Space for play's potential

5th March 2004 at 00:00
Play is an integral part of a child's development, and to nurture and enhance it a creative classroom is a fundamental requirement. When you consider how long pupils and teachers spend in the classroom, it is clear why it should be an attractive and functional environment.

Often educators have little control over the size and shape of a room, but making sure that the space is being used in the best possible way requires the insights of a child psychologist, teacher and interior designer.

For teachers who are still brushing up on these skills, the voluntary organisation Early Education is sponsoring the seminar Creating Spaces for Young Children.

Martin Rimes, sales director of Community Playthings, will present the session and talk about the importance of creating spaces for children that enhance the play potential and increase the educational value of the area provided.

"Research undertaken by our company has proven that the building - as well as the organisation of furniture and resources - has a significant impact on children's behaviour, their relationships with others and their state of mind," he says.

"The ultimate problem faced by many educational establishments is in utilising whatever space they have and providing equipment that will justify those spaces."

Martin will be looking at ways to create a classroom that is practical for both teachers and children. It will act as a shop window for the school and be welcoming to parents.

"There are many important factors to consider when designing the perfect building for children," he says. "And this is where our advice and expertise can be used effectively to demonstrate to educationalists how they can create child-friendly areas."

As well as looking at issues such as natural light and harmonious colour schemes, Martin will also be covering practical matters such as storage space, rest and sleep sections, access to outdoor play areas, good washroom and toilet facilities, wet sectors, parentteacher meeting places and poster boards for displays and notices.

Christine Green

Community Playthings will be exhibiting on Stand A630. The seminar, Creating Spaces for Young Children, will be held at 1.30pm on March 13 in C14

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