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Are Your Children in Times Square?

by Sandra Duncan and Michelle Salcedo
November/December 2012
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/are-your-children-in-times-square/5020848/

Accompany us on an imaginary trip. Imagine that we are standing in the middle of Times Square, in the heart of New York City. Be still and let your senses explore the environment. What do you notice? How does your body react to the stimuli? If we were standing there together, you would probably describe the dazzling and sometimes blinking lights, the myriad of bright colors, the vast crowds, the towering buildings, the ever-present sounds, and perhaps some interesting smells. All of those sensorial elements combine to create the Times Square experience.

Now, think about the typical early childhood classroom. In many ways, the environment is much like Times Square:

• Lights glare overhead. The neon bulbs are shining ­continuously, now in many states, even at naptime.
• Bright colors are everywhere. The bright, primary colors are on the walls, furniture, equipment, décor, and ­sometimes even on the floor.
• Noise is constant. There are sounds of children playing, yelling, crying, and laughing — and the noise of adults' conversations, children's toys, and perhaps music playing. There may also be environmental sounds such as a heater, air conditioning fans, or traffic noise.
• Space is confining. The classroom overflows with ...

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