“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” ~ Yoda
Parents often say–my god! Kids grow so fast. Isn’t it incredible how children learn and grow so fast and often beyond our imagination?
Sometimes a playful or naughty activity a kid indulges in might annoy us, but it is much more than just play. Do you know that kids' experimentation abilities are better than that of adults? When kids are dismantling a TV remote or a toy, they are not breaking this stuff, instead; they are learning about the world around them through exploration.
Children’s Fundamental Needs
Kids are always learning and with that their needs and worldview are continuously evolving. We often think kids’ fundamental needs are simple but is that so? Studies say no. Their needs are much more complex than we imagine them to be. Maslow's law of hierarchy lays down the basic needs of an adult. Kids' fundamental needs are just like ours–security, need to belong, respectability, self-reliance, intellectual, emotional and aesthetic satisfaction.
Kids inherently want to establish relationships with their physical and social environment consisting of objects, spaces and locations. Space has the ability to arouse the children’s feeling of belonging and of familiarity to facilitate their connection with their environment.
The role of the environment in children’s development
Traditionally, the major learning milestones parents have focused in kids’ life inclined towards their physical and cognitive growth–when they learn to walk, speak, and identify people & objects. But with increasing research in the area, parents are more informed and are concerned about children’s overall development, including their emotional and social growth. And rightly so.
The environment children live in plays a critical role in their development. The spaces they interact with the most –homes, schools, playgrounds, etc. are extremely important in shaping their formative years.
The Importance of Spatial Design in Children's Development
Latest studies in experimental psychology further accentuate this view by substantiating that–every stimulus–physical, environmental or social is a discovery and learning experience for a kid. These experiences form the fundamentals of their intellectual, emotional, social and physical development.
The good news is, today there is great focus on the role of design in child development. A child continuously interacts with her environment, learning and growing in the process. Precisely why designing ideal contexts in physical environments stimulating the learning process and development of children becomes crucial.
Spatial design (design of spaces) has gained the spotlight in children’s overall development–cognitive, emotional and physical. Yet, most kids’ spaces and furniture are designed to be a miniature version of the adult world. At Smartsters our aim is to change that. Our products are designed for the kids’ worldview, celebrate their individuality and aid their development.
Combining Elements of Nurture and Nature in Kids' Spaces
“For a small child, there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living, and any enjoyable part of living is also playing.” ~ Penelope Leach, world-renowned parenting expert and psychologist
Spaces that are designed with elements of both ‘nurture and nature’ are the best.
It can help mold the personality of children, imbibe confidence and kindle creativity. What that means is–there is an element of nature in kids’ spaces–colors, shapes, designs patterns, etc. that are inspired by nature; and there are elements that nurture them or encourage them to involve themselves in physical activities, be independent, read more, show their creativity, etc.
A perfect example of nature and nurture coming together is the Secret den single bed–inspired by the dens in nature, it offers a space for kids to calm themselves. At the same time, the structure gives them a sense of privacy and the storage unit helps nurture them to become more independent.
The Role of Color in Kids' Spaces
Colors too, have to be carefully chosen. Most kids’ spaces are created with a variety of colors. But is that the correct way to design spaces for kids? Studies say that bright or strong colors like red can distract them or over stimulate them. Subtle and minimal color palettes help soothe their senses. All Smartsters products, therefore, are designed by experts keeping in mind how colors affect children.
Smartsters' Approach to Kids' Space Design
Playtime is the time when children learn the most. Shapes of furniture can help you create spaces where kids can play and learn therefore aiding child development. For instance, Smartster’s climber bed with a climbing wall is designed to enable high-intensity, aerobic activity – i.e. deep muscle work and the stretching of limbs that are proven to be soothing and helpful with regulating emotions.
“Ask any child development expert, and they will tell you that children do not develop in a straight line. There are no average children. There are no standard children.” ~ Cassi Clausen, Founder Open School
The Mind of a Child is Truly Wonderful
Don’t we often wonder why kids sometimes are more interested in the box in which a toy has come in than the toy itself or where they learn the darndest and sometimes the most profound things they say? The way kids’ learn is not straight-jacketed. Their worldview is poles apart and way more imaginative than adults. They believe in unicorns and tooth fairies :) Kids’ spaces need to reflect the individuality of these little wonders and at Smartsters our aim is to design spaces that celebrate childhood.
Find out more about our design philosophy and explore our range of products.