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Creating Stimulating Learning
Environment For Children

Creating Stimulating Learning Environment For Children...

stimulating learning environment
Displays and interest tables are an effective way of creating a stimulating and attractive environment for children and of enhancing their self-esteem.

The Values of Display

Display has many values. It can...
  • be used as a stimulus for learning across all areas of the curriculum
  • encourage children to look, think, reflect, explore, investigate and talk and respond to their interests
  • act as a sensory and imaginative stimulus
  • give children ideas, and promote further investigation and research
  • encourage parental involvement in their children's learning, and reinforce links with home
  • encourage self-esteem by showing appreciation of children's work
  • encourage communication with children
  • make the environment attractive, and attract children's attention
  • encourage awareness of the wider community, reflect the rich cultural diversity of society and reinforce acceptance of difference.

Where to Display

Displays should be placed wherever they can be seen easily, or touched if appropriate. It is worth an adult getting down to the child's eye level and viewing the surroundings from that position.

The position of the display will affect the size and type of display. A flat wall can be made into a three-dimensional display if there is enough space in front of it.

A corner can be made into an imaginative play area with appropriate decoration; the display may be on a table, cupboard or screen.

What to Include In A Display

Varieties makes displays interesting, so it is important to change styles, techniques and content.

Displays can include paintings, items of children's individual work, co-operative efforts, natural materials and plants, objects of interest, photographs, pictures, collage, real objects, use of different colours, textures and labelling.

All children should be able to contribute to the displays in their environment. When looking around their room, it is preferable for every child to have at least one piece of their work displayed, or have taken part in a group display.

Children should be involved in the choice of work that will be displayed and where possible in the mounting of work and creation of the display.

Any labels must be clear, of an appropriate size, in lower case letters except at the beginning of sentences and proper nouns, and include the home languages of the children in the setting.

Displays that include people should, wherever possible and appropriate, reflect a multicultural, multiability society and be without gender bias. Displays should project positive images in any setting.

Black and asian people, women and people with disabilities are usually under-represented in the wider visual environment. When planning displays, choose images that challenge stereotypes, such as a black barrister, a disabled doctor, or a woman police officer.

Children should be given the opportunity to represent themselves accurately. You should provide mirrors, and paints and crayons that enable children to match their own skin tones.

The entrance to a centre gives the first impression that parents, children and visitors gain of your work. A welcoming entrance with displays of children's work will contribute to giving a positive impression and demonstrate your professional standards.

Display Techniques

It is important to plan displays, thinking everything through first. Having decided the position, consideration should be given to the appropriate colours, backing, drapes and borders that are appropriate.

Good presentation is essential, including good mounting and well produced lettering. Staples and adhesive materials should be used discretely. The use of colours can be effective, but black and white may also be appropriate.

How Long to Display?

The length of time a display remains should be considered and planned. Any display that has become old or faded should be replaced. A display should only remain while it bears relevance to the curriculum and is still being referred to.

Displays can be used as an integral part of the curriculum, especially to reflect aspects of topic work. Once a topic is begun, it is important to plan and make new displays.

Adding Interest to Displays

Interest can be added by good use of...
  • colour - a co-ordinated backing and border can be used to display the children's work to its best advantage, drapes may add interest.
  • texture - include things that are interesting to touch and contrast with each other, for example smooth, shiny pebbles and rough sandpaper.
  • movement - consider hanging displays and windmills that spin in the breeze.
  • sound - crackly paper, shakers and musical instruments made by the children all make appealing displays.
  • characters that the children are familiar with from books read at story time, people they have met on a trip or who have visited the establishment.

Benefits of Stimulating Learning Environment to Display Work

Physical Development: Fine motor skills in creative work, such as cutting, sticking, drawing, painting. Gross motor skills in co-ordination, reaching, stretching, bending, balancing.

Cognitive (intellectual) Development: Encourage problem-solving, decision-making and thinking skills, stimulate memory.

Language Development: New words and vocabulary, use of reference books, discussion and listening skills, asking questions.

Emotional Development: Sense of achievement and increased self-esteem, children feel proud of their work displayed for parents to see. Displays which are pleasant and stimulating to look at help children to feel comfortable with their environment.

Personal and Social Development: Encourage team work and co-operation between adults and children, sharing of resources and ideas. Opportunity to experience new materials and textures, sensory stimulation. Increase awareness and knowledge of cultural diversity.

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