Flexible Small Spaces

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Standing interest area for small spaces is a great solution for those of us with small schools! 🙂

I have magnetic dolls and puzzles set up for the right side of the shelves, which could possible have two or three children on that side.  On the left side is construction which can have up to four children.

Simple provocations or materials of interest can be easily set up and as a facilitator and Teacher the observations can be very informative!  Sometimes I have found that young children will interact with children they don’t normally play with if interest areas are set up similarly to the one above.  We can’t always assume the friendships that will be made when a child is young and learning so many aspects of social/ emotional development.  It is a good reminder to not prejudge children and make the assumption that we, the adults, know more about the child’s choices in friends.  Sometimes the friendships made will surprise us!  And small spaces can encourage friendships that may never have developed in a larger space. 🙂

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My reading corner is small and only has space for two children at a time, which is exactly the way I want it for now.  Reading and enjoy books can happen in large and small spaces and with several to only a few children at a time.  Picture books with bright vivid detailed illustrations help to bring out a child’s natural curiosity in reading. 🙂

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Small spaces like the reading corner are also easy spaces to change if we as a group decide we need to use the area for a display space for say, a rocket ship or small home built from boxes etc.  Don’t ever  feel limited just because you have a small preschool.  Keep an open, flexible and creative mind and trust your young students to help plan how to use those spaces. 🙂

If you also have a small preschool or home where either your students or children play, please let me know the creative things you have done to keep the space full of curiosity, joy and wonder! 🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

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