How do you feel about your classroom design? Is there something you could change or tweak that would provide a better learning experience for the children in your care? For a realistic view of what your classroom can look like, try the MyKaplan Classroom FloorPlanner! It’s a free online classroom design tool that can help you plan and arrange your classroom space. To help you create a welcoming and nurturing classroom environment, we asked Natalie Rapp, a member of our MyKaplan Classroom FloorPlanner Design Team, for tips on how to design a preschool classroom:

Tip #1: Always try to make the classroom work for the children, not the children for the classroom.

Look at the space and potential flow of the room. What would the children like to see as they enter the classroom? What would work best near any windows or doors? Consider the sink, bathroom, counters, and even outlet placement to make the room functional and not waste any precious space.

Tips #2: Create a variety of learning centers or areas that cater to a variety of learning styles.

Some children like to move, while others are more content to sit. Some learn by listening or watching, while others learn by doing. It’s important to create opportunities for all children to learn within their style and comfort zone.

Tip #3: Value the importance of a well-planned classroom layout that becomes a learning tool—providing both structure and guidance to preschoolers.

When physical room arrangement is well thought out, children’s safety becomes a priority. Equally important, each learning area creates a separate experience that promotes common learning objectives for children when they engage with materials.

Tip #4: Make sure your classroom has properly sized furniture, especially preschool tables and chairs.

This is truly the first step in setting children up for success! Preschool furniture that fits children’s size and is easily accessible to them allows them to feel safe and secure. If comfort and security is established from day one, they are free to learn, socialize, and interact with their peers, teachers, and environment in a meaningful, authentic way. Browse our Classroom Furniture section for activity tables, chairs, alternative seating options, storage solutions, and much more!

Tip #5: Strive for balance.

You don’t want the room to be too crowded, but you also don’t want the room to be too open. Children thrive when offered a variety of well organized, properly spaced, age-appropriate materials. An environment that is well thought out (furniture, layout, and learning materials) fosters developmentally appropriate and high-quality interactions, learning, and overall development.

For additional preschool classroom design ideas, visit the Classroom Setup category of our Insights and Inspirations section. Be sure to read our learning center and preschool design articles.