Organizing for Mission Friends

Preschool classroom

How do you make the most of the interest areas in your preschool classroom? Preschool classrooms are set up in these areas because preschoolers learn from active play and interaction with various materials. The interest areas allow for the different learning styles of preschoolers. Using the interest areas supports learning in small groups.

Setting Up the Interest Areas

Take a look at your classroom and keep these pointers in mind when setting up the interest areas.

  • Group together interest areas with similar noise levels. The more noisy areas such as Homeliving and Blocks might be placed on the opposite side of the room from the quiet areas such as Books and Puzzles. This allows preschoolers to play in the more noisy areas without disturbing preschoolers in the quiet areas.

  • Place the Art area near a water source for mixing paint, washing brushes, and washing hands. Being near a sink also helps with clean-up.

  • Position the Art area over a hard floor surface for easier cleaning from spills. You could also place heavy vinyl on the floor or use an office chair mat under an easel or art table.

  • Look for an electric outlet for placing the Music and Movement area, so you can plug in a device or player.

  • Consider placing the Nature area near a window to utilize natural light.

  • Designate the interest areas by using dividers. For example, a shelf can divide the Blocks area from Homeliving.

  • Use low shelves in interest areas so preschoolers can reach materials independently, as well as learn to clean up by placing materials back on the shelves. Make sure all shelves are properly secured so they will not fall over on a preschooler.

Using Interest Areas

If you are new to teaching preschoolers, using the interest areas may seem hectic to you at first. Different activities are going on at one time in different areas of the room. Preschoolers choose activities that are of most interest to them, and can move from one activity to another as their attention span allows. A preschooler can also stay in one interest area and focus on an activity that is of particular interest. Following are some pointers on using the interest areas.

  • Choose the interest area activities that will work best for your preschoolers. You might not use all of the interest area suggestions in each session.

  • Change the materials in the interest areas. Add props or materials suggested in Mission Friends Leader* to encourage missions learning through play. Preschoolers learn when you include something new because their brains are attracted to novelty.

  • Remove materials from previous teaching units. This will help to keep the interest areas refreshed.

  • Make sure you can see preschoolers in all of the interest areas. Give proper supervision by making certain your view of the areas is not blocked.

  • Interact with preschoolers in the interest areas. Ask questions and carry on conversations with preschoolers. Say a Bible thought or lead a preschooler in a prayer of thanksgiving.

  • Use the information with activities in Mission Friends Leader to help preschoolers connect the activity with the missionary or Christian concept area.

  • Have fun in the interest areas alongside preschoolers as you lead them in missions learning.

Back to Top