Children make new rooms

Children make new rooms

Small measures make more fun in the nursery. Children become architects when they are given space to build and play.

Children playing create new spaces. (Photo: Petro Veccetta/Scanpix)

Children love to play in ponds, steep slopes, gutters and wardrobes.

A bench in the middle of the room can become an exciting home space or something to crawl under.

Things that could initially be used for completely different things can be stacked, built and hung, and in this way new rooms are created.

Not fun for adults

For example, in nursery dressing rooms, there are removable shelves and opportunities for climbing and crawling.

– But children's favorite places in nursery are not always the same as adults' favorite places in nursery, says Bente Vunibo from Oslo University College and Akershus.

Space is often tight in the places where children like to be the most. This causes the employees to start setting rules to make the game successful.

According to Funibo, such rules can create tension and competition among children.

She even believes that simple initiatives by adults in the nursery can make new areas accessible to children.

“By opening up unused areas, we've seen less pressure on some of our favorite places,” says Vunibo.

In collaboration with university lecturer Kristian Nordahl Rolfsen, Funibo investigated how unused areas for young children outside and inside the nursery could be used in new ways.

University lecturers Kristian Nordahl Rolfsen and Pentti Vunibo want to look at the areas in the nursery in a new way.  (Photo: Carrie Amlie)

University lecturers Kristian Nordahl Rolfsen and Pentti Vunibo want to look at the areas in the nursery in a new way. (Photo: Carrie Amlie)

They also collaborated with civil engineering students at HiOA.

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Remove the back

Many nurseries have outdoor areas in the front and back.

The back side can be physically closed with a gate or gate, but also with rules that make being there less attractive.

For example, it may be illegal to go there without adults or not allowed to bring toys there.

– Nordahl Rolfsen says that those who build kindergartens should look at the entire area as a children's area.

– The entire outdoor area must be usable by children, and in this sense everything must be on top. The plot should be clear, but give challenges to children.

He believes employees should try safe areas.


Bente Vunibo and Christian Nordal Rolfsen: An area for creative play, learning and exploration in the nursery, Journal of Nordic kindergarten researchVolume 7, 2014, No. 1

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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