The motive of early childhood education is to develop life skills in a child. The major brain development happens from 0-8 years. So, it becomes very crucial the kind of daycare set up your child is going, writes Jyoti Sharma, Assistant Centre Manager, Little Big World, for Elets News Network (ENN).
As the term, daycare in early childhood education signifies it is all about taking care of very young group of people. In this context, a question pops out that how should be my class setup. We are dealing with very sensitive humans so the class should be in a way that boost and help their overall development. In the classroom, everything should be at the reach of the child. As we have to work on their overall skills the class environment need to be safe and child friendly.
First and most important thing in a class set up is that it should be educational, hygienic and engaging for the children. Have you ever entered a daycare and observed how pleasing a classroom looks to you. Is the class enough attractive and mind stimulator that child will be happy while you are away for so long time. Here, I am sharing some important tips, with you how to make classroom set up child friendly.
In order to teach them different life concepts divide classroom into different corners. The benefits of dividing different corners in a class are to build discipline in them and motivate them to be more organized, and self-dependent in their life.
THE STUDY CORNER: The study corner should be designed in a way that grabs attention of a child. It should look interesting and should ooze a positive vibe for the child. At this tender age, we cannot force children to sit and study and we need to do it in a playful way. We need to ensure we are rich in our resources and everything is easily approachable to them. All the materials in the class should be at the children level. The corner should have sufficient study material in the form of books, pencils, colors etc. In order to encourage a child for their independent behavior child should be given freedom to use the resources. Although they need to understand concepts, so we just need to guide and supervise them.
READING CORNER: This corner should be a comfortable place for children where they can relax and read books. This corner is the peaceful place of the class with the main motive of increasing vocabulary and life skills with the help of books. The selection of the books should be age appropriate, as infants need more of picture books while grown up need books with rich source of vocabulary. The teacher can do picture talk and can ask open-ended questions to the children. As infants and toddlers are in their sensorimotor stage, so it is important to keep touch and feel books in the class. This corner can be used to keep stuffed animals to give them a cozy feel.
BLOCKS OR MATH’S CORNER: This corner can involve toys and other resources that are helpful to boost their mathematical concepts for example they can use blocks to learn counting and concept of tall/short etc. The duplo blocks, stacking rings, knob puzzles, toy cars etc. all are powerful learning tools for children. They help to build spatial reasoning, enhance their fine motor and engineering skills. This corner needs to be stuffed with manipulative and open-ended toys to help children boost their creativity and imagination.
ART CORNER: The art corner should have all the stuff related to artwork. The aim of this corner is to develop their artistic skill. This corner should be full of artistic things like crayons, colors, pencils, papers etc. We need to give them freedom with their art as they try to represent their emotions and experiences through art. They are naturally curious people and their bucket is always full of questions.
They can use their self-directed unstructured art as a language to depict their experiences. This corner serves as an important tool to enhance their pincer grip and overall cognitive development.
DRAMATIC CORNER: The children love to do role-play. They follow the actions of adult and try to imitate it. This corner can involve dresses related to different professions, animals, dolls, mask, telephone, kitchen corner etc. Children learn a lot from dramatic play and that help them understand their world better. It is an important part of class to increase their social-emotional skills. The children generally start pretend to play from 18 months and we need to encourage it.
The class should be well organized and clean with all the necessary things in it. As infants and toddlers love to explore world through their mouth due to their sensorimotor developmental stage. It is important to keep only non-chokable items in the class. The children need safe place to crawl, jump and hide so they need room to push, pull, ride and run. By keeping, plenty of toys will give them opportunity to enhance their gross motor skills. It is important to keep in mind do not over stuff your classroom set up as child will not be focused due to so many options available. All the stuff needs to be labeled with name and pictures on the label so that it will be easy for children to understand during clean up time. The children should be given freedom and opportunity to use their skills instead of showing them end
product of everything.