Inside: Creating a toddler and preschool classroom design can be overwhelming, especially when obstacles are in the way. Watch how I transform my environment from scratch, getting it ready for open house and parent night!
I love getting the classroom ready for back to school.
I take my time getting rearranging furniture, adding little details, personalizing it for my new friends who will arrive in a few weeks.
This year, however, the flow was interrupted by construction and last minute changes.
There were days I wondered if everything would get done in time.
I had no choice but to work around everything, making sure my classroom design ideas were ready for open house.
We put the finishing touches on it the night before everyone arrived.
And I love it!
How to Create a Toddler and Preschool Classroom Design
At the end of school last May, I knew our walls were most likely going to be painted.
The church we reside in was going to remodel the entire children’s wing, but I had no idea exactly when it would happen or what the remodel would look like. I just knew that I’d have to work on classroom design to compliment their remodel.
I removed everything from the walls and packed up my personal belongings so that they would not get mixed up with whatever would happen over summer break.
Towards the end of July, I decided to take a peek into my classroom to see what was going on.
I found everything in piles in the middle of the room while the walls were getting prepped for paint.
This really took me back to the summer prior, when I found my new classroom had been used as a storage area. (You can see that here.)
I will admit I had to take some deep breaths, remembering how hard we worked back then to create a warm classroom environment.
I felt like I was smack back dab in that same place again.
But I kept my sense of humor.
Because, what else can you do?
Once I saw how the room looked with its fresh coat of creamy white paint, I was in love.
A fresh backdrop to whatever we decided to do with this classroom environment.
We removed everything out of the room so the floors could be cleaned and waxed.
When we got the go-ahead to move everything back in, I started to feel that familiar giddiness when setting up the classroom.
The first thing we tackled was the big circle time bulletin board.
My daughter, Rachel, her boyfriend, and my husband joined us.
We selected the same orange that would be one of the accent colors in the remodel palette.
Once we got the bulletin board up, I wanted to first display the birthdays.
I printed my birthday banner sheets (you can get the link to the birthday banner printable in this post) and then laminated them so I can use dry erase markers. This way I can use them again next year! (Teachers are so resourceful, right???)
Oh, I get a lot of questions about my lightweight, portable laminator. You can see it here. I absolutely love it!
The rest of the posters, schedules, and pocket chart were added.
Because the walls are freshly painted, were were asked to please not use nails, thumbtacks, or staples on them. So I had to get creative with Command hooks.
I love adding all the little details!
Our new area carpets arrived the night before open house.
Finally our circle time carpet IS a circle, for those of you who teased me the past years when we had either a rectangle or oval rug. (“You can’t call it circle time if you aren’t really sitting in a circle” is what I was told.)
Here’s how the circle time area looks with our 3 year olds, who have their own little stools to sit on:
(Our 2 year olds sit on carpet squares.)
We also got area rugs for under our train table and in our dramatic play area.
One of our co-teachers had a beautiful alphabet rug that we put in the reading area.
I adore it, and it really defines the space!
We will use a “clothesline” method of hanging the children’s art, since we can’t use staples or thumbtacks. This will actually make it easier to change out what we are displaying! (Because those of you who know me, know that I don’t like creating bulletin boards!)
Our final touch was adding the children’s names to the front of our door, welcoming our new friends.
The best feeling is when everything is ready.
That moment when you stop and take it all in and smile, because all that hard work paid off.
We are now ready for a new school year!
More Back to School Resources
Toddler and Preschool Activity Plans
Looking for an entire year’s worth of learning activities? We’ve done the work for you!
I have helped create each of these packets, along with a team of talented educators and homeschoolers.
Easy to follow activity plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners.
Every theme comes with recommended reading lists, songs, material lists, and more.
Click on the graphics below for more details.
Toddlers (18 – 36 months):
Preschool (3 – 5 Years):