Establishing boundaries of centres

Establish centers with clearly defined spaces. The children must be able to identify the center and determine where it begins and ends.

A clear visual identification of the center helps children know where to go, what the boundaries of the space are, and the activities that go on within the center.

When determining the boundaries, look at the space from a child’ eye level. Sit on the floor, or crawl around the space to see what children will see and construct boundaries that are appropriate for the children’s size. Young children who are 2.5 to 3 feet tall, do not need walls that touch the ceiling to separate the center’s space. Folding screens, bookcases, or other dividers only need to be slightly above the children’s line of vision to communicate where the center stops. Another advantage of the low boundaries is that the teach can easily observe what happens.

If boundaries do not exist, children wander in and out, or run aimlessly between the centers. By establishing clear borders, children learn to manage their own behavious and remain focused on a task in the center. Dividers also help eliminate visual distractions that can cause children to lose their concentration as they see others moving around the room.

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