Space and Furnishings
1. Indoor Space
Children need sufficient space that is well lit and has a comfortable temperature for learning and playing. Indoor space that is well maintained and in good repair sends a message to the young child that is welcoming and inviting.
2. Furnishings for routine care and play
Furnishings should be provided for use by both children and adults.
Routine care furnishings (for meals, sleeping, diapering, and storage of children’s possessions) should be comfortable, supportive and appropriate to the size of the child. This allows them to focus on developing self-help skills like feeding, rather than being hindered by discomfort and instability. Furnishings for play (blankets, exersaucers for non-mobile children, or chairs/tables, play furniture for toddlers) need to be easily accessed and used by all children in order to encourage exploration and independence. Furnishings used to store play materials (i.e., shelves, baskets, etc) should be on children’s level to promote self-help skills and independence of choice. All furnishings for routine care and play must be safe for children’s use, therefore they need to be sturdy and in good repair.
Adults working with children need easy access to routine and play furnishings, as well as storage facilities. This convenience allows adults to maintain proper supervision and to provide smooth transitions between activities. Seating for adults should be used when assisting children with routine care needs. Adult seating may vary according to children’s needs, but should provide comfort for the health and well being of caregivers.
3. Provision for relaxation and comfort
Soft furnishings and toys allow children opportunities for daily relaxation and comfort. Cozy areas provide a place for quiet activities to occur and should be protected from active play so children can snuggle, daydream, and lounge. The designated area should be away from active play areas and be protected by caregivers.