The Preschool Learning Environment
Preschool is the child’s stepping stone to formal education. It is where they first encounter a classroom setting and become used to a learning and interactive environment different from their home setting. It is important to make the space as open and welcoming as possible to make their transition into school life enjoyable.
The right learning environment must create a space that will awaken a sense of wonder and a love for learning in the child. Featuring colour and brightness in the learning space will attract preschoolers, and they will develop an interest in coming, participating and interacting in the environment. There are a lot of aspects to consider when planning and furnishing a learning space for children. This article explores techniques to use space and preschool classroom furniture to inspire them to learn and explore their creativity.
The Impact of Furniture on the Learning Environment
Furniture may not be thought of as elements that impact the young learner. But consider the following points about how important these elements are to the learning environment.
- It can be a tool for personal growth
Furniture in the learning environment is the personal learning space of the student. This is where many social interactions in the school environment take place. Teachers can also build personal bonds with the little ones here. It has as much significance as other learning materials used by the institution. This is enhanced with preschoolers who are just entering the school environment. So selecting the perfect furniture is crucial.
As toddlers, students are still in a delicate growing stage. Furniture used must support proper posture with the feet resting on the floor. Educators can train kids in good seating manners and discipline with proper furnishing. With the right ergonomics in place, the student will be able to learn and grow comfortably.
- It promotes a sense of structure
The table-and-chair setup or any other setting you choose for your preschool class sets a fundamental structure that promotes an environment of ordered learning. Sturdy, comfortable furniture is a must in these beginning stages. Rickety or inappropriate furniture can spoil the overall environment. It can also cause frustration in a child who is just learning to put pencil to paper. As students progress through the years, they will experience years’ progress as the furniture in their learning environment changes and grows with them.
- It promotes learning
Furniture and setting are important promoters of learning, especially in the early years. Little minds will feel intimidated in a sterile environment with no colour or child-friendly decor. Proper use of colour and kiddy designs with coordinated furniture that is proportionate will give the best results.
Material is the final important consideration for furniture. Using metal or other hard materials in furniture can be dangerous for children. Wood and plastic are the most popular choices for children’s furniture since they are strong and long-lasting.
- It can impact lives
Well-chosen furniture can make the whole preschool experience one that will impact the child positively.
Ideally, preschool furniture should help the student sit in the right posture with the feet planted on the floor to keep them anchored and stabilized.
Chairs cannot be too big – children’s feet dangle, and seating becomes uncomfortable. Chairs with adjustable height take the stress out of finding the right size for every child. Tables and chairs should not overwhelm the learning environment. They should provide enough stability and flexibility for the student.
The shape of furniture can contribute positively to the purpose of the environment. Interesting shapes can be an encouragement to students. Picking the right furniture and setting the right environment can even help maintain class discipline.
Comparing Furniture Requirements for Kindergarten and Nursery Classes
Both nursery and kindergarten children are considered preschoolers. But, they are at different levels of learning. One group is just setting out on the journey to formal learning, while the other would have had a few years of a formal introduction to a learning environment. For this reason, the furniture used in both settings would be different. There would need to be a greater allowance for fun and entertainment for beginners with small amounts of time dedicated to basic learning. Bright colours on all furniture, including plastic chairs and tables suited to students’ size and room decors like shelves and other storage, will set the right mood. The space will also have to be furnished with outdoor play sets like trampolines and tent-houses and indoor furnishings like play mats, rocking toys, small slides, etc. As they get used to a formally structured environment, you can think of introducing more learning-based and activity-centred resources like instruction boards, activity-oriented books and reading corners, well-designed seating, learning toys, etc.
How to Pick the Perfect Combination of Furniture to Create the Right Pre-school Environment
It is best to order furniture in bulk for the best value for your money to furnish a preschool space. But beyond this, you will also need to consider the following:
Safety should be of utmost importance in any environment involving children. As we are talking about young learners, allowances have to be made for climbing over and explorative activities with the furniture in the classroom. For this reason, all pieces of furniture need to be carefully selected for size, shape, and sturdiness that can handle a bit of rough use. Sharp projections and flimsy parts can lead to accidents. These should not be found in kids’ environments.
Comfort becomes a forerunner to the decision when choosing preschool furniture. Ensuring that furniture is of the right orientation for good posture and the right strength to support the child properly is essential. Children at this age are in their growing years and must be supported in their physical growth. In addition, consider the functionality of foldable chairs and tables to allow you to have a versatile learning space. When things are foldable, they can be stored away if not required so that the space can be used differently.
Preschool furniture has an important role in creating an environment that has the right mood and aesthetics for a preschool child. Colour is the most important factor in creating this environment. Ensure that the furniture set you choose is bright and colourful and that the quality of the colour is superior.
Weight is a tricky consideration when it comes to preschool furniture. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold the student and stay stationary during work. At the same time, furniture shouldn’t be dangerously heavy, and the students should be able to move their furniture around.
As with any investment, the furniture set you purchase must be able to serve you for a long time. Materials, make, and quality are the three factors that determine how long your furniture will last. Plastic and wood are the most common raw materials in preschool furniture. Either will have different quality grades, and you must ensure you choose the best possible option. Additives like chemical treatments must also be carefully inspected to ensure that wooden furniture remains resistant to termites. Also, children may have allergies to certain chemicals or materials, which will need to be carefully sorted.
Furnishing a learning environment needs to be done with forethought and lots of planning. Every element you choose can enhance the effect on the child. Basic considerations will include functionality, comfort and safety, but to take learning beyond the basics, include all elements of the learning space, including furniture, into the learning resource bank. Professionals in the industry like Inspace School Furniture, Chennai, will help you get the right pieces for your preschool space.