Preschool children are not ready to be engaged in the complex learning that takes place in primary and high schools. They are taught only the basics of education; the rest of their time they spend in physical and mental activities that could promote their healthy growth and development (Vogel, 2009). According to Vogel (2009), favorable conditions of learning and growth of children at this age will contribute to their physical and mental development; consequently, they will succeed in the school and in their future life in general. Therefore, the setting up the classroom environment for preschool children should provide the entire requirements for the wholesome growth and development of children. Vogel (2009) also points out that classroom environment should support developmentally appropriate practices as stipulated in the vision, mission and philosophy statement.
One of the most important factors of favorable classroom environment for preschool children is the available space and the surrounding environment. The classroom for children should be constructed in the environment free from any disturbance or anything that could be harmful to children (Koza & Jodene, 2007). There should be enough space for well fixed playgrounds for playing different games. Active games are necessary for healthy physical growth of children. In urban places, where most of the buildings have more than one storey, a preschool classroom should be located on the ground floor, near the school’s playground and sanitation block. Preschool children are mostly small and their classrooms furnishing and equipment should be of appropriate size (Vogel, 2009).
In their book, Koza & Jodene (2007) point out that preschool classrooms should be well ventilated with windows to ensure that children get enough fresh air. However, these windows should be adequately sized and located high enough. Classrooms should be furnished with appropriate chairs and tables or desks to organize the learning process. A blackboard and other learning equipments should be located low enough so that children can use them during their learning process.
Classrooms should also be furnished with shelves and metal hooks so that children can keep their belongings in the classroom: bags or pullovers in case of warm weather (Koza & Jodene, 2007). A classroom for preschool children should also have a nature corner. This could include small pets so that children can look after them, thus, children get not only theoretical knowledge from books but also practical knowledge about nature. This could be more helpful in urban schools where children have little access to nature. The nature corner will help in the learning process (Koza & Jodene, 2007).
According to Vogel (2009), another important thing to consider is the location of the teacher’s desk. This should be situated in the front of the classroom whereby the teacher can monitor the entire class. Desks and chairs should be arranged in a manner that children have a direct access to the teacher’s desk whenever they need and without disturbing one another. It is also important to maintain discipline of children by teaching them simple classroom rules to follow: not making unnecessary noise in the classroom, not going out without permission, respecting each other and ensuring harmony among the children. According to Koza & Jodene (2007), this can be achieved by ensuring that children who fail to obey the set rules are punished reasonably and those who follow them are rewarded. It is also important for teachers to choose representatives to develop leadership skills among children. Consequently, favorable classroom environment for small children will support both physical, emotional and intellectual growth and development of children.