it memorable. and the taste of a radish.To make an area welcoming it should include: • Opportunities for play • Creative use of light. the smell of ripe tomatoes. the feel of dew-wet grass. Anita Olds 10 . to foster places of freedom and delight where the enchantments and mysteries of childhood can be given full expression. The challenge for childcare practitioners is to create such child-friendly areas within our own indoor and outdoor environments. Wood. It possesses a wholeness that makes the heart sing. “Objects lay claim to our feelings because of associations and qualities of the objects. creative. time. Much loved places are frequently found outdoors. in our hectic. both natural and artificial • Curves as opposed to straight lines • Obtuse angles rather than acute ones • Concave rather than convex shape • Opportunities to explore • Counters and interest areas at a child’s height • Opportunities to work on the floor Jim Greenman (1988) notes.and money-driven culture. They may include trees with long bent branches. It is a beautiful thing to see a child thoroughly absorbed in his play… Play brings joy. the importance of those things for every child cannot be emphasized enough. leather. contentment. The smoothings and cracks and weathering and nicks often add character. the body feel safe and at rest. Johann Christoph Arnold Memorable A spirited place satisfies children’s souls. and some natural stone and brick objects beckon to be touched. And especially nowadays.” Memorable centers are places of wonder and enchantment. and detachment from the troubles of the day. the sound of water. Objects made of these materials tend to wear with grace. They do not feel completely civilized and repressed.

(See sidebar and chart. Nature deeply satisfies our other four senses too. Consider a tricycle or a swing. like a rattan screen hanging in a window and blowing in the breeze.) Stimulation Nature provides the perfect example of an environment that gently stimulates all the senses in a variety of different ways. Children may also discover that by combining two simpler units they can create a more exciting system. Play places are linked to the complexity of each unit. (4 play places. (1 play place. dishes and dramatic play costumes. What about the actual equipment and materials for your room? If you bear these points in mind. and costumes Number of Obvious Uses 0 1 Multiple Multiple Number of Different Sub-parts or Materials 0 0 1 or 2 3 or more Number of Play Places per Unit 0 1 4 8 . (0 play places. Mirrors stimulate beautiful play. Unit blocks are inherently open-ended. well over 1. the level of interest is raised. The amount-to-do formula can help avoid conflicts (Kritchevsky 1977). Conversely. When cars. the sky. It is a source of inspiration informing our children of the environment around them. but the way in which the blocks are used becomes more specific. Usually only one child can play with a simple play unit. Compare layout to a game of musical chairs. Look for opportunities for interplay between light and shadow. and no sub-parts or additional materials. The smaller points of color are mainly primary colors. trucks. if there is only one play place per child. Large areas like the earth. as the movement sparked by the Italian district of Reggio Emelia has demonstrated so delightfully. and brown are calm colors.) A Complex Play Unit has subparts or several materials that allow you to improvise. When road signs are added to the tricycle area. for example: a home corner with dolls.) Amount-to-do Are there enough units in your room to keep children occupied happily? The right balance helps to avoid conflicts over one unit. an empty table. and lets children move quickly from one play place to the next. and toy figures are added to a block set. Kritchevsky (1977) suggests that equipment can be categorized into four types: Equipment and Materials So far this book has considered the layout of individual activity areas in a room. while red and yellow are exciting. Example Potential Unit Simple Play Unit Complex Play Unit Super Play Unit Empty Table Tricycle Sand & Water Table Home Corner with dolls. farm animals. a child who finishes his activity will have very little choice over what he does next.) A Simple Play Unit has only one obvious use. A nursery gym is considered a complex play unit. green.5 per child. Light and reflection help bring this level of interest indoors. it becomes a city street. it should help you through the often bewildering choices that must be made.Complexity Children need equipment with enough complexity to hold their interest for an extended time. A Potential Unit is a clearly defined space with no play materials. Divide the number of play places by the number of children expected to play there to help you establish successful layouts. blue or various shades of brown. When “the music stops” there should be plenty of play places to choose from. and the grass are green. dishes. and sometimes that is just what is needed. Blue. It is important to identify these areas and predict the kind of activities that may develop.) A Super Play Unit has three or more play materials. (8 play places. for example.

