The materials we use range from natural wood to warm soft matting with colors that reflect the results of the most recent scientific research. We are well aware that colors unconsciously affect our moods. This is why we choose neutral shades that create a sensation of cleanliness and space, with the addition of little touches of color that allow the individual products to transmit warmth and personality. Natural wood and desaturated colors are intentionally used to prevent color from intruding into the child’s perceptive experience to an excessive extent. Since they are so delicate, the shades do nothing to detract from the colors used by the children and their teachers. Thus educators can “personalize” the classrooms and add colors to highlight the activities in which the children take part as they explore their world.
TABLES AND CHAIRS
CABINETS AND CONTAINERS
PLAY AND ACTIVITIES
EXPERIENCE AND CREATIVITY
OUTDOOR AND TOYS
HYGIENE CARE FURNITURE
FURNISHINGS FOR NURSERIES AND PRESCHOOLS
Childcare spaces express pedagogical and educational choices that are made and renewed. They communicate meanings, suggest behaviours, transmit messages to children, parents and all those who care about what happens in them and what they offer. The distribution of space and its arrangement allow us to understand if care is being taken each day in welcoming children and parents into a place designed for them, that is warm, friendly, aesthetically beautiful and harmonious. They tell us of the importance given to individual play, early exchanges and evolving interactions in small groups. They tell us whether the children feel protected and, while respecting their individual development, whether they feel confident in exploration. They tell us whether value is given to experiences of care, intimacy and warmth, whether children have the freedom to express various and progressive skills and the strengthening of their autonomy, whether fundamental learning is assured. They tell us of the importance given to promoting play in all its forms, with the availability of materials and opportunities for exploration, discovery, research, expression and problem solving. They tell us if the nursery is a place for life and relations not only among children, but also educators, teachers and parents.
To bestow form, colour and substance to these fundamental choices requires special care to be given to various features and elements that determine the space:
- The size of the space, because it must respond to needs for cosy and comforting environments, which safeguard children from the disorientation sometimes caused by the excessive noise and disorder of larger spaces.
- The articulation of the space, so that it promotes both individual and small group play and sustains attention, eliminating as far as possible confusing and distractive elements in order to encourage the development of early social skills. Articulation without fragmentation, in an otherwise uniform and homogeneous space, promotes movement, variety and flexibility. It resonates with meaning, embracing and expanding in relation to specific activities. It offers and suggests connections, stimulates concepts of proximity and distance, creates various areas and pathways for the different exploration needs of the children.
- Paths offered throughout the space facilitate independent comings and goings of the children, with the contiguity and proximity of their daily environments.
- The identity of areas within the space, with an aim to make them easily recognizable by activity or experience, to foster in the children a mastery of movement and selforientation.
- The choice of beautiful and functional furnishings for proposed activities, in order to facilitate the free access of the children to the materials at their disposal.