5 Steps to Create Dynamic Interest Areas

Are the interest areas in your Mission Friends classroom actually interesting? How do you make the interest areas to be the places where preschoolers are engaged in learning about missions? We offer five things you can do to boost the interest in your interest areas.

1. Add items or props for new activities.

Preschoolers are drawn to novelty and will notice in a heartbeat when something is different in the room. Use the suggestions offered in Mission Friends Leader for items to add to your interest areas.

2. Rotate items in an interest area.

Preschoolers will lose interest in items that remain in an area for long periods of time. Rotate items to keep the interest areas fresh. Rather than keeping eight puzzles in the puzzle rack every session, use four puzzles at a time so you can change them out periodically. Alternate dress-up clothes in the homeliving area for different seasons or missions areas.

3. Remove outdated items.

If there are still doily hearts on your walls that you put up at Valentine’s Day, then it’s time to take those down and update your room. Change the teaching pictures used from the Mission Friends Leader Kit so you can focus on the missions area for the current month.

4. Simplify.

Avoid putting too much in an area. This can be overwhelming to preschoolers. When an interest area is cluttered with too much stuff, preschoolers have a hard time focusing on any one thing. Keep it simple by keeping the interest areas clutter-free. Make it easy for preschoolers to clean up when they are finished with an activity. Provide bins for items such as markers and glue sticks in the art area and people figures in the blocks area.

5. Provide a variety of materials.

Provide materials for preschoolers to use different senses and different learning styles. Gauge the number of activities in which preschoolers use materials that need supervision and materials they can use independently. Providing a variety of materials and activities will assure there is something of interest to preschoolers in all the different ways they learn.

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