• In/Out: the contrast between indoors and outdoors (accented by windows. etc. They can move from place to place without a lot of guidance. Choice of activity is empowering. and open doors and cupboards. arches. transition areas) • Up/Down: varying heights of floor and ceiling (steps.About contrasts… Anita Olds (2000) suggests that variety in the following six contrasts simulate the choices nature would give a child. or there may be a porch or entryway with lockers. Teets (1985) found that when materials were displayed systematically. trees. screens. Consider: • Equipment • Floor surface: carpet. hot and cold. turn on the light. grass. This helps children understand what activity is appropriate in that area. alcoves. Nash (1981) observed that materials and equipment stored close to each other were often used together. lofts) • Light/Dark: bright areas and dimmer corners (lattices. screens. windows. empty or cluttered space (window seat. This link may involve a doormat. shade) • Something/Nothing: the contrast between a wall and a window. shrubs. corners) • Order/Mystery: the contrast between order and chaos. wood • Outside surface: pavement. roofs. ramps. A transition area helps alert the children that they are entering a new area with different limits and possibilities. porches. awnings. Children love to hang up their coats. turn on taps. Studies show that the arrangement of materials and equipment has an effect on how they are used. fences. windblown and still (porch. children could see how the materials were categorized and made much better use of them. shadows) • Exposed/Tempered: wet and dry. possibilities for discovery) When moving from one contrast to another. winding paths. garden wall. • Walls. predictability and surprise (partially concealed entrances. a doorstep. They can do this when materials are at the point of use and accessible. dividers. shelving • Ceiling. bare earth. the change needs to be gradual and predictable so as not to intimidate. fences. canopies hung from ceilings Supportive Environment A supportive environment helps children fulfill their own needs. curtains. 12 . The arrangement of equipment supported learning and self-reliance without continuous teacher intervention. tile. Areas in a room can be designed to convey their possibilities and limits.

Once the room is created. Consider. floor surfacing. To ilets Play Yar d Corri dor 2. and lighting. • Draw the basic shape of the room. bathrooms. • Farthest from the entry door. floor surfacing. Locate and circle the Protected Corners. with one path going into the center of the room. here is a stepby-step guide on how to lay it out. • Mark in all the fixed features: windows. including all-important natural light from windows. Mark in the flow. • Main flow goes from the entry door to all other doors. plumbing. too. try to keep to the minimum of two doors per room and avoid built-in partitions and shelving. 3. to scale. on graph paper. sinks. features like electrical outlets.A Quick Guide to Space Planning The fixed features of a building can constrain its interior design. Make an overall room plan. doors. Where possible. • No doors or flow-paths going through. Corri dor Carp et Li ne 1. the fixed features should be kept to a minimum to allow for greater flexibility. exits. Carp et Li ne To ilets • Paths must have direct access to all areas and doors. • This will help you reserve prime space for quiet activities such as reading. Play Yar d 13 . For example. and storage closets.

Decide what activity areas are needed and locate them in the appropriate zone. • Wet Region: Apply the “3F” rule to determine the wet region: flow. Divide into Wet and Dry Regions. ne Wet Region: • Entry Zone • Messy Zone Dry Region: • Active Zone • Quiet Zone Don’t forget the Outdoor Zone 6. and fixed plumbing (sinks and toilets). To ilets zon entry e active zone Wet Region messy zone Dry Region zo quiet Play Yar d 5. flooring.Corri dor Carp et Li ne 4. Entry/ Quiet Zone Transition Zone Children’s personal storage Staff personal storage Parent sign‑in & communication Sleeping / resting Reading Listening Messy Zone Toileting or changing Eating / snack Water Active Zone Large blocks Dramatic play Housekeeping Doll play Miniatures Puppet play & store front Music & movement Outdoors Imaginative play Building & construction Additional Spaces Large group meeting Private & semi‑private Physical activity & Staff work area & movement telephone Small motor activity Horticultural work Scientific and environmental discovery Quiet play Staff project storage Manipulatives Sand Writing Small blocks Maths Clay Painting Collages Woodworking Cooking Gross motor play Science & nature Pets 14 . Divide into Zones. • Dry Region: Should contain at least one protected corner and can be carpeted.

square C orr idor F7 56Post F 00 Bulleti Pan el [24H 7 n ] F6 81 Tote She l [24 f H] A735Co rner Ben ch F8 38 M A724 We l ome Cub bies8 [48H] c in iA rc h F 45 F ixed Shelf [3 2 1/16H] 6 To il t e F7 56Post Welcome Area A735Co rner Be nch 7.1 squa re = 1 ft. “Here is a place for quiet play. Create a space for each area. “Leave your tricycle outside.” An arch across the entry tells you. This space includes storage for items used in that area. a space with little cozy nooks communicates. For example.” Wall Mo unte Sink d T oilets A723 We l o m Cub bies6 [48H] c e F7 56Post P l ne a Blocks F7 56 Post rc iA h A73 Co rner Bench 5 F6 82 T o She l [24 te f H] A723We l o me C bies 6 [4 c ub 8H] F7 56Post 39 F756 Post Wa Mo unted Sink ll in M F8 To il t e J7 12 J712 J712 J710 F6 12 F ixedShelf [1 6H ] A951 M ultTa ble i A738 Wal Peg s 8 l J712 J712 A951M ultiTa ble J712 F7 43 W indo w Pa n el J710 J 712 A951 M ultiT ble a J710 J710 F7 56 Po st F7 29 Wing J 712 H520 Junior Ar t Island J 710 J 710 J712 D12 0P u sh c rt a Science/Discovery A627 SAND & W ERCENTER AT C 705 Dress-U Unit p F7 54 Post ] /4H 13 ) [3 side F6 86 T oteShe l [32H] f p (In wee F7 54Post F7 51 L31 0 Model 2 Star t r Kit [8 7 1/16H] e 8 J71 Dramatic Play Area J 712 F7 56 Po F7 29 Wing st C2 Tab le 21 D130 DollHigh Chair C110 Bed F7 74 Displa It-All withClear Pa ne yl A919 T ra p[22 1/16H] F7 Sw eep 54 [32 P 1/ 1 6H] ost 51 F7 F7 54 P os t 9S F6 7 J71 0 J7 18 F6 76 Math Manipulatives F7 76Lib rary Shelf [48 3 /8H] J 710 J7 10 A951 MultiTa ble F671 Cor ner S elf [16H] h Play Yard Reading Corner F613 F ixed Shelf [1 6H] J 710 0 J80 C364 Cupbo ard C363 Refrige rat r o Group Activities and Mealtimes C362 Sin k F6 85T ote She f [32H] l C361 Sto ve A6 0B LO CK CA RT . you are entering a protected space. It communicates possibilities and limitations.

Pittsburgh. Bruderhof Curriculum Arnold. parents. Pittsburgh. Just Playing?. 2000. S. A Curriculum for Young Children. Outdoor Play. 1992. (eds) When Children Play. & Prescott. Open University Press Nash. NAEYC Teets. USA 16 .M. J. National Early Years Network Prasad. B. University of Pittsburgh. et al. Fuller. 1988. Physical Space. Sept 20th Blenkin. Bruderhof Curriculum Arnold. M. 32-60. Caring Spaces. England Shady Lane School. Chizea. DfEE Publications Stone. 1988. Proceedings of the International Conference on Play and Play Environments. J. Carnegie Mellon University. PLA Dudek. A. USA Louise Child Care. Learning Places. PA. NJ: Ablex. Exchange Press Inc.M. Gura. 2000. ‘Modifications of play behaviors of preschool children through manipulation of environmental variables’. 1985. National Early Years Network Edgington. PA. PA.V. 1977. Corby. Exploration and Learning: A Natural History of the Preschool. Pittsburgh. 1990. & Whitehead. USA Tot Spot.and five-year-old children’s learning’. A. 1991. J. Pittsburgh. 1992. M. 1988. B. Caring Spaces. P. M. ‘The effects of classroom spatial organization on four. 1989. in Blenkin. Harmondsworth: Penguin Education Hutt. Caring Spaces. Plough Publishing House Bates. 1988. Henderson. (eds) Early Childhood Education. J. J. K. 1981. Endangered: Your Child in a Hostile World. PA. & Walling. London: Paul Chapman Publishing. G. London: Routledge Kritchevsky. USA New Meadow Run Childcare Center. UpStart! 03.Bibliography Arnold. 2000. A. Child Care Design Guide. S. E. and Sunderlin. (2nd edn. B. E. Greenman. Exercising Muscles and Minds. and staff of the following childcare centers: Cyert Center for Early Education. ‘Creating a context for development’. in Frost. Pittsburgh. M.) London: Paul Chapman Publishing Edwards et al. 1972. The Place of ‘Hort’ in the Life of Bruderhof Children. C. 2000. 2001. Farmington. G. Exchange Press Inc. S. J. Building for Young Children. Letter to Children of Earth quoted in Greenman. Children’s Education in Community. Norwood. A Guide to Discipline. & Jones. 1996 ‘Like Rats in a Rage’ The Times Education Supplement. The Nursery Teacher in Action. G. Wheaton. The Early Years. USA The Day School at the Children’s Institute. C. Paul Chapman Publishing Hutt. Montgomery. S. PA. J. McGraw-Hill Ouvry. Planning Environments for Young Children. British Journal of Educational Psychology Olds.L. 1940. Spaces and Places. L. PA. London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Moyles. USA Pen Green Family Center. Exploring Learning. 1993. The Hundred Languages of Children-The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. 1999.. Play. MD: Association for Childhood Education International Whitehorn. Inclusion. A. and Kelly. Learning Places.C. Exchange Press Inc. Males and Females. A special ‘Thank You!’ to the children. NY.T. Learning Places. S. USA University Child Development Center. A Developmental Curriculum. NAEYC Lasenby. 1976. M. quoted in Greenman.

Additional Resources for Room Design Caring Spaces. Child Care Design Guide Anita Rui Olds 2000.CommunityPlaythings. plus areas for outdoor play and more. B. Jim Greenman’s writings have always been a strong voice on behalf of children and their unique needs in a rapidly changing world. 1977. L. A guide for directors. Author Anita Rui Olds brings to this work over 25 years of design experience with children’s facilities. E. Isbell. toddler.naeyc. preschool. developmentally rich centers. trainers. Exchange Press.Caring Spaces.nccic. R. NAEYC www. LLC. 2005. Physical Space. Helps child care professionals understand architects’ design issues. For more information: 1-800-777-4244 www. Child Care Design Guide. S. Her guide includes over 300 floor plans for infant. 10/06 Helps architects understand the needs of children and design functional.com . architects – everyone involved in the world of quality child care. & Walling.org www. A. & Carter. professors and their students. She gives you step-by-step explanations of interior and exterior layout and design principles. J. Gryphon House. Curtis. McGraw‑Hill Early Learning Environments That Work. Greenman. 2003. D. Exchange Press. McGraw-Hill 352 pages $42 Order directly by calling Community Playthings. Inc. & Prescott. 2000. Olds. Learning Places. This publication © 2006 by Community Products. 2001. Inc Designs for Living and Learning. With this new edition of a time-tested volume. Kritchevsky. and after-school spaces. Inc. & Exelby. Greenman adds apt new insights on today’s issues and addresses everything from site and building evaluation to what goes on in a baby’s brain. Learning Places: Children’s Environments That Work Jim Greenman. M. Redleaf Press Planning Environments for Young Children. 2005.org Free Catalog Community Playthings Catalog Fully illustrated catalog of standard play equipment and furniture for childcare centers.

Divide the room into zones: Entry Zone. Draw your room to scale on a grid. Locate and circle the Protected Corners. Lao-Tzu. including: • Science • Art • Blocks • Dramatic Play • Sensory Play • Reading • Quiet Corner • Large Muscle Play • Music Appreciation • Group Area • Staff Work Area Create a space for each area.Seven Steps for Room Design 1. . Chinese Philosopher 6. Active Zone. 5. 2. providing for ample storage and display. plumbing. 7. 4. 3. Establish a Wet Region and a Dry Region. floor surfaces. It is not the clay the potter throws that gives the jar its usefulness. Messy Zone. but the space within. Decide on the appropriate activity areas for each zone. Mark in the flow. storage. Quiet Zone. and include all the fixed features like doors and windows.