The unrestricted flow between different play areas are

The layout
of the environment can have a big impact on children’s learning. Easy and
unrestricted flow between different play areas are the best so that children
have the opportunity to play with what they want. Practitioners encourage
children to explore different activities both inside and outdoors and encourage
children to develop different skills in these environments.

Environments
play a very important role in supporting and expanding children’s learning and
development. The environment supports development in all 7 areas. Enabling
environments allow the children to learn and play in the setting and allows
them to feel safe and secure when they are there. When the children feel safe
and secure it also boosts their confidence in exploring and finding out about
the place that they are in. environment in terms is described as three aspects:
The emotional environment, the outdoor environment and the indoor environment.

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In the emotional
environment it is important to maintain positive attitude so that we can make
other practitioners, parents/carers and children feel safe and welcome in the
environment. Practitioners need to allow children to express their feelings
confidently is a safe way so that they know they can trust the setting. It is
important for the practitioners to understand that some children may need some
extra support when dealing with their emotions.

A rich
indoor environment is comfortable, attractive and appropriate for all children
that use it. Some children look at it as their second home especially when they
sleep there and eat their lunch and dinner there. All environments should make
children feel happy and safe to be there and they need to know that it is a place
where they can learn and play. All resources should be of the highest quality
and all resources especially toys and dressing up props should be accessible by
all children at all times. There should be different areas around the room for
different types of play and should be appropriate for each age group. The
indoor environment can include:

·        
Displays
and the room design – we can have displays up of the children’s work that they
have done so that they know we appreciate their work. Having bright colours around
the room can encourage the children to feel happy when they are here rather
than feeling dull and sad. Having the number lines and the alphabet up around
the room with phonics will encourage children’s literacy and maths development.
Also having displays for parents so they feel involved is important whether it
is them being able to see their child’s work or just putting up important
notices for parents.

·        
Places
for rest and sleep – some settings have a complete different room for children
to rest or sleep whereas some settings only have the one room altogether.
Ensuring that the setting has a quiet area for the children when they are
feeling tired and want some rest is important so that they know they can go
there if they want to without being disturbed and woken up.

·        
Variety
of activities and age appropriate resources – it is important to plan
activities for children that meets their ages and their stages of development
and it is also important to have a variety of different activities and play
opportunities so that they don’t get bored of the same activities.

Children
playing and learning in the outdoor environment benefits their learning and
development in many ways as it has a positive impact on their well-being and
helps all areas of development. Children should have access to being outdoors
at least once every day even in the rain where practitioners should provide
appropriate clothes for them to dress in. Playing outside allows the children
to explore the different seasons, play in different weather conditions and
allows them to have a taste of the natural world. When children are outdoors
they are able to move around freely and make bigger movements compared to what
they can do indoors. Being outdoors allows the children to work on their
physical development and it’s the practitioner’s role to support and encourage
this. Different resources can be provided such as old bed sheets, tyres and
pieces of wood. This is where children can use their imagination and create
themselves dens and pretend fire places.

The outdoor
environment needs to be:

·        
Accessible
– children need to be able to move around a lot more freely outside compared to
how they do inside. They need to be able to exercise as well.

·        
Practitioners
need to ensure they do risk assessments and check for hazards as if this
doesn’t get done children and practitioners will be put in danger.

Practitioners
can provide an enabling environment by giving children space. Children need
space when they are playing to avoid any bumps and falling over things like
tables and chairs. We want children to move around freely and allow them to
explore the room, if the room is all cluttered leaving them with no space then
they won’t be able to do this. In the setting we only need the resources and
furniture that is essential so that we are leaving plenty of space for the
children. We also need to provide children with time so that we allow them
plenty of time to play and learn in their day. Some children that are in the
setting more often start getting use to a routine and usually know when snack
time and lunch time is starting to come up so they get ready to start tidying
away. An enabling environment needs strong and positive relationships between
the practitioners and the children and also the parents. This is so that the
children feel safe and welcome in the setting.