In this community spotlight post you'll find new ideas and be inspired with a behind the scenes look into real educators early learning spaces shared via our Empowered Ed Facebook community.
We are featuring environments from a wide variety of early years services and educator roles so you are sure to find a new idea or two to try in your own early learning spaces.
Educator Early Learning Spaces For Home & Centre Based Care
Let's take a wander through their environments...
Early Learning Spaces - Welcome and Sign In Areas
While larger centres often have more space to work with in their rooms or a foyer entry, family day care and outside school hours care services tend to work within a shared space (family home/school hall), so they often have less available space to set up a welcome/sign in area.
No matter what your environment looks like though, it really is important to try and allocate some space for a welcoming sign in area as this provides a consistent opportunity to display your important announcements, create an immediate feeling of belonging for children and families and provide space for children to store their belongings.
Need some ideas? Our members share some inspiration for you below:
Tonia shared a fun way for children to sign themselves in using stones with their names on them – this also promotes name recognition.
Maxine had a similar idea...I love the 'Monday' stick!
Belinda also provides stones for her children to sign in.
Rebecca shared this simple way to welcome children using a quote or message.
A display of educators is also part of Renee’s welcome area using photos.
Kristy uses her sign in area to display important information and has a storage space for each child to keep their belongings.
Marie shared her sign in area and bag cupboard space with us.
Vivienne has a place for children to store their items near her sign in area.
“It's always lovely welcoming the children each morning. While the parents are signing in we look for their name/ photo tag and look at which friends will be there today.
I always have the children's latest artwork displayed on the entrance wall which the children show their parents with great enthusiasm and pride.”
Tennille shared her family daycare sign in area with us.
Robbie uses her sign in area for her program, lockers and sign in folders.
Janelle makes the most of the space she has available and has a bag storage space nearby too.
Jyacinth explains how her welcome area works: “The children move their photo peg to the small magnetic bar on the notice board when they arrive that way they know who's already here and any artwork or notes that need to go home are clipped into the peg throughout the day so parents can grab it.”
Jane shared her entrance hall and explained “This is my entrance hall .. will add photos of the children’s art and put that at their level and they take the original home as some only come in once a week . plus there are 2 little chairs that they sit on and read/ look at photos of the week/year and they use this area when they decide they want some time away from the group.”
Early Learning Spaces - Wall Displays
With so many essential items that must be displayed n ow for early childhood services, it can be tricky finding room for them all (and making them look nice). Here are a few interesting approaches:
Tennille shared how she displays the learning happening in her environment.
Jackie uses photos to easily share what learning has been occurring and how it links to the EYLF.
Jackie also adds a brief description to give context to the photos.
Displaying Children’s Artwork In Early Learning Spaces
We all love showcasing the creative talents of the children but it can be difficult to find fun yet respectful ways to display them. Some of our talented Empowered Ed’s share their ideas:
If you’ve ever been overwhelmed with the amount of art work children create, this display idea from Deb will come in handy. Deb changes each child’s artwork when they request it. I really love this idea!
Renee uses frames to display artwork.
Keeping with the framing theme, Kelly used recycled cardboard to frame children’s artwork and made a great display highlighting the learning that occurred in an a highly visual approach.
Storage Ideas For Early Learning Spaces
If only visiting Kmart and Ikea solved all of our storage needs! If you struggle with storage ideas then try some of these…
This idea from Abigail makes storing blocks and toys easier, and they are all easily accessible by the children.
Abigail again uses the basket idea for the train table.
If you’re storing items in containers, clear containers make life so much easier – you can easily see what’s inside. It doesn’t hurt to add a label as well. This photo shared by Abigail.
Michelle uses storage cubes to display toys and resources in a way that is easy to see and not overwhelming for the children.
Love loose parts but hate finding places to put them? Jill shared how she stores hers.
Tennille uses cubed storage with easily accessible buckets at the bottom and well displayed items at the top.
I love this storage hack from Gail – use shoe holders on cupboard doors to store craft items.
Michelle had the same idea!
Sophie used labelled plastic trays to keep her supplies organised and easy to find.
Puzzles can be a pain to store – Amelia used these office storage shelves from Ikea.
Rebecca had a similar idea using Kmart paper trays.
Vicki uses plastic pockets to store hers and likes that they stay nice and snug.
Sammi stores her art supplies in a beautiful way for self selection!
Stimulating Learning With Rachel invites children to explore colour shades and mixing with this engaging pen and pencil storage.
And I'm loving the ribbon and twine storage in the background too!
So many interesting spaces and ideas shared by our creative and talented educator community. Do you have a display or storage idea that you'd like to share with us?
Join our Empowered Educator Facebook group and upload your photo so we can feature you too!
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.