The effective design of early childhood spaces

HomeEarly childhood education resourcesIndoor spacesThe effective design of early childhood spaces

The effective design of early childhood spaces

HomeEarly childhood education resourcesIndoor spacesThe effective design of early childhood spaces
Phil Smith and Jacqui Lees

Webinar with Phil Smith and Jacqui Lees

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Well-designed early childhood spaces promote learning, protect wellbeing, and invite children to engage in a range of experiences. This webinar will examine the principles of effective design in early childhood spaces, and explore ways that teachers can use the language of space to promote and encourage learning, creativity, movement, exploration, and social emotional wellbeing.

Phil Smith is a multi-award-winning architect and the Founder and Director of Smith Architects, where he leads the practice’s focus on sustainable design. Smith Architects has completed over 100 early childhood centre designs in four different countries, and won 30 international and national awards to date. Jacqui Lees is Head Teacher at Pakuranga Baptist Kindergarten in Auckland, and one of The Education Hub’s most valued contributors.

To help you navigate the webinar easily, there is a list of the key topics covered in the session below, including the time each was discussed. The key ideas discussed in this webinar are also shared in a short article.

Topics discussed in this webinar

2.12 How design supports pedagogy and philosophy
6.34 Promoting wellbeing through design
14.48 Spaces for different activities
18.22 Spaces to encourage relationships and whanaungatanga
21.28Linking indoors and outdoors
28.55 Children’s voice and agency
37.44 Permanent versus temporary areas
40.18 Simple ideas for limited budgets
45.05 Concluding comments and key ideas 

Questions for exploring the key ideas from this webinar

What are the pedagogies and philosophies that underpin your environmental design?

What values do you want your spaces to communicate?

What do children have to tell you about how they want to use spaces, and what kinds of spaces they enjoy?

Where in your community could you find additional furniture and other items to create interesting spaces for children’s play and activity? 

Further resources

See our guide on indoor spaces here.

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