The early years are a hotbed of discovery for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers alike. It’s during this time that children first begin to develop language skills, understand rudimentary maths concepts and cultivate a thirst for knowledge that, in the under-fives, can often be insatiable! So it’s important to provide an effective learning environment that is comfortable and stimulating for children, both at nursery and at home. Here’s how to do it:
1. Cultivate a supportive atmosphere
An effective learning environment isn’t just about the physical surroundings – it’s also about the atmosphere and attitude of the people
within it. Here at Toad Hall, we train our staff to provide support, praise and feedback to the children, offering encouragement to help them learn. We strive to provide a friendly and welcoming space for children of all cultures and backgrounds, working together to help youngsters to form strong relationships with their peers.
At home, you can also cultivate a really positive attitude to learning. Supporting your child’s interests (helping them to explore their dinosaur obsession by taking them to a museum, for example), reading with them frequently and organising playdates will all help and encourage your child’s learning and development.
2. Offer activities to challenge and stimulate
For pre-schoolers, play is the best and most natural way to learn. A range of age-appropriate, fun activities can help to provide stimulation for children and offer challenges that can increase their confidence and self-esteem. You might like to try using some of our parent resources at home; from songs and poems to learning games and activities, there’s lots that you can do without breaking the bank.
3. Get outside every day
If you’ve ever been for a puddle walk with your toddler, you’ll know that children love to be outdoors, even when it’s wet. That could be because it’s absolutely great for their mental and physical development. Try to get outside every day with your child and get some exercise, whether you’re walking to the shops, playing in the park or simply having a wild time in the garden. There’s lots you can do all year round, even in the cold winter months.
All of our Toad Hall Nurseries have spacious gardens where children can learn and play, enjoying the outdoors and getting closer to nature. We strive to provide an outdoor learning environment whatever the weather – our sheltered garden at Berkhamsted Nursery is one example of how we do this.
4. Create a comfortable space
We’re all able to concentrate more when we’re comfortable. An effective learning environment should be warm and welcoming,
putting children at ease. Vibrant, colourful furniture and displays can capture the imagination and make the environment somewhere positive to spend time in. It’s also good to keep the space tidy, so your child isn’t distracted, and so that nobody’s in any danger of tripping over toys.
At Toad Hall Nurseries we pride ourselves on our fun, stimulating and child-centric learning environments. All of our settings are designed with your child’s development in mind. Check out our photo gallery to discover why our learning spaces are so effective for young minds.