Do you have a dedicated sensory room or space in your early learning environment? If you do, how have you approached it and what’s your rationale behind it? If you don’t, what’s been holding you back?
No matter where you’re at with your sensory room, we’ve put together this quick guide to give you some hints and ideas on creating a standout space.
The functionality of a space determines how children maximise opportunities to explore their environment and utilise their resources in a childcare centre. Ideally, spaces and furniture should be multi-functional to deliver the most benefit to both educators and children alike. Consideration for smooth transitions and children to easily maneuver from once space to another, easy supervision and visual connection to the physical environment are also important. STEP4 has some tips for creating functional learning spaces that flow.
As educators, we welcome the National Quality Standard’s recognition of the close connection between the physical environments in childcare centres and the quality of the education and care programs they provide. We know all too well how poorly designed learning spaces and ancillary areas (e.g. nappy change, bottle preparation, sleep rooms) hinder our work with the children and negatively affect our own wellbeing.
The National Quality Standard (NQS), Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and My Time, Our Place (MTOP) require educators to ensure children spend sufficient time with nature to connect with it, develop respect for it and, with their educators’ support, learn how to care for nature and its creatures.