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Enabling Environments

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It’s that time, your baby is growing up fast and you are starting to search for a nursery.

But wait……. what do you look for when choosing a nursery for your child? With so many options to choose from you may wonder which nursery environment is best for them and I am here to help you make that decision. A high quality nursery environment is a must for early brain development, the way that it is organised and set up is a huge factor to consider.

Walking into a nursery five years ago you will probably have been met by a stream of visual noise; bright furniture, colourful displays, artwork, signs and lots of plastic toys. However, over time, nurseries are moving away from this approach and are adopting a calmer and natural set up, keep reading to find out why…

Communication Friendly Spaces

A Communication Friendly Environment is a space that encourages and promotes good communication in children. It focuses on using the classroom environment to support speaking and listening skills, emotional well-being, physical development and general engagement. Colour is one of the most noticeable attributes to the world around us and research now suggests that a busy nursery setting that is saturated in colour, noise and movement can be overstimulating and overwhelming for children. When a child is overstimulated they will not learn to their full potential and their behaviour will be impacted, this is especially prevalent in children will special educational needs.

On the other hand, a well-organised, thoughtful and calm environment can have the opposite effect. Neutral, calm colours can play a role in a more relaxed emotional state, increased productivity and enhanced communication and learning.

Here are some points to consider when choosing a nursery for your child;

  • Look for settings that use accent lighting instead of fluorescent lighting and rooms that include as much natural light as possible. This type of lighting is calming to a child as they enter the room and is especially important for children with special educational needs.
  • Look for a setting that uses calmer colours such as whites, greys, blues and greens (these are linked with relaxation and happiness), opposed to louder colours such as reds, yellow and orange.
  • Nature is a way of adding beauty and creates a sense of calm and creativity. You may want to consider a nursery that uses real plants or other natural resources for children to explore, such as; pinecones, stones or leaves. These natural wonders pose as really great open-ended resources for children to play with.
  • You want your child to feel comfortable so look for a cosy environment that includes soft furnishings, purposeful art work, plants and other objects and materials.
  • Try a setting that adopts a minimalistic approach when choosing toys and resources. And teaches children about the importance of sharing by providing the opportunity to practice turn-taking.
  • There is no right or wrong when it comes to toys and resources, you may want to choose a setting that includes some open-ended toys. For example, instead of plastic people in a dolls house, they may have wooden dolly pegs. These are the same shape as a person but is limited only to the child’s imagination, basically it can be anything your child wants it to be! This is much more beneficial for a child’s cognitive development.

Remember- each setting is unique and adopts its own approach. Take time to speak with staff members to fully understand their approach to learning. It is not about choosing a nursery that has removed all colour, its more about the amount of visual noise apparent in a setting. Bright colours don’t need to be completely avoided, they can certainly still be used such as part of displays, artwork, toys and other resources, after all we don’t need things to look completely dull and bare.

At the Little Dreamers Nursery, we adopt a calm and minimalistic approach to learning and development, and it really shows in our students. Visit our website to find out more or feel free to pop over for a visit. Our open door policy enables perspective parents to visit at any time during opening hours.

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