The daffodils are blooming, the hyacinths are up doing their thing, I’ve already sensed pollen in the air, and today I saw traffic heading to the beach. All these and more are pointing to spring and all that comes with it…including Spring Cleaning! Yep…cleaning!
I have the opportunity to be in a lot of churches and I’ve seen a lot of kid’s space. I’ve seen some small spaces, some large spaces, some multimillion dollar spaces and other spaces that weren’t much more than a hallway with a couple classrooms. It’s really amazing to see the different ways folks put their kid’s space together. I need you to know that the spaces that stand out in my mind aren’t always the biggest or best decorated but the spaces that really stand out for me are CLEAN spaces.
Most of us will never have the opportunity/privilege to have “perfectly designed” preschool and children’s space. Most of us will inherit and remodel. That’s just the way it is! Let me be clear… you may not be able to have “state of the art ” space with all the recommended resources and the suggested square feet per child, but we can all have CLEAN space.
So, it’s spring and it’s time to clean your space! Below are some ideas I’ve used, some I’ve heard, and some that just make good sense.
- Invite a Friend to Tell You the Truth! We often don’t see our own mess. We become comfortable with the smell, the drab, and the filth. As a friend to meet you at your classroom and tell you what she/he sees and smells.
- Work together! Everyone who uses the room needs to participate in keeping it clean and organized. You may need to call a meeting of all programming so that each can work to clean the space.
- Make it fun! If you make if fun, you’ll get the help you need, everyone will have a good time, and the work will get done. At your next teachers meeting start with a 10 minute scavenger hunt and lead teachers to return with as much “trash” as they can find the preschool/children’s space. Be specific and send teams after specific trash like old resource kits, dried out markers, broken crayons, or dried out glue bottles/sticks. Give a prize (like organization bends) to the teams that bring back the most trash.
- Un-clutter! Don’t be guilty of leaving resources up that are completely irrelevant to the subject matter being taught. Christmas trees come down after Christmas, valentine hearts are put away after Valentine’s Day, and old outdated unit banners should be filed to limit distractions as we share God’s Word. Don’t have an ADHD room! Be organized and intentional about what’s on the walls as opposed to a room that has no direction and to most walking in it is random and confusing.
- Paint the Walls! A fresh coat of paint can make the quickest change. Consider your churches policies and find out if you can have a “paint party.” Teachers, parents, and older kids can participate in cleaning the walls with fresh paint.
- Clean the carpet! Filthy carpet can ruin the physical atmosphere of a classroom. Perhaps it’s time to steam clean the carpet or even pull the old out and replace it with new or maybe what’s under the old nasty carpet is better that what you’re using now. Carpet holds a lot of dirt, dust, stench, and gems. Make sure that’s part of your spring cleaning this year.
Before you hit the road to the beach for a few days of rest and relaxation, schedule some to time for spring cleaning at church.
Share some ideas that you have for keeping preschool and children’s space clean.
Great word, Bill!