One-year-olds love to explore. They move from one activity to the next, run around and have a good time. Design your 1-year old room to embrace the mobility of toddlers in your care. Give them choices of different activities in a safe and nurturing environment.
Place developmentally-appropriate toys and furniture in the room in such a way that children are not too close together. Step stools should be placed near the changing table so teachers do not have to lift the children up to it. The floors should be non-slip, and furniture, toys and fixtures should be of non-toxic material such as wood. Bookcases and toy shelves should be stable.
Paint the room with soft, natural colors to promote a relaxing atmosphere. Use natural lighting, full-spectrum lights and lamps, avoiding fluorescent lights. Decorate the room attractively, and reduce clutter. Put pillows and carpets or rugs down to help absorb noise and provide a more comfortable place for both children and adults.
Set apart an entrance area that serves as a transition space for dropping off and picking up for both parents and children. This helps ease fears and build confidence for family members.
Use child-sized furniture and fixtures in the room. Children are more encouraged to explore and play in a room that is meant for them. Furniture and other room fixtures should have rounded edges and corners for safety. Childproof the room as well so that caregivers do not constantly have to tell children, “No.”
Create separate areas throughout the room that each has its own feel and theme. Dress-up, reading, blocks and indoor climbing toy spaces are appropriate areas to have in a 1-year-old classroom. Set apart a napping area as well. Provide room for children to run around, dance and develop their gross motor skills. These spaces encourage 1-year-olds in making choices and exploring their classroom.
- Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images