The child-centered classroom: shelves

As a general rule, when I set up classrooms, I find that it is most helpful to make sure that shelves face the area that you want the children to play…

For example, if I have a shelf with art supplies on it (an art center) then I will set the shelf up near a table or facing the table that the items on the shelf should be played with.

When it comes to selecting shelves (or building them) I like to make sure they are sturdy, a good height for children, and can free stand in the middle of a room.

With good, sturdy, freestanding shelves – I am able to place the shelves strategically throughout the room. Shelves can be used to…

  • Divide up the room into small areas (centers)
  • Provide natural and easy to identify boundaries of play
  • Make the room look interesting, inviting, and organized
  • Cut down on the amount of open or unused space in the middle of the room

What I ultimately want to do is create an environment, using the furniture in the room, that makes sense to young children. I want the children to be able to put away their own toys or activities and to choose freely from the items on the shelves.

Once I have my baskets and shelves all figured out – then I am ready to start selecting the materials to go on each shelf…


Remember…

The classroom environment is a partner in the teaching process!

By |2010-12-13T23:47:35+00:00December 13th, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.

4 Comments

  1. Sherry and Donna December 14, 2010 at 1:16 am - Reply

    We love to use our shelving to create inviting nooks and inviting play spaces too. Another irresistible post Deborah!
    Donna 🙂 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart December 14, 2010 at 6:37 am - Reply

      🙂 It is fun to create the play spaces!

  2. Scott December 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    I’m enjoying this series. Thanks, Deborah.

    • Deborah J. Stewart December 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      I always enjoy having you come visit me Scott:)

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok