All posts by Kinder Design Team

How to organise your child care furniture

Organising your child care furniture is a good way to keep certain areas separate. Under the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), child care centres and preschools promote play-based learning. Its outcomes include children developing into effective communicators and engaged learners. They can do this anywhere, but having an organised environment definitely helps.

 

When you’re planning out the interior, you want room for the kids to move but not to run. It’s good they’ve got energy to spare, but not in an enclosed environment. People run into things, tip things over, and get injured. Lay out a play mat so there’s room for ‘creative arts’ like singing and dancing; enough standing room for the kids, but not too large for them to run and hurt themselves.

 

Arranging your child care furniture creates boundaries the kids must follow. It’s ideal to make space for quiet reading, for arts and crafts, right through to creative and role play. Some tables and chairs make the arts and crafts area; a book cubby with some mats and soft foam seats create the reading space. It’s important to have various but useful resources available in one space, a reading area needs books of different genres and types (picture, full text, fiction, and nonfiction, for example).

 

Kids will sit in these places alone if they want, but it’s common for them to make small groups among themselves. The EYLF says small group play allows kids to voice their own opinions while respecting those of others and make personal connections easily. Child care centres are environments where children make friends in a cubby, a sandpit, or during play time in general.

 

Organising your child care furniture a certain way serves a dual purpose. Centre owners segregate areas so they serve a certain purpose and children learn the importance of boundaries. They don’t take their paints from arts and crafts into the reading area, and they know to walk, not run, because there’s no room for it.

Setting up a daycare

Daycares are a place of fun, learning and trust. Parents trust the teachers to care for their children, who learn and have fun at the same time. Setting up a daycare effectively requires a bit of planning and coordination.

Fun

According to psychologists and as written in the Early Years Learning Framework, children learn from their surrounds. When they’re learning and having fun at once, they’re learning passively. The kids will learn certain skills, build on them and use them in their lives to come.

A daycare centre needs a fun “play time” area that’s equipped to deal with little ones. Cubby houses are widespread and companies build them around certain themes. The options are endless but common cubby house designs include corner shops, kitchens and miniature houses. For the kids who want to “play house” but didn’t get to the cubby in time, some daycare centres stock large, soft building blocks. The children stack these as they like whether a house, a fence or a simple line of soft blocks they can use for gymnastics.

Learning

Daycare is fun and games for the most part. But there comes a time when the kids must sit and do some structured activity.

A dedicated area with desks and chairs is found in any daycare centre. Large tables are used to encourage kids to work together and develop a sense of “belonging” in a group. The furniture is low-set to match the size of the children. They’re made with wood, plastic or both and day-cares can order them in colours for something different.

Other items to add to the “learning” aspect of a daycare is a space to read. Children can read books with their teachers, by themselves at a desk or in a “quiet area” with some soft furniture (cushions) and a book caddy.

Rest

Kids have fun, learn a lot and then sleep before they do it all over again. Day care centres have room for short sleeps in their schedules so that their charges can rest and recharge. Daycare furniture suppliers do have small bed frames available. A common option, though, is to lay out mattresses on the floor.

Daycare furniture that children use everyday

You’ll find “essential” daycare furniture like tables and chairs in every centre you visit. There’s also areas for the children to play and rest. Other pieces of furniture mightn’t seem so important but they’re definitely something the children will play with and use constructively every day.

Easels
Easels can come with whiteboard backing, magnetic backing or just as a wood frame with space to hold a canvas. Children use these to make works of art that get hung around the classroom or taken home to show off to parents.

It’s healthy for kids to have a traditional creative outlet; they enjoy music, drama and active play. Normally they draw at a desk. But as a fun change getting some easels, a few paint pallets and lots of brushes encourages them to unleash their inner Picasso.

Building blocks
For the builder or architect within. Building blocks are made and sold in large packs but there’s a multitude of options. Many daycares will have the traditional models made of wooden. Large, soft foam blocks, though, double as furniture. Large rectangular blocks can act as seats used in group activities or when children just want to sit together.

Daycare furniture suppliers make the foam blocks in a range of colours to keep the item “playful” like the centre they’re going to. They also come in various shapes. It’s common for kids to make forts and houses out of the blocks.

Cubby houses
Kids copy what they see, and cubby houses give them an environment to act it out. Whether it’s an episode of their favourite reality cooking show or cartoon, there’s an option available to suit. Some daycare furniture suppliers can make cubbies to order.

Cubbies get used every day because they so much fun to begin with. The children play house, or firemen or whatever other scenario the cubby allows. When cubbies are occupied, another option is for the children to use the foam blocks to make a house instead.

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.