“Accompany us on an imaginary trip. Imagine that we are standing in the middle of Times Square, in the heart of New York City. Be still and let your senses explore the environment. What do you notice? How does your body react to the stimuli? If we were standing there together, you would probably describe the dazzling and sometimes blinking lights, the myriad of bright colors, the vast crowds, the towering buildings, the ever-present sounds, and perhaps some interesting smells. All of those sensorial elements combine to create the Times Square experience.
Now, think about the typical early childhood classroom. In many ways, the environment is much like Times Square.” So write Sandra Duncan and Michelle Salcedo in an Exchange magazine article that forms the basis for an Out of the Box Training Kit. The authors urge anyone supporting young children to think carefully about the possible negative impact too much sensory stimulation in the environment might be having on children’s behavior.
|All "Out of the Box" Training Kits, like Are Your Children in Times Square?, are only $15. Support children in your training sessions with kits that include step-by-step instructions for preparing, conducting, and evaluating your training session. Save the time and effort of starting from scratch.
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I completely agree that many of our early childhood environments, including those that would score as "good" or "excellent" in nationally accepted environment rating scales can feel chaotic (especially visually). When we compare pictures of those plastic, busy environments and compare them to reggio-type environments, the differences are dramatic. I'm concerned that we need to rethink what a quality environment means.