In an earlier post, I shared some information from the Early Childhood Consultation Partnership© (ECCP) about the need and benefits of creating a quiet space for infants and toddlers in a child care setting. Now I’d like to share some additional information from ECCP on ways to incorporate a quiet space in a preschool classroom.
Preschoolers may need quiet time for themselves at different points of the day. A full day of childcare can be stressful and difficult to manage for some young children. A ‘be-bymyself’ space can be set aside in the classroom for a child to use when he or she feels overwhelmed, upset, or tense. This serves as a protected place where children are taught to go to in order to relax, calm down, or take a break. A teacher can join the child, if he or she needs support in calming down or feeling secure.
Here are some tips for creating a quiet space in a classroom:
- Consider creating with children a ‘be-by-myself ‘space or ‘cozy area’ within a small contained area in your classroom (ex. play hut, tent, cushioned space, etc.). You may include items such as, pillows, a bean bag chair, feelings books, and photos. Be sure this area is visible to teachers.
- View this as a quiet, protected place where a child can choose to go if he or she becomes overwhelmed, upset, or angry. Teachers may also encourage a child to go to this space. It is important that this is not used as a consequence or “Time Out.”
- Teach children how to use this area ahead of time, creating rules, such as ‘one at a time.’ Continue to make this an important part of your classroom by reviewing what it is for, modeling, and making periodic changes to keep it interesting.
- Practice relaxation techniques with children ahead of time, such as blowing up like a balloon, stretching or counting to ten on his or her fingers, suggest he or she repeat these things in the ‘be-by-myself’ space or ‘cozy area’. Place visual reminders of these techniques in the cozy area.
Some items that you can use and even create with the children are a cozy corner worksheet and an emotions booklet (with pictures of the children making faces of different feelings).
What kinds of things do you put in your “cozy corner” or “quiet space”?
Organizing Classroom and Outdoor Learning Environments
White, C. S., & Coleman, M. (2000).
Soft Spaces www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/softspaces/index.html
Brought to you by:
Early Childhood Consultation Partnership©
A program of Advanced Behavioral Health www.abhct.com
Funded by CT Department of Children & Families