Sunday, January 16, 2011

creating quiet spaces for young children in early childhood environments.

Do you like to peek into other early childhood centres for inspiration?  I know I do.  I'm a card carrying sticky beak!

I have found some images of inviting, cozy, comfy quiet spaces in early childhood learning environments to share with you.  Unfortunately I can't find their sources so if one of these photos is yours please let me know so that I can link it to you.


Young children need time apart from a busy preschool environments to reflect and regroup.  Private spaces to retreat to, removed from the stimulating hustle and bustle allow for that. 


Children are naturally drawn to small, comforting spaces where they can be alone or with one or two others. If quiet spaces are a part of your play space, children will naturally seek these out to calm down, or just 'to be'.  


Small spaces provide a sense of security:  perfect for the beginning of the preschool year.



You may want to include materials such as books or small manipulatives that encourage quiet play in these spaces.


Kids Spaces and Places

I love the idea of lofts as quiet areas:


This clever centre uses a bunk bed as a loft alternative:


Jim Greenman in "Caring Spaces, Learning Places" observes that in our homes there are loads of private spaces for children to go when they are feeling little, tired, unhappy or out of control.  Under tables, behind furniture, beds, closets, windows and doors to look out of.  Thinking of children in their 'natural habitat' can help to give us a wealth of ideas that go beyond the single "cozy corner".

16 comments:

  1. Unfortunately none of those photos were from me ... but gee I sure wish at least one of them was ... so relaxing - so beautiful!
    Donna :) :)

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  2. Unfortunately none of those photos were from me ... but gee I sure wish at least one of them was ... so relaxing - so beautiful!
    Donna :) :)

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  3. I love these pictures - I've been looking at a lot of pictures of preschool environments, trying to figure out how to change some things in my classroom. I've been thinking about how to make a quiet and/or hiding place for the kids to have.... now I know i have to!

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  4. I have to say again, I LOVE YOUR BLOG! It is so wonderful and inspiring. I love all your natural play posts and this post is also excellent and inspiring! I don't mean to gush yet again, but thanks for everything you post!

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  5. I have to admit, this is one of the weaknesses of our school. Our main place is the top of our loft and it's pretty effective most of the time, but sometimes it gets taken over by rowdy play as well.

    As usual, you've shown me some inspirational ideas. Thanks.

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  6. I know these are in big centers, but I love the idea of a loft for home. I don't use bunk beds because I like both my girls to be at floor level and able to see each other at night (they're still little), but I'm really intrigued by the idea of a loft for quiet play purposes. Thanks for sharing these.

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  7. Great little play places! I love the loft idea too :)

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  8. Thanks for continuing to inspire! I love that natural looking loft :)

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  9. I love, love, love the idea of a loft and intend to have one this year! :)))) I have tried to find somewhere in Australia that manufactures them... but no luck. I think shipping one from the US might be a bit costly! :/ The idea of transforming a bunk bed certainly sounds interesting and worth some thought. I have a dad on committee who is a cabinet maker and always happy to help out... so it is all possible! the natural tree loft amongst your photo's is just beautiful! Thanks again Jenny for your inspiration!

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  10. Oh I love the little hidey holes under the bench tops... you know your blog makes me think about going back to teaching.... which is a good thing because one day I actually will! Thank you for the inspiration!

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  11. Lovely spaces Jenny. The 5th one down is mine. It is probably from my teaching blog http://foundationteacherindubai.blogspot.com/ but could also be from my new blog which is sadly still looking very empty. http://kidspacesandplaces.blogspot.com/

    Karen - I am hoping to get my husband (he's an architect/designer) to partner with me on a business designing spaces for children (homes, playgrounds and schools etc - hence the blog) He's not convinced of the demand. I should try to get him to start with a loft!



    from my blog athough I have started a new blog

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  12. One of my goals is to be able to create a much more comfy quiet space - but when I observed how my children stow away and find places to be quiet - these places were actually quite open - but to a toddler they seemed hidden away. Here is what I posted last month on this subject:
    http://kreativeactivities.blogspot.com/2011/07/place-or-your-own.html
    I felt guilty not having one of the amazing spaces pictured in your article - but in fact children find their own spaces to hide away - because they think outside of the box.

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  13. Lovely spaces Jenny. The 5th one down is mine. It is probably from my teaching blog http://foundationteacherindubai.blogspot.com/ but could also be from my new blog which is sadly still looking very empty. http://kidspacesandplaces.blogspot.com/

    Karen - I am hoping to get my husband (he's an architect/designer) to partner with me on a business designing spaces for children (homes, playgrounds and schools etc - hence the blog) He's not convinced of the demand. I should try to get him to start with a loft!

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  14. Oh pooh! Sorry Jenny, the other comment didn't delete. Would you mind deleting the first one (with the disconnected text at the bottom) and this one as well. :)

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  15. What a delight! I am crazy about out of the ordinary floor plans, especially a living room/library combo. This post was a real treat.

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  16. I love your ideas, but my classroom is the size of a small bedroom..but you are giving me all kinda of ideas for my very tiny space. Thanks!

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