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Creating Indoor Environments that Decrease Sensory Overload

by Cynthia Saarela
September/October 2007
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/creating-indoor-environments-that-decrease-sensory-overload/5017745/

Spaces and places evoke strong emotional responses. When an environment is pleasing,
welcoming, and functional it promotes a sense of well being. Familiar spaces with personal touches create a feeling of belonging and connection. The art of feng shui has become popular as many turn to design elements and room arrangements as a source of peace and serenity. In the same sense, poorly designed environments can be unsettling.

It is difficult to feel comfortable in a space with uninviting, sterile, or unorganized furnishings. Space needs to make sense. Environmental elements and design clearly have an impact on children as well as adults. The Reggio Emilia philosophy of early childhood education embraces the environment as "the third teacher."

A child's environment is often overlooked as a factor in his/her emotional state and well being.

We generally agree that it is not healthy for children to have too much unstructured time, too many privileges, or too much freedom; but we don't always agree on how much is too much when it comes to children's environments. We often create spaces for children that overflow, filled with too much visual stimulation, too many colors, and too much clutter. Parents are encouraged to decorate bedrooms and ...

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