As you leave the block area, look across the room at the observation windows. Directly below the windows are "cubbie" boxes. These boxes are located in the hub of the classroom so that children have a place to put their creations throughout the session without having to cross over the entire classroom to the front door where most programs keep the cubbies for parent convenience. Cubbie boxes have each child's name and photo, so that the child can quickly identify which is the correct place to put his or her creations or personal belongings. The same cubbie boxes are used by each session, therefore all items must be removed on a daily basis.
Jewelry, barrettes and other hair accessories rarely make it to cubbies and frequently get lost in the center environment and parents are discouraged from sending them if they have importance to the child or parent. Toys and other items from home are not permitted in the center. This is so that children can focus on the activities, materials, and experiences we are providing them without distraction from the novelty of items from home. Transitional comfort objects, such as a "blankie", that a child consistently uses to feel comfortable when in an unfamiliar setting are permitted when children need them to make a successful transition into the school environment. The children are encouraged to be empathetic and respectful of a child using a transitional object and support the new child in adjusting to the program. Fairly quickly, these transitional objects generally find their way to cubbies and eventually can stay at home.
Coat hooks are located near exit doors throughout the building and outdoors so that children can easily remove or put on a jacket or coat as needed when entering and exiting the building or playing outdoors. Therefore, they do not need to run across the entire classroom to get their needs met. At the end of the session, they often do not recall which coat hook area they used for their coat, so parent and staff need to encourage them to look in several different locations. Though this means it may take longer to leave at the end of the session, we would rather do this, so that we can continue to provide children convenient access to jackets and coats as they begin to self-regulate and identity the need to put on or remove an item to make themselves more comfortable.