Preschool and early childhood classrooms should be full of fun and learning. Creating a stimulating learning environment in a preschool classroom is essential for active minds. The furniture in an early childhood classroom provides a fun and safe place for young learners. We’ve written the essential buying guide for furnishing a preschool classroom – Including everything from tables and chairs to active play and toys.
What Does a Preschool Classroom Need?
Think of an early childhood classroom or play area. It probably has play furniture, toys, and maybe some cubbies. Designing and filling a classroom is important in creating the right atmosphere for learning. A preschool classroom needs many types of furniture and storage to function its best. The most important areas of a functioning early learning classroom include reading/writing, active play, dramatic play, and work.
Reading/Writing Area Layout Tips
Here are some tips on laying out a cozy and functional early learning reading/writing area.
- Store books in a fun display for storytime. Allow children to pick out their stories for the group to hear, or they can look through books on their own!
- Display artwork, letter work, or drawings on the walls in this area to make it feel more personal
- Have soft spaces to sit and listen to a story or look at books
- Include a small table for drawing and writing practice
- Have a teacher’s chair in the nook for reading stories to the class
Work Area Layout Tips
Keep students productive and working together with these work area layout tips.
- Set up chairs in a conversation-style arrangement to promote collaboration and active listening – this could be in groups of 4-5 students ensuring they all have an area to work
- Utilize stacking chairs for easy transformation of the space into a play area
- Add creation spaces like art centers for things like painting, coloring, and crafting
- Ensure there are places for teachers to sit and interact with students
Play and Dramatic Play
The best part of preschool is the freedom to play and use imagination. It’s essential to have a variety of toys, play tables, and games to help foster communication and motor skills.
Tip: Consider the age group of students when choosing types of play furniture and toys. Toys such as play tables are more suited for younger children, while games and reading are better for older learners.
Play Area Layout Tips
The age group of your early learners will dictate the types of toys and play furniture that you need in your classroom. Preschool children would benefit from imaginative play furniture like play kitchens, puppet theaters, and dress-up closets. Early childhood classrooms would benefit from sensory tables and interactive toys like trikes. Use these tips for organizing the play area in your classroom.
- Create a corner for playtime activities. Be sure to keep toys separate from learning and work areas to prevent distraction.
- Have different sections of play so children of different ages can enjoy something age appropriate. For example, keep toys and blocks in their own section for young children. Play furniture like theaters and dress-up closets should be grouped together for older children.
- Include storage in the play area to keep toys and costumes organized. Have tubs and shelves available to encourage children to help in clean-up.
Circle and Community Space
The heart of any preschool classroom is a community area. Community areas are designed for group activities like story time, watching movies, and napping. A community area should have plenty of comfy spaces to sit and lay on, so be sure to include cushions or mats for every person!
Furniture and Accessories
Community Area Layout Tips
- Lay out rugs in a circle or semi-circle to promote conversation and active listening
- Use bookcases to section off the community area from other areas in the classroom. This gives the area a distinct feel from the rest of the room and can help with attention
- Include a teacher chair – Teachers need a place to sit, too!
- Have games and books in the area for children to choose from – They’ll appreciate the opportunity to make decisions
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Classroom Storage Tips
- Give each child a tub to use in their cubby to keep personal items organized
- Utilize mobile storage for activities like art and hands-on learning
- Be sure to keep the risky items like cleaning supplies out of reach for children. Tall storage cabinets are ideal for high-up storage!
Kelsey Moriarty is a Content Specialist at Central Restaurant Products. Her focus at Central is in the Food Prep and Furniture areas. Kelsey’s background is in technology and marketing with particular experience in SEO and E-Commerce. She enjoys helping customers make better decisions as well as working on her copywriting skills!