“I hear, I forget, I see, I remember, I experience, I understand “Dr. Maria Montessori. Just like adults, children need environments that help them feel secure. Children depend on adults to meet their basic needs for food, water, shelter, and clothing. They also depend on us to protect them from harm. Feeling safe allows children to build relationships, become confident, and meet their potential (Maslow, 1943, 1945). We cannot expect children to learn if they do not feel safe.
Here are some characteristics of safe learning environments: Low, open shelving will promote independence and prevent toys from falling on children. Labeled shelves will encourage children to clean up after themselves, which will in turn prevent abandoned toys from becoming tripping hazards. Clearly defined interest areas will promote engagement and create clear traffic patterns that prevent running and collisions. A variety of materials will keep children engaged, rather than spending time on inappropriate running, jumping, or climbing. Providing safe toys and materials. Maintaining safe adult-to-child ratios. Supervision and accountability indoors and outdoors. Teaching safety rules.
Furthermore, classrooms must be arranged with tables and chairs where children can move freely between. Classrooms aim to promote children’s thinking skills and concentration. Since it is through movements, we should assist a child in his attempts to put his will into act. Natural & authentic materials for toddlers helps in developing creativity & independence. Focused on developing the children’s fine motor skills & creative expression, there are a lot of activities such as using safe tools where teachers provide additional support. Workplace health and safety in learning centers is a major concern of early learning association. Nontoxic finger paints and clay, this sensory play innovative approach to learning, and fun childhood concept. All materials should be safe and age appropriate, so that children have the freedom to comfortably explore their classroom.
We believe as teachers that children learn best in an environment that is safe, nurturing and child centered. Children learn and achieve their own level in a safe play –based environment, where the children feel safe yet challenged to learn & try new experiences. “Real freedom begins at the beginning of life” Dr. Maria Montessori.
References: _ http://nrckids.org.