Sleeping Spaces: Your Guide To Choosing Cribs, Cots, And Rest Mats For A Quality Nap Time! 

For children, not only is a good night’s sleep important, but daytime naps are also a crucial activity as they improve kids’ mental and physical health and help them to regulate their mood and behaviour throughout the day. Parents, teachers, and caregivers all know this universal fact – if a child is in a good mood, it’s good for them AND the adults! As a person who used to work in the childcare industry, I understand the importance of quality nap time and how it affects the children’s mood and energy levels later in the day. Choosing the right furniture for children’s restful moments is one of the determining factors for a good nap, which is often overlooked. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of naps for children, and some aspects to consider when choosing cribs, cots and rest mats for kids!  


First, and the most crucial benefit of sleep in general, is that it’s the process of physical and mental rejuvenation. During sleep, the body goes into many processes of restoration, growth, and energy recharge. Most of the time, children are in constant motion, moving back and forth, while at the same time exploring the world and receiving tons of new information. Kids are the ones who benefit the most from naps, as naps give their bodies time to “catch up” on those exploring activities. Naps are also critical for memory consolidation and early learning. As children nap, the brain processes information, and forms connections it gained throughout the day. It enhances children’s memory, ability to focus, problem-solving skills, and heightens creativity. 

The second benefit of naps, which parents and educators love, is that naps regulate children’s emotions. When a child is tired, it’s easier for them to be irritated, frustrated, stressed, or even more excited than usual. It’s understandable – we always associate grumpiness with loss of sleep. A well-rested child does not go through those emotional rollercoasters, as naps help their mind and body to reset and recharge, which will foster a more balanced, and stable emotional state when waking up. 

kid upset

So cute! But…we don’t want kids to look grumpy like this all of the afternoon! 

We’ve all experienced the “afternoon slump” – when your energy level dips, and you might struggle to concentrate at work. In general, you just feel sluggish, and slow, and cannot think of anything else but taking a nap or getting a cup of coffee! Children also experience the same thing, where without an afternoon nap, their focus wavers, and their energy plummets. For children’s educational journey to be seamless and fully maximized, it’s important for childcare educators to organize a short nap during the day for the kids to regain their focus and alertness for afternoon lessons. 

Lastly, the daily routine of napping can teach children a powerful lesson. It signals children that it is okay to take a pause to rest, and recharge. We should take care of ourselves first, knowing that it will later benefit not only us but also the people around us. Practising any good routine also helps children to learn discipline, a sense of security and predictability, which are crucial to kids’ emotional maturity. 

kid laying on a cot.

Practising good habits also helps kids to improve their discipline and improve kids’ emotional maturity. 


The choice of cribs, cots and rest mats might seem trivial, but it’s a decision that can greatly influence the quality of nap time for children. From budget to comfort, check out this short guide for choosing the best option for you: 

  1. The Needs of Different Age Groups 

Considering the different needs of children when choosing sleeping furniture can be quite tricky because the young ones grow so fast! However, understanding these needs well will ensure that naptime is not only comfortable but also safe. For infants, snug and secure cribs that allow for easy monitoring are the way to go. Toddlers, on the other hand, need safety rails to prevent unexpected tumbles. When kids get to preschool age, they always love to have their own personal cot/rest mat! 

Quality Classrooms’ Sleeping Spaces page has your needs covered! We sell all the necessary sleeping furniture, and divide them into categories: Infant, Toddler, and Preschool to help you with choosing the right size! 

sleeping spaces
  1. Safety Above All Else 

For every item and activity that involves interacting with children, safety should always be put first! The foremost requirement for choosing sleeping space for kids should be making sure that they meet Canadian safety standards. For example, Health Canada has produced the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) to protect the public by helping to address and prevent dangers to human health of safety that are posed by consumer products in Canada. In the section for cribs, they mention not just standards, but also a lot of useful tips, including general sleep safety tips, and safe places for a baby to sleep… which is great to know! Check them out here. Next, make sure that the materials used to make the product are free from harmful chemicals – go for materials like wood, or metal and avoid cribs that have lots of paint. Eco-friendly choices are excellent as they usually pose fewer health risks and also help to support protecting the environment.  

SafetyCraft Fixed-Side Compact Clearview Mobile Crib ensures that you do not have to sacrifice safety for affordability. It has a solid steel crib mattress frame, and smooth, plastic teething rail that protects the children and the crib. Constructed from pine wood, it also features mortise and tenon construction of the headboard that provides added strength. 

SafetyCraft Fixed-Side Compact Clearview Mobile Crib

The protected barriers help to block viruses in the childcare environment. 

Mobile Next Gen First Responder Evacuation Crib is a comprehensive solution available to childcare centres for infant evacuation. It has a strong, 3-point steel gusset system that connects directly to the solid steel SafeSupport frame to provide the ultimate in strength and durability. It’s easy to move without damaging floors. 

Mobile Next Gen First Responder Evacuation Crib

It also features international icons printed in English, Spanish and French that are visible from all 4 sides for rapid identification. 

  1. Comfort is Key 

After we make sure the child is safe, we go on to ensure that they get to lay their back on the softest, most comfortable surface! The perfect mattress for sleeping should have two aspects: 

  • It should be firm to provide spinal support and ensure the safety of the baby. Mattresses that are too soft or worn down in any area could create a gap where a baby’s face could become stuck, causing them to suffocate. 
  • At the same time, it should be plush just enough so the baby can fall asleep easily. 

On the other hand, choosing cots, and rest mats are easier – their main concern, however, is the ease of cleaning. We’ll get to that point soon! 

Infapure Foam Mattress, 3″ is phthalate-free and contains no chemical flame retardants! 

Infapure Foam Mattress, 3"

Cozy Woodland Rest Mats have warm, soft, quiet colours that allow the child to relax and reflect on matters at hand in a calm way. Includes a heavy-duty clear pocket for name tags. 

Cozy Woodland Rest Mats
  1. Design & Durability 

The design of the sleeping furniture piece is important, not only because of how it supports children of different needs, but also because of space! Folding cots and stackable rest mats are the undisputed champions when it comes to sleeping furniture in childcare. They minimize the use of space, while at the same time, not sacrificing comfort and safety. The design of the sleeping furniture is important too – calm, soothing colours can ease the child to sleep, and add to the room’s aesthetic!  

Kids are active and can be…destructive sometimes! Like most of the furniture in a children’s room, sleeping equipment should also be durable! Go for cribs, cots, and rest mats with robust, and stable construction. Look for keywords like “reinforced”, and “sturdy”. Inspect the construction of the frame and select materials that are known to withstand the test of time. 

Solid Wood Compact Folding Crib features natural colour and a sleek, clean-looking design that will complement any room’s aesthetic. The heavy-duty folding mechanism and 3″ commercial casters make transportation, and storage smooth and effective. 

Solid Wood Compact Folding Crib

Folding Rest Mats are completely sealed using radio-frequency technology to resist bacteria and germs. They can be used in a variety of spaces and fold easily for convenient storage. 

Folding Rest Mats

Value Line Cot is a popular choice for childcare centres, they come in two different sizes though – make sure to check the descriptions for ages, and grades appropriate for each! 

Value Line Cot

Rest Mat Cart, Blue can hold up to 40 one-inch or 20 two-inch thick mats in a powder-coated steel and wire frame. The cart has four casters that roll smoothly on any surface. Ideal for schools, daycare centres, and gyms. 

Rest Mat Cart, Blue
  1. Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance 

Children make messes. It’s inevitable, just like ageing and taxes. Choosing sleeping pieces that are easy to clean is not just a practical decision, it also helps childcare educators save a lot of time cleaning and maintaining the product. Look for features like “machine-washable”, “waterproofing”, and “stain resistance” in mattresses, cots, or sleeping mats. Clean sleeping furniture helps with the hygiene and health of the children and lengthens the lifetime of the piece. 

Both Value Line Cot Sheet and Rest Mat Pillowcase Sheet keep rest mat surfaces clean and safe from germs. They’re also machine washable!  

 Value Line Cot Sheet
Rest Mat Pillowcase Sheet

3 phrases every childcare educator loves: “I love you”, “thank you”, and “Machine washable”! 

  1.  Balancing Budget 

Last but not least, the budget! Considering an option that meets all the safety, comfort, and durability requirements, while not breaking the bank is not simple. The good news is that there are a lot of options out there for you to look for – Quality Classrooms is one! Quality Classroom’s Unbeatable Price Guarantee means you can trust that you are getting the best quality items for your classroom at the best price. Researching different brands, reading user reviews, comparing prices, and considering aesthetic preferences will help you find the most suitable choice. Keep this in mind though – A sound sleeping environment is priceless for children, hence, every purchase should be treated as an investment in the child’s happiness and development! 

kid napping, yawning.

Nap time! 

Loose Parts Play in an Early Learning Environment

children play

Hi! My name is Ashley Elliott – I live on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in a community called Campbell River. My program, Aster Meadow Early Learning and Care, is a licensed multi-age program, but primarily caters to 3–5-year-olds.

I began my journey into the field of childcare in 2013 as a family childcare provider after taking the ‘Good Beginnings’ course. It wasn’t long after that I realized what an investment it would be to obtain my Early Childhood Education Certification. After completing that at Northern Lights College, I quickly became enamored with learning outdoors with children and the Reggio Philosophy. I am passionate about working outside with children and documenting their discoveries, play, and determination. It brings a lot of joy to my work to be able to share with families the learning that takes place through learning stories or video documentation. With some of my free time in the last year, I’ve been mentoring in a program offered by ECE BC called “Learning Outside Together” – a beautiful 32-hour workshop highlighting the benefits of learning outdoors with children.   

Loose part play – what is that?

‘In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.” Simon Nicholson

 The theory of loose parts was coined by an architect named Simon Nicholson in the early 1970’s. Nicholson described loose parts as variables and proposed that everyone has the ability to be creative and inventive – his theory greatly supports autonomy of children and defines loose parts as materials that have no defined use. This means that there are unlimited possibilities to explore the materials.

 Loose part play greatly supports children’s autonomy as they can create their own rules and ideas about their experience and play – a bucket filling activity.

If you are unfamiliar with loose parts, I’ve curated a list to spark some creativity.

 Beads, pebbles, sticks, flowers, stones, wooden blocks, pegs, shells, magnets.

Up to down, left to right: Beads, pebbles, sticks, flowers, stones, wooden blocks, pegs, shells, magnets.

Loose parts play encourages open ended learning; the materials can be used alone or alongside other materials. Materials and environments that are open ended (no defined outcome) greatly support the child’s creativity and supports problem solving. You might find that children generally choose loose parts over manufactured toys when given the opportunity. It’s often the joke we hear often around holidays surrounding gifts – the child often really does prefer the box.

children playing

Photo taken by Ashley.

Bringing Loose Parts into practice

One of the more beautiful aspects of working with children, primarily outdoors, is that there are loose part materials everywhere you look; imaginations are eager to turn rocks into fish