Every early learning center has a responsibility to provide a safe, fun, and educational place for children to grow. When setting up different early learning teaching stations, there are six areas that should be set up so that children can experience different subjects. Each of these areas should have learning tools on hand that children and teachers can use. Whether you have an established early learning center, are an employee of one, or are looking into opening one, these are six teaching stations that every early childhood learning center should have.
A Music Station
Set up an area where children can explore music. Music instruments are a great way to teach children how to explore different sounds and different types of music. They can also learn about beats and dancing. You should keep a media player close by so that kids can also listen to music and mimic the rhythms. Listening to the music can also help children to learn the different sounds of the instruments they’re playing with.
A General Play Area
The main purpose of a general play area is to encourage the children to use their imagination. Make sure you provide a comfortable area for the children to sit on. A large rug is usually fine. All the toys should have a storage space that children can access when they are told to put the toys away. You should label the bins with the name and picture of the toy that goes in it. Popular toys for learning areas include wooden and plastic blocks, Duplo Lego Bricks, puzzles, and toy food.
An Art and Craft Station
Art is a great way for young learners to express themselves creatively. Crafts are great way for a child to learn how to follow directions. When setting up your craft area, make sure you get the essentials such as crayons, paint, construction paper, safe scissors, glue, and markers. You should also keep some staple craft supplies such as popsicle sticks, yarn, cotton balls, feathers, and pipe cleaners. Make sure you have paper towels and smocks on hand so things don’t get too messy.
An Outdoor Play Area
Getting children outside is very important for their development. It is also helpful in keeping children and staff safer in the pandemic. Depending on your budget, your outdoor play area can be simple or elaborate. Children can easily play with typical outdoor toys such as hula hoops, trikes, balls, and jump ropes. Once you have a larger budget you can purchase swings, sandboxes, playscapes, and other larger equipment.
A Quiet Reading Area
Even though most young learners are not adept at reading quite yet, it is important for them have an area where they can look at books and be read to. This is especially important for early learning centers that allow children to nap in the afternoon. Reading to children before their nap relaxes them and gets them to focus better. You can also make the area into a library where children can “check out” books that they want their parents to read with them.
A Science Station
This part of the early learning classroom can be used to teach the basic of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Early learners can learn basic science experiments about nature, weather, and even chemistry. Science combined with excited kids can get messy so be sure to keep cleaning products close by the area!
About Atlas Training Center
Atlas Training is a CDA Training program in Child Development. It offers Competency-Based Education (CBE) to participants on an interactive learning platform and is an alternative to the traditional online model of watching videos and taking a multiple choice quiz to demonstrate knowledge.
Participants enrolling in Atlas Training work through one module at a time and demonstrate that they understand and can apply what they learn prior to moving on to the next module. Progress is based on demonstration of proficiency and/or mastery of the 13 functional areas of the national CDA and is measured through assessments that include discussions, assignments, reflections and multiple choice quizzes.
Though Atlas Training is a nine month program, students have flexibility within each month to complete work at their own pace. Content mastery is the focus, rather than students completing training just to earn hours to use towards the credential.