Setting Up a Playroom – How To

The below pictures are from the web.  If you click on them they’ll take you to the website they’re from.  I’ll post pictures of my playroom soon.  It seems to be ever evolving so I’m never satisfied with it.

The Reggio Emilia approach to education views the environment as the third teacher.  Maria Montessori also emphasized the environment as an important part of learning.

“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and
invite the child to conduct his own experiences.”

There are several principles I think are important to consider when planning your playroom.

Relaxing:  I don’t like when a playroom or classroom is full of bright, contrasting colours, posters everywhere, colourful mats, etc.  It’s just too over stimulating.  A child can’t focus in such an environment.  The playroom should be soothing, relaxing and appealing.  I believe children have an innate sense of style so decorate in a way you’d decorate other rooms of your home.  Paint the walls in a soft, pale colour.  Pink has been shown to be soothing.  A soft white, neutral beige or a pale blue are good choices.  Decor should be simple too.  You can use colour here, but don’t over due it.  The decor should complement, not distract.  Flooring, the same, not over colourful or stimulating.  You want the materials to be the focus, not the decor.  And don’t forget a comfy corner for reading or resting.

GF3_0192

Accessible yet safe:  The room should be designed for children.  Low shelving and child sized furniture.  The child should be able to reach and take out the majority of the toys, materials, and craft supplies themselves.  You may need to have some things out of reach, but keep as much as you can available to your child.  However, keep safety in mind.  Tall shelves should be braced so they won’t tip, avoid sharp corners, plugs should have covers, and if you have young children, toys and materials that are accessible should be safe.

Simple:  Limit the toys.  Does your child really need 20 Barbies, 50 dinky cars, 100 stuffed animals?  Probably not.  Get rid of the excess and try to limit things to a few, quality toys.  See toys as an investment in your child’s development.  Focus on toys that teach and encourage learning.  Also toys for imaginative play and open ended toys.  Limit noisy, battery operated toys. You can also rotate toys.  This keeps things interesting & leaves more room for organization.

montessori, materials, toys, playroom, home

Organized: And organized environment leads to an organized mind.  A place for everything and everything in it’s place.  Organization allows your child to see what materials are available to them.  Don’t cram the shelves, invest in organization aids such as shelves, baskets and containers.  Teach your child to put away a toy in the right place before taking another out.  Having a clean, organized environment encourages your child to respect their playroom and toys and to absorb these qualities themselves.  It also helps reduce behavior problems due to over stimulation and frustration.

Natural light: Your playroom should be well lit with natural light.  If your playroom is in the basement, for safety reasons there should be windows but you can use mirrors to increase the natural light.  Don’t use florescent lights.  Use indoor lighting that isn’t harsh on the eyes.

One thought on “Setting Up a Playroom – How To

  1. Hi. Great post. I have a similar set up at home (play room/study). I find it the most challenging maintaining a space like this for multiple young children (3.5 and under). One does the best they can though. I’m sure this is a common problem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s