Reading: Places for Childhoods – Making Quality Happen in the Real World by Jim Greenman (Part 3)

This learning focusses on re-educating the designers preconceptions of the design elements within an Early Childhood Learning Centre. Instead of thinking of this space as a pre-cursor to school, instead think of this as a space where children and adults co-exist for 8-10 hours a day. As such this space should maintain some aspects of home, whilst introducing some new educational elements:

Young children do not beenfit particularly form large groups

A rich, responsive learning environment

Develop a room arrangment that regulates behaviour

Build sensory learning into the environment

Build motor learning into the environment

Create learning centres (interest areas) where materials area sotres and used to facilitate child directed autonomous play.

Create ample, convenient, labeled storage

Create ample, conveninet, communication space

The right size & scale for children

Good boundaries

The right amount of seclusion


Sufficient number of areas and choices

Clear expecations, visile for staff and children

Open Storage

Adult closed storage

“A playground should be like a small scale replica of the world, with as many as possible of the sensory expeiernces to be found in the world included in it. Experiences for every sense are needed, ofr instance: rough and smooth object to look at and feel; light and heavy things to pick up; water and wet materials warmed by the sun; soft and hard surfaces; things that make sounds (running water) or that can be struck, plucked, plinked, etc; smells of all varieties (flowers, bark, mud); shiny, bright objects and dull, dark ones; things that are both huge and tiny; high and low places to look at and from; materials of every type, naturla and synthetic, thin, thick and so on” Richard Dattner, Design for Play. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1969.

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