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The biggest learning space your child will probably spend the most of his time in is the classroom. But having a learning space (or several) at home too is important as it provides a comfortable place to reinforce what your child learns in school, as well as play (which is important to learning, especially with smaller kids).
You don't have to dedicate a huge room as your child's learning space. Even the tiniest nook in your home can be made into the perfect spot for learning with a little creativity and innovation.
Mums and dads, here's what you need to keep in mind when creating learning (and playing!) spaces at home for your child.
1. Make it inviting and inspiring
No child ever will be tempted to make use of a learning space if it is austere and uninviting.
Make the space nurturing and familiar at the same time so that it invites your little one in to a warm cocoon of learning inspiration.
You don't need to do much to achieve this. Here are some ideas:
- Paint your child's desk or study table in their favourite colour.
- Frame a special spot with fairy lights.
- Add a beanbag, comfy rug or throw pillows for a comfortable reading area.
- Hang up some inspiring quotes on the wall.
Where should you set up your child's learning space? Of course, if you live in a large enough house, then you may have the space to dedicate a whole room to your kid's learning. But if you live in a smaller space such as an apartment, then you might have to put in a bit more thought to where you set his learning space up.
A few things to keep in mind when deciding on location:
- Your child's age: if you have a younger child, then you'll probably want to keep an eye on him most, or all of the time. Set up the learning space in a nook of your living room or another spot where you or another adult are always present. You don't need an elaborately set up learning space for very young kids. It could just be a simple desk and chair, a small book rack (or even some books stacked on the floor) and a comfy cushion or mat on the floor.
- Traffic: Keep in mind that a high-traffic area as a learning space for your child (especially if they are older) can be distracting and therefore counter-productive. If space is your limitation, dedicate the quietest spot in your home to encourage learning. If even this is not possible and the only spot is your busy living room, then dedicate a 'family quiet time' to minimize distractions while your child is using their learning space.
- Safety: Relevant to younger children, please keep safety in mind when designing their learning space. That bookcase might look gorgeous and provide plenty of reading stimulation for your child, but if not safely secured to a wall, it can be a dangerous hazard.
3. Personalise it
Children will be more likely to use and care for a learning space if it is personalised and they feel like they 'own' the space.
Here are some ideas:
- Create a sign-board for the space "John's Creativity Corner" or "Simran's Study Spot", for example.
- Get your child to plant a seed in a pot, and place the pot on the desk.
- Help your child create a pencil holder with an empty box (all you need is coloured paper, glue and some glitter or stickers!) and then pop down to your nearest book shop and pick up some stationary to place in it.
- If your child has a dedicated room as a learning space, decorate it with their framed artwork and other crafts. Even if it's just a learning nook that they have, you could still frame that special work of art and place it on your child's desk.
A cluttered and messy learning space is distracting.
Keep toys (unless they are educational) out of this space and encourage your child to keep his desk and this area in general clean and tidy. Not only does this teach your kid responsibility, but it helps him take ownership of what belongs to him.
A well-lit learning space is essential to your child's good eye health and also making the space pleasant and inviting. If possible, set up your child's learning space near natural lighting from windows or a door. But if this is difficult to do, then investing in a good lamp will help keep your child engaged and enthusiastic about learning at home.
Parents, we hope you've find this article helpful in setting up the perfect learning space for your child. If you have tips of your own that you'd like to share, just leave them in a comment below.