Designing a kindergarten

If you've been tasked with the renovations or interior design of a kindergarten, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed as to how to go about it. It's no ordinary building, and if you're used to decorating homes and more adult spaces it can be quite daunting. Take a look at this advice before you get started to ensure you design a space where kids and teachers will flourish.

Consider allergies

Kids and tots can be susceptible to allergies and headaches from fumes and chemicals. That makes it extra important to use gentle products in your design. Try low-odour waterborne paints like Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen, which is easily applied, can be washed and is very durable, making it perfect for a kids' space. The low odour level may also help reduce asthma, nausea and allergies.

Add colour

Play schools and kindergartens are fantastic places to experiment with colour, as bold, bright shades work well here and can stimulate children's imaginations. It was once thought that young children recognised only primary colours, and thus these were the ones used most frequently in childcare institutions, however now it's believed children can be stimulated by a range of different colours and shades. 

One way to add colour to this space is to do it in splashes against a more neutral background, such as Resene Thorndon Cream. White walls with panels of bright blue, like Resene Onepoto, can provide a point of interest without overwhelming smaller spaces. Think of the colour as 'noise' that should be balanced with other busy design areas. Rooms filled with bright rugs, pinboards, playhouses, toys and learning posters may not need more than a hint of extra colour here and there, as they may already be noisy enough without it. 

Let the light in

Childcare facilities should utilise as much natural light as possible to ensure rooms feel bright and airy. Dark spaces may make children feel sleepy, which is great for nap rooms but not so much in the main learning and playing areas. 

Large windows should be installed, and skylights can be a unique way to teach kids about weather patterns while allowing more light to penetrate rooms. Ventilation is also important, especially for those children who suffer from asthma and allergies. Put child-proof latches on windows to allow them to be left open without the risk of little fingers getting caught in them. Large sliding doors could be installed in kindergartens that have fenced outdoor areas, encouraging indoor/outdoor flow and playtime throughout the day.

Outdoor areas

If the building is lucky enough to have its own outdoor area, make this a focal point in the design process. Sandpits can provide kids with hours of entertainment, and a vegetable garden is a great way to teach children about sustainable living and horticulture.

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