We asked Jennifer Stowell, an amazing leader at Discovery Church in California, to share some tips for transforming preschool environments into engaging spaces. She had so many fabulous ideas, we had to split them up into a two-part series!
Creating an engaging environment for our children is very important. It helps ease the transition from their parents and lets the kids and their parents know we value them. Most importantly, having a creative environment sets the perfect stage for spiritual growth to happen. Some basic ideas include:
- Create a themed area/environment. You’ll want to pick something that is fairly timeless so it won’t go out of style in just one year. Our early childhood environment is jungle-themed.
- Add 3D elements. A simple way to decorate your environment is to create murals or geometrical designs on your walls, and then add a 3-D element to it. We call our early childhood environment Discoveryland. For its jungle theme, we painted scenery on the walls and added things like bamboo sticks, stuffed animals, and ivy on the walls and ceiling to give it a 3D feel. It’s that extra step that makes the design “come alive.”
- Add the 3 Basic Truths to your walls. It’s a great way to let parents know what you are teaching their young ones. One easy way to do this is to use custom vinyl stickers. Places that make banners are great resources for these. You could vary the font of the basic truths and use it as a decorative focal point in each classroom.
Add sound effects to go with your theme. This will instantly make your décor come alive. We pipe in sound effects to our large group areas and hallways only, letting our small group areas be “quiet” zones.