Options to Consider for Early Stage Classroom Furniture

 By: Kathryn Dawson
Nothing is more conducive to a successful learning experience than a properly planned and well equipped classroom. A classroom specifically designed for early stage learners should be safe, durable, and comfortable yet capture the imagination of a youngster eager to explore. With rough and tumble kids in mind, your classroom and any physical education equipment should also be planned to ensure safety and cleanliness at all times.

There are hundreds of products to consider, from classroom chairs, classroom desks, play furniture, storage cabinets and partitions. Products should be chosen with utmost care to meet the practical, physical, and educational needs of both the students and teachers, all extremely well-made with quality materials, easily available and competitively priced.

To assist with your furniture and space planning, I've compiled a list of key furniture components typically found in preschool or 'early stages' learning environments.

  • Art Furniture

  • Bin Storage

  • Book Displays and Reading

  • Classroom Chairs

  • Classroom Rugs

  • Cushions and Loungers

  • Easels

  • Lockers

  • Naptime

  • Play Furniture

  • Shelving

  • Storage

  • Wood Furniture

  • Work and Study Tables

Because interaction between students and teachers is so important, well-designed work and study school tables can actually help improve the interaction and inspire imagination. Tables need to be dependable and practical and to withstand the most enthusiastic little people. They should have thick, durable tabletops made of non-toxic and stain-resistant materials for safety and cleanliness. When evaluating classroom tables or desks, you might find this alphabetical list of criteria helpful in making the best decisions for your budget:

  • Accessories

  • Adjustable height options

  • Capacity (seating and computer capacity)

  • Colors available

  • Manufacturer

  • Materials

  • Price

  • Size (length, height, width, diameter)

  • Style (folding, rigid, number of legs, attached to wall, etc.)

  • Table Shape (rectangle, square, round, u-shaped, horseshoe, half-round, trapezoid, octagon, kidney, clover, flower, etc.)

  • Warranty

While there are so many school supplies to consider, your classroom furniture budget should include providing dedicated work space because preschoolers love working on projects. While features in preschool desks may vary widely, you would want to ensure ergonomically correct furniture for their small bodies. Here are a couple of steps to consider:

1. Purpose? Determine the main purpose of the desk for the preschooler. A desk primarily designed for holding a computer will be different than a regular school desk, art desk, or activity desk.

2. User? Who will be using the desk? Desks for preschool or daycare classroom use will need to be pretty heavy-duty to withstand abuse dished out by toddlers. If the desk is intended for home use, you may not need to be concerned about the durability or length of commercial use.

3. Storage? Do you require or want storage space with your desk? Storage space would be in the form of hutches, drawers, and shelves.

4. Chair? You'll need to buy a chair for the desk, if it doesn't come with or consider buying a desk that has an attached seat.

Kids learn while they plan and have fun. Children's play time is critical to the development and education process, especially as it contributes to muscle strength, coordination, balance, relationship building risk-taking, adventure, challenge, relationship building, and achievement.

Games, toys and child-sized play furniture are all important to your preschool students' education. Young children develop their imagination, improve social skills, and strengthen fine motor coordination all through play. Kids adore our soft play climbers, soft play blocks, foam play mats, and crawl-through toys. Playtime has never been more educational or enjoyable than with this selection of soft play equipment available today from so many school and office furniture suppliers.

When looking at furniture components for play, consider the three types of play, 1) Active Play, 2) Dramatic or Pretend Play, and 3) Preschool Block Play:

  • Active Play - Invest in soft play equipment for your active play areas. Safety, fun and commercial qualities ensure that your preschool playtime equipment is unique, enjoyable and long-lasting.

  • Dramatic Play - Dramatic play or 'pretend' play activities are essential for preschools. Supplies offer a creative selection of toys and furniture for all kinds of dramatic play which include workbenches, kitchens, and theaters. Play panels join up with fully equipped dramatic play packages to provide aspiring little carpenters, chefs, mommies, postmen, actresses and countless others with hours of joyful make-believe. Top of list features to look for include, rounded edges, pinch-me-not doors, no-tip furniture and non-toxic paint ensure your students' safety.

  • Preschool Block Play - Soft building blocks are designed to keep youngsters safe while at play. Preschoolers enjoy the immersion into imaginary worlds of building houses, towers, and forts.

Unlike the dramatic or pretend play structures for youngsters early development, your classroom furniture investment needs to withstand budget scrutiny and quality assurance; there's nothing 'pretend' about the planning you need to complete. Leverage your local office furniture suppliers to understand the certification requirements and legal guidelines to ensure a safe and comfortable learning space for your preschool students.
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