Creating a Developmentally Appropriate Learning Space for a Daycare

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To be a quality rated program you must ensure that children are able to develop, grow and learn in your childcare program. When setting up your home consider the amount of space the children will be allowed to use while in your care. Make sure it’s enough space for play materials and children’s furniture. Arrange play materials and children’s furniture in a way that permits easy supervision of children and it should not be in a high traffic area. In addition, make sure to have age appropriate items for each individual age group because they have different abilities and needs.

Explore the recommended daycare supplies and furniture for learning through play below such as, books, fine motor, art, music and movement, blocks, dramatic play, math/number, nature/science, sand and water play, promoting diversity, and active physical play.


Make sure there is enough tables and chairs for each child and adults to eat, do activities and interact. Ensure children have a separate space to store their belongings such as a cubicle.


Create a quiet area for privacy where children can read and relax to encouraging reading. This area should be created in a area where children don’t play. It does not have to be in a different room but put it on the opposite of a room away from other activities. This area can include a rug, toddler couch, bookshelf and children books. Ensure that the books are diversified to promote diversity.

Fine Motor

Fine motor skills involve the use of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. They help children perform important tasks like writing, holding a crayon, drawing, feeding themselves, grasping toys, buttoning and zipping clothes. Include fine motor items to promote growth and development. Items can include puzzles, blocks, leggos, and more.


Art helps foster a positive culture in a group setting. Art is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Art can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. Create an area where children can participant in art activities such as painting. Display children’s art work to make children feel welcomed.

Music and Movement

Music and movement helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words and dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. Include music and movement into your daily schedule in your child care program.

Dramatic Play

Dramatic play allows you to support children and encourage their ideas, teaches conflict resolution, gives children an emotional outlet, and teaches self-regulation. When children engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, they are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life.

Math and number

Math is an important part of learning for children in the early years because it provides vital life skills. It will help children problem solve and develop their mathematical thinking. Include numbers and counting activities in your program to encourage this skill.

Nature and science

Nature and science provides children with opportunities for discovery, creativity, problem-solving and STEM education. Interacting with natural environments allows children to learn by doing and experiment with ideas, ask questions, and make hypotheses. Be sure to include STEM in your child care program.

Sand and Water Play

Sand and water play offers children many opportunities to use and develop their fine motor skills and provides important opportunities for children to practice cooperative play and sharing.

Promoting Diversity

 Diversity is essential to see and understand your own culture in order to see and understand how the cultures of children and their families influence children’s behavior. It builds children’s self-confidence and increase children’s awareness, appreciation, and inclusion of diverse beliefs and cultures.

Active Physical Play

 Physical play encourages health and well-being. It helps to develop good habits and an active lifestyle. In addition, it helps build motor skills with larger muscles such as legs and arms.