A range of shelves with long, flat surfaces ensures room for materials of various sizes. When arranging materials on shelves, have one item per flat shelf space and avoid stacking materials on top of each other. (Floor puzzles or games in boxes may be an exception.) If things are densely packed on shelves, children won’t be able to see them or remember where they go. Stacking and over packing materials on shelves causes wear and tear on materials. Arranging materials thoughtfully and with ample space honors and respects children by offering them activities that are interesting and well cared for, communicating the norm that adults and children look after things in the classroom.
Shelves and Areas
Locate a shelf with activities near an open rug or table that can become a destination for the materials on that shelf. Children know when they go to that shelf, they use any of those materials on the table next to it.
Some areas like the block, dramatic play, and art studios stay contained so that those activities maintain their own boundaries for focus and purposeful play.