Reading: Caring Spaces, Learning Places: Children’s Environments that Work by Jim Greenman (Part 1)

This reading examines the different elements within the space of an Early Childhood Learning Centre from both a child and an adults perspectives:

  • Ceiling heights: low ceilings encourage intimacy, but the adults within this space will now look even bigger to a child, which could scare the child. Whilst really high ceilings can make children feel really small in a huge space, therefore they feel less safe. The spaces with high ceilings can be diffused through varying the heights of the ceiling, through hanging netting or canopies to engage the childs mind.
  • Flooring: “varying the floor surface allows better organisation of the room” (pg. 108).
  • Walls: need to be able to be easily cleaned, and must contain area’s for the childrens artwork to be displayed and liven up the space. A beautiful wall without hanging space for childrens artwork, will very shortly have tape marks all over it, it is better to design this feature into the space through the choice of materials.
  • Windows: “Windows allow the drama occurring outdoors to be witnessed and felt. The movement of clouds and trees provides patterns of the quieter drama of light and shade” (pg. 110). That said, if the space has a lot of glare, this can become distracting for the child and reduce their attention span. These windows should also be shatter resistant, in case accidents occur. All window coverings must either be heavy duty or be kept out of reach of children, to minimise accidents & damage.
  • Lighting: ” A mixture of fluorescent light form the cieling, natural light from the windows and skylights, and local area lighting will allow flexibility that creates ‘pools of light’ ” (p.g. 111).
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