How do young children learn? There is a popular misconception that learning only takes place in school from the age of 4 years. In reality, significant brain development occurs between birth and age three. The places in which this learning takes place are the home, the nursery and the wider urban environment. The nature and quality of these places and spaces, and perhaps more importantly how parents and carers enable this interaction, is critical. This book offers a balanced view about the child's environment and explains how, why and what children learn from their physical world It illustrates how the environment can be adapted to optimise children's developmental potential and explains how architecture, if designed with the child in mind, can provide the best opportunities for them to develop and thrive in the earliest years. It explains clearly how young children actually use spaces, both indoors and outdoors, as their primary reference point; focuses on the most important architectural details to which children best relate; and suggests low cost interventions which will enable the users to make positive changes and create a rich sensory learning environment. Jargon-free, well-illustrated and including a series of summary checklists and useful appendixes, this is a practical guide which addresses the needs of parent groups, primary carers, teachers, nursery and school heads, and (older) children. As such, it will be of interest to designers and client bodies such as local authorities and private nursery providers.
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