Four items commonly found in kindergartens

 

Kindergarten is a place where kids begin to learn in a formal environment. It’s a classroom, but there are certain degrees of separation between kindy and school. This is thanks to kindergartens being places of “play-based learning” (QLD Government Kindergarten). Here are four items you’ll find in kindy’s that mix learning and playtime.

 

Cubby holes

Everyone needs a place to put their things. As an adult or a teenager, the typical place is a locker. In kindy, though, cubby holes are the norm. Cubby holes are shelves, designed so there are individual “box spaces”. These boxes are where the children can place their belongings.

Staff at the kindy use cubbies for storage around the classroom. Items like stationary and toys get placed in baskets, then slotted into the cubby hole. This is good for keeping the floor tidy and reducing trip hazards.

 

Desks and chairs

Kids need a place to sit, read, write and more. The desks come in many shapes; kidney, round, square. Wood is a popular material because it lasts longer than plastic. To make the general classroom environment more welcoming, the kindy might choose furniture with fun patterns and colours.

 

Wooden play houses

Getting the kids active both physically and mentally is important. Wooden play houses, or cubby houses, were made for this reason. They make children use their imagination and get moving. If one house is built as a kitchen, the kids might pretend to own a working restaurant, complete with chefs and waiters.

Wooden playhouses are built around any real-life structure. Kitchens are certainly popular, but other options include banks, woodland cottages and even hospitals.

 

Building blocks

Building blocks are another item commonly found in kindergartens. They’re good for both interactive play and learning. Teachers can use them for basic counting and mathematics. During play time, children can unleash their inner architect and build a miniature tower. They can concentrate and do this themselves or team up with their classmates to build a town.

The benefits of playhouses

Playhouses are ubiquitous in a child’s life, from home to kindy. These structures are made of anything from plastic to wood. They’re also built around a variety of themes. Playhouses offer benefits for kids both mentally and physically.

Interactive play

Also known as role playing. Interactive play encourages children to act out a scenario they’ve seen or heard. For example, some kids like cooking shows or to watch what’s happening in the kitchen. They’ll want to “play restaurant”, complete with a sous chef, a couple of wait staff and daily specials!

Other role-play situations include hairdressers, fire/police stations or even just old-fashioned “house play”. Playhouses let the imagination loose and the scenarios are endless.

No more devices

There are plenty of wellness blogs and articles telling their readers to “unplug”. Lots of people, including children, spend too much time sitting down staring at screens. This is bad for energy, eyes and posture. Making the playhouse a tech-free zone guarantees the kids are separated from any device and will use their energy creatively.

This shouldn’t be such a hard task, anyway. Cubbies are so much fun that sometimes kids will forego the iPad in favour of playing in them with their friends.  

A bit of independence

Playhouses are a “kids space” where they have the freedom to do what they like, provided it’s safe. It gets them away from outside influences like television and encourages them to interact with others in a safe environment.

The kids can bring stuff from home to use in the playhouse, from cooking utensils to dolls. It allows them to make their own business or play happy families without growing up too fast.

Happy memories

Memories fade as we grow older, but occasionally you’d remember a time when you played with your friends in the cubby. You might have been a police officer, a homemaker, a famous chef or even an artist. Good memories make lasting impressions.