Asking Questions.

Today I went to a workshop.  It was called Creating Successful Environments for Infants and Toddlers.  I am interested in thinking and talking about environments and room design and toys and play.

Some of the things the presenter discussed were:
*safety considerations
*brain development....understanding that so many neurons connect, or don't, in the first 6 years of life.
*thinking of all the senses when programming...think of color, light, a child's perspective (often from the floor, looking up), textures, sound, natural materials, as well as unusual or unexpected materials that can promote creative thinking.
*how often to change materials and activities.

Then we set up different stations with materials provided.  Our table had paint, paper and this.

The next table over had this.

Overall it was a good workshop promoting things that I value and have come to appreciate in a childcare setting.  But at the same time I realize that I also want more and different.  For example, what does it mean to define space?  Does that tell the child they can only work here in this space?  What if they need more space?  What if?  What if they need that item that belongs here to go over there?  Can they move it?  Can they?

Some questions that our infant room staff have been asking of ourselves lately are:
*why are we putting out these toys?
*what does it mean to think intentionally about a play space and what is in it?
*what are the children doing? playing with? what do they want to learn?
*how long should we leave items out and available?
*what does long term project work mean and look like?

My take away thought from today's workshop is:

What is the world we are reflecting to them?

I would love to know what you are thinking and learning...leave a comment if you like!

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