When Rachel and I began working in our new group space, we were both incredibly excited. The space is only feet away from our instrument storage, the room is large, and the building centrally located in town. Even with all of the positives of our space, we had a few challenges to overcome.
Though the space is mostly empty, it is used by several different people so we needed to adapt it to make our clients a little more comfortable and willing to participate in groups. Here are some of the small changes we made to make a big different for our clients.
Adding a Colorful Area Rug
Having a rug helps define the space and creates a central location for children to come forward during story time or gather to play with larger instruments or movement props. It serves as a wonderful reference point when giving directions as well (ex. “Come sit on the rug”).
An area rug can also help cover unsightly or distracting things on the floor. The shiny outlet cover in this picture was a huge distraction during our first class and was quickly covered for future gatherings.
Not only is our rug functional, it adds to the overall aesthetic of the space, making it more “ours”. It’s also easy to roll up and store away after every class.
Storage on Wheels
Because my toddler-age group members like to explore on their own, I face the drawer pulls toward the wall so the drawers cannot be opened without turning the cart around. This usually discourages clients from getting into the drawers and give me more freedom to lead the group.
At the beginning and end of class, it’s so much more convenient to roll the cart back into our storage area then carry multiple bags and bins!
Anticipating their needs helps them feel more at home, willing to participate, and likely to come back again. Having small things like hand sanitizer and tissues can make a huge difference when someone is in need!