Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.4: Contribute to enabling play environments
Learning outcome: Understand how the characteristics of an enabling indoor play environment meet the age, stage and needs of children
Assessment criteria: Describe how an enabling indoor play environment meets the age, stage and needs of children
When creating an enabling indoor play environment for children, it is important to take into account their age and stage of development.
For younger children, the environment should be stimulating, with plenty of activities that promote physical exploration and movement. Materials can include age-appropriate textured blocks, balls and other sensory toys, as well as furniture which can be easily accessed by small children.
Older children may need more challenging activities, such as puzzles or board games to spark curiosity and further their development.
The space should also provide plenty of opportunities for socialisation, such as group games or storytelling corners, as well as quiet areas where children can take time out if needed.
Enabling environments should also cater for the unique needs of each child. For example, if children with hypersensitivity to light (a common trait of individuals with autism) attend the setting, a dark sensory area may be set up.
By creating an enabling indoor play environment tailored to meet the age, stage and needs of each individual child, practitioners can ensure that all children feel comfortable while learning through play.