As adults, we fully understand the world around us. Some of us may have even visited different countries, worked with people from different cultures or experienced nature in its purest form, perhaps on safari or on magical jungle adventures. But for the growing child, whose brain is still developing, understanding the world that surrounds them can sometimes be more complex than we expect.
Between the ages of 2 and 7, we start to see the child’s imagination develop. During this preoperational stage, they can now begin to understand the concept of past and future. However, it’s not until they reach roughly the age of 7 that the child enters into what we would define as the concrete operational stage. Here, they learn that not everyone shares the same beliefs, thoughts and feelings as they do and begin to comprehend the existence of different cultures and languages. The correct stimulation of the child during this period is crucial to them understanding and accepting the world around them.
As a consequence of this, the school curriculum is very carefully formulated and as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), a category for understanding the world is formed. This category encases the importance of educating children on people and communities, the world in general and the technology available to us.
There are many ways to initiate the understanding of the world with a child. School trips and day outings for groups are a fantastic way of teaching children “in situ” about different technology, animals and nature amongst other things. Organising these outings can be time consuming and costly, therefore venturing out each week may not be possible, but keeping children in front of a text book all day is also unrealistic - so where’s the happy medium for helping them to understand the world? Classroom resources such as carpets and cushions can be great learning tools on many levels. Here’s just a few examples why:
- The vibrant colours can brighten up the classroom and help to keep children engaged. Bright colours have also been shown to impact a pupil’s mood, emotional wellbeing, productivity and behaviour.
- They encourage working as part of a team and in coordination with other pupils around them, developing vital skills such as spatial awareness.
- Curricular carpets combine both technical skills such as reading with creative skills such as imagination from the visuals featured, essential for the overall progression of the child.
- The development of logical reasoning can be encouraged using building blocks, mixing and matching different aspects of the products.
Top tip - why not ask the children to tell a story based on what they see, enhancing imagination and creativity within the classroom?
These items can really be a one-stop classroom tool. One carpet or cushion set can provide countless options to aid learning about the world that surrounds us – even when it’s raining!