For me, it’s all about love at first sight, if I see it and I love it, if I’m visually drawn to it, I’m sold. So when it comes to creating an environment for children to inhabit, it hands down has to intoxicate the eye, invigorate imaginations, ultimately it has to look good, and you’ll win over any child!
However, looks aside, I do believe a learning environment should of course have functionality. One might not last long reading books by the hour upon a fully sequined couch adorned in fairy lights in a room painted red, whereas a functional creative learning environment offering a space to read, should be calming and cosy, adorned with provisions for luxury-lounging and softness, a place filled with words and wonder, that will excite and inspire, and undoubtedly be well illuminated. You need to see it to read it!
As you begin to plan your child’s learning space keep in mind that not only does an environment affect a child’s mood, it can influence their ability to form relationships, effect their health and wellbeing, their ability to play, and an environment most importantly has a very crucial role in a child’s learning and development and can impact on the way their brain develops.
The Reggio Emilia approach, developed by Loris Malaguzzi and named after an area in Italy, states children are powerful learners and their interests should guide adults’ decisions surrounding learning, including how the environment is arranged and materials provided. The Reggio Emilia approach believes the learning environment plays a critical role, and that intentionality (thoughtful planning and action) on behalf of teachers in the design of spaces and the selection and arrangement of materials significantly influences children’s level of engagement and learning (Edwards, 2002). Reggio Emilia educators have termed the environment as the “third teacher because of the power environments have to inform and shape the kind of learning that will happen in the room”. (Fraser, 2000, p.53).
A well-designed learning environment will promote competence, independent exploration and learning through play, it will invite open ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking, exploration, discovery and connections with the wider world. So take the journey and let us help you create a wonderland for your child.
Dream Au Pair have teamed up with Cindy from Soul Interiors soulinteriordesign.co.nz to give our Host Families a special offer.
A one hour on site consultation for $95 incl GST – (normally $150 PLUS GST ) for an initial consultation. These consultations include a phone conversation prior to our meeting so Cindy can get a good idea of your needs enabling her to come well prepared, Cindy will then provide a summary email after the meeting outlining what was discussed and action points.
Edwards, C. P. (2002). Three approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 4(1). Retrieved from http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/edwards.html
Fraser, S., (2000). Authentic Childhood: Experiencing Reggio Emilia in the Classroom.
Scarboroug: Nelson Thomson Learning.