As usual, my new year starts with a need for re-organizing and this year was for improving my kids’ learning space at home. Since I am not a trained teacher like Amanda or Kim, but so much inspired by them, I find myself always researching, doubting myself, trying new things, looking back, starting over, creating, etc to fit my needs of offering a creative and meaningful learning environment.
My main goals as a mom are to inspire my children, and transmit a sense of curiosity and self-confidence to gain the knowledge and skills they need in order to achieve their own.
My New Year learning environment design resolution…
Designing an Educational Learning Space for Young Children
I studied and worked for about a decade in the hospitality industry with a taste for well-thought and “pleasing to the eye” design in mind. Since the father of my children teaches Interior Design and his research is oriented towards environmental design to enhance creativity, we usually team up to imagine and create our own furniture and remodeling at home.
Here is our latest project: the kids’ new learning room. Ta daaa!
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In order to get there, we had to go through the design process: stating the problems, the constraints and come up with solutions. The problem I used to have all the children books we own in bookcases at kid’s reach – now used as Montessori-inspired activities display.
I realized that instead of teasing their curiosity for reading, it became a game of “how fast can I make a messy pile of books” for my two years old. Frustrated of not being able to find any book by category or theme as I needed and seeing their liking for reading diminishing, a room re-design was required!
The constraints This room is quite small and has to double as a guest room. So we needed to work around the sofa bed as well as their table and chairs and re-purpose the former bookcases as activities display.
Design an Educational Space Re-Purposing Existing Furniture:
Instead of storing the books on wall shelves – not strong enough to hold the weight – and buy a book display – that would have taken a lot of floor space for just a few items, we decided to go with an original design already tested in our living room of the bookcase below.
Design an Educational Space with Safety in Mind:
It is sturdy, require no glue so can be disassembled and stored flat for an easy move. However, since we added the upper shelves to the previous design, we had to add a back panel and two Furniture Wall Straps
into the wall, both for extra support and active boys proofing.
Design an Educational Space where Everything has a Place:
As far as the organization goes, I still wanted the boys to have access to the books but in a more meaningful way in case of a curiosity craze. I categorized them in bins and label them with Luggage Tag (see 1&3 below) such as “Earth and Life Science” or “Geography, Cultures and Religions”.
Also, the tall middle display space in the middle allowed me to store big books and posters that I previously had trouble finding space for (1). And finally, my book display was incorporated by carving with a router a book size nook along the kids’ height long shelf (2).
Use what you have in your home already – then look around stores to see what is available! Here are 2 get this look items we found on Amazon:
What areas do you love?
What things do you wish you could change?
Updated for readers: The shelves pictured in the above are a TROFAST Children Storage Frame (C), pine in pine with storage bins purchased separately.
These frames come in a variety of shapes and the bins are found in several sizes and colors too. We have several friends with these organization sets and they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. They are great for storing toys, wooden trains, science equipment and more.
Are you ready to get organzied with your Educational Learning Space?
Here are some themed ideas for your Preschooler to do at home!