Every preschool classroom should have a cozy corner. A classroom full of 3- to 5-year-olds can be overwhelming for everyone, the children in particular. Create a corner where children can relax, decompress, calm down and recover from the sensory overload of the classroom. The corner can also provide children with a quiet place to learn.

Step 1

Choose a corner of the classroom that's away from the door and away from the busier play areas.

••• Anne Dale/Demand Media

Step 2

Arrange bookshelves and other furniture so that the corner is blocked off. If possible, place the bookshelves on two sides, leaving a gap in between the shelves where children can come in and out. If you only have one shelf, arrange it on the busier side of the room.

••• Anne Dale/Demand Media

Step 3

Place books on the shelves so children can read and investigate while they're exploring the corner. This shouldn't be the main bookshelf for the classroom, or other children will be coming in and out to retrieve books. Set up a few dozen books, including both storybooks and non-fiction. Rotate these books every few weeks, replacing them with books from the main bookshelf or library.

••• Anne Dale/Demand Media

Step 4

Add quiet, non-messy activities to the bookshelves. Good choices include card games, coloring books and crayons, as well as magnet games.

••• Anne Dale/Demand Media

Step 5

Hang pictures and signs on the walls. Preschoolers might want to go to the cozy corner when they're feeling sad or upset, so hang pictures of children showing different emotions. When you come to speak to the upset child, you can help him identify his feelings by using the pictures. Hang other posters that show nature scenes, animals and the letters of the alphabet.

••• Anne Dale/Demand Media

Step 6

Cover the floor with comfortable items, such as a fluffy rug, bean bag chair, pillows and blankets. Arrange some stuffed animals on the blankets to comfort the children.

••• Anne Dale/Demand Media

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