Many early childhood preschool classrooms are set up in a very particular way. Learning centers or corners are areas in the room that represent a particular component of the curriculum. There are many different types of learning centers and to keep children interested these should be changed and even rotated periodically. Here are some ideas for learning centers. If you only have space for 2 or 3 centers then just change them around periodically. This will keep the children very interested in exploring new centers. These can even be created in the child’s home with some creativity on the parents’ part. Huntington Learning Center of Abington
These special learning centers are important for so many developmental reasons as you will read below but the best part is that during free play time the children can feel independent and will have something fun to do. They will gravitate to an area of interest for them. Some kids love science while others may love the pretend play area and yet others may feel musically inclined on a given day. Another child may just want to curl up with a pillow and a favorite book. As teachers of preschoolers it is reassuring to know that the children are busy and safe while you tend to a sick child, feed a baby or do some necessary paperwork.
Free play time is invaluable to children. It allows them freedom of choice and independence. They can interact with their peers and verbalize and express themselves – say what they are thinking and feeling. They learn to compromise and negotiate and gain a respect for the ideas of others. They also take on roles of follower and leader. Socialization does not just come naturally to children – they must practice it over and over and learning centers are the best place to do just that!
Using all of these interest areas in your weekly or monthly them creates what is called a ‘whole language’ experience.