Spring is coming and that’s always a good time to clean, refresh, and simplify your space. Follow these tips to create a space that is orderly, calming and, most importantly, inspiring to be in.
- First, take some time to assess what you actually need, what is used on a regular basis, and what will benefit your students the most.
Consider putting out fewer items and keeping the rest in storage. This will declutter your space and, when it comes time to rotate the materials, children will be excited to have “new” materials to explore.
- Rethink your storage solutions-try using open shelving with baskets that can be accessed from both sides. Flexible shelving on castors can serve the additional purpose of dividing a space.
- When replacing items, look for manipulatives that serve more than one purpose. Not only will these pieces allow you to get more out of fewer items, but you and your students will also benefit from exploring the different ways they can be used. Real materials, such as items you use around the house, in contrast to traditional toys, tend to hold interest much longer and provide more opportunities for exploration. Activities will take on deeper meaning for longer periods of time.
- When replacing/updating furniture, opt for pieces that serve more than one purpose. Chairs can only be used for sitting, but a bench can be a balance beam, a train, a table top, and so much more. A play stand can take the place of a puppet theater, a kitchen, a play house, or can even become a reading nook. A portable kitchen is more space efficient than a freestanding one and can go on a table top, the floor, or a shelf.
- As you clean out your room, remove any items hanging in the windows to let in more natural daylight and to give the room a more open feel. Keep vents uncovered to allow air to circulate and to also prevent dust from gathering.
- Your newly decluttered and organized classroom will greatly impact how you feel in the space. A light and airy environment will improve mood and focus, as well as enhance creativity and collaboration. Your students will move and play more freely and will be able to think more openly. What a wonderful way to welcome Spring!