Can a building advance holistic learning environments through guided play?

While changing throughout the year, holistic learning environments reinforce children's educational experiences.

For early childhood education centers, flexibility is particularly critical for guided play. Guided play is a form of curriculum delivery that can strongly support the academic and socio-emotional development in young children. This is done by totally immersing students with instructional topics and by finding a balance between traditional direct instruction and free-play in early childhood education. Research continues to support scaffolding a guided play environment to support direct instruction. “Studies favor an epiphenomenon position in which child, adult, and environment characteristics that go along with play” (Lillard, et. al 2013). Guided play gives framework to a subject or topic while providing children with various learning styles the ability to process the information. Ultimately, this leads to a deeper understanding and knowledge growth.

The physical environment of the learning space greatly enhances the ability to provide flexible guided play. Careful consideration of fixed elements within academic spaces can lend spaces to easy reconfiguration between lessons and topics. This opens up a variety of instructional and play station options for any given curriculum series. When spaces can quickly change and adapt for different layouts, teachers are given more flexibility on how they can present their curriculum. The built environment should accommodate this flexibility and give the support to provide guided play delivery methods in an effort to involve the students.

Education Center Renovation

Flexible Learning Spaces

Holistic Learning Environments

Guided Play

Project contact
Christie Boron
513 841 3914
In this particular layout, children assemble, see, define, write, create, and collaborate to design mandalas.
DiSH Design
Children and adults explore the space for the first time during the founder's night & ribbon cutting.
emersion DESIGN
Children proudly display their artwork in this ever changing space.
DiSH Design
Children see the world through a different lens - of color!
emersion DESIGN