Furniture and Equipment
Don’t clutter the room.
Consider the following:
• Is there furniture or equipment that is rarely used? Could this be stored
somewhere until needed?
• What could we do without?
• What is missing?
• How can the furniture be organized to promote talk and collaboration?
• Is there enough shelving for storage? How well is the storage space
• Are there enough tables for work spaces in the different learning areas?
Are tables of the appropriate height for the children?
• Are there quiet spaces for those children who need to be alone at times?
Select furniture that is:
• flexible, (can be used for more than one purpose -rectangular tables are
more flexible than round).
• moveable .
A storage shelf that is on casters can be used to define a special area such as
the quiet corner, as well as moved to serve as the front for a puppet show.
Materials and toys are the textbooks of play.
Have tried and true toys available that appeal to children of all ages and
stages (Lego, blocks, puzzles …)
Absolutely essential for any primary classroom:
• blocks of various size, materials, and features.
• containers for sand and water exploration.
Materials that are open-ended, multipurpose, and flexible:
• scraps and larger pieces of cloth, wood.
• modelling clay, and playdough.
• ribbons, wool, string, paper plain and patterned, of different sizes,
shapes, and thicknesses.
• found materials – stones, feathers.
Use of Time and Space
Lack of time and space is a major obstacle to play-based learning. Children
need time to engage, sustain, and develop complexity in their play. Don’t let
unrealistic expectations, imposed by administration or of your own making,
rob the children of play.
Make a commitment to play, and set aside a dedicated period of time daily
for self-directed play – no less than one hour of continuous time.
Encourage children to be creative in the use of space.
Are there areas outside the classroom that could be used safely for play but
still be supervised?