• Accessibility Materials meant for children are easily available for independent use.
  • Balance There’s a balance in spaces and materials between quiet/loud, big/small, open/closed, soft/rigid, novel/familiar, and group/individual.
  • Choice Children have opportunities to choose from a variety of activities and materials whenever possible.
  • Diversity The materials, activities, and physical space reflect the diversity of the children, including their diverse cultural backgrounds, families, and physical and emotional needs.
  • Engagement The environment engages children in many different ways.
  • Flexibility The environment is designed to allow adjustment in materials, learning areas, and daily schedule in response to children’s needs.
  • Groups There is adequate space for both whole- and small-group gatherings.
  • Humor Children’s humor is incorporated into the learning environment.
  • Independence Children can create their own activities and use learning areas independently.
  • Joy The sheer joy of learning is ever-present.
  • Kindness The physical and social environment encourages children to be considerate of and kind to one another.
  • Literacy Children’s language, books, and meaningful print are integrated into activities around the room and throughout the day.
  • Memories Children’s experiences are recorded and displayed through drawings, photos, writing, and other creations.
  • Nurturing Children share feelings, sit on laps, receive and give hugs, and have ample one-on-one time with adults.
  • Ownership Children can collaborate to help design and enhance their classroom. Each child has a place in the room that is his or hers — a cubby, a mailbox, a shoe box, and so on.
  • Privacy The environment allows children to do things alone when they wish to.
  • Questions The environment invites children to ask questions and solve problems.
  • Richness The benefits of a rich and varied curriculum are apparent in the classroom.
  • Systems Management systems and daily routines are built in and children have input into rules and classroom systems.
  • Time Children are given more time when they need it to enjoy and get the most out of activities and to complete projects.
  • Unity There is a unifying vision for the environment that includes the perspectives of children, as well as of the teacher.
  • Voices Children’s voices and opinions are welcomed and encouraged!
  • World Children’s outside world is reflected in their classroom.
  • Examination Teachers continually examine children’s needs and make adjustments in the environment accordingly.
  • Yes There is a positive atmosphere where yes is more prevalent than no.
  • Zzzz There is time and space for rest, relaxation, and, if necessary, sleep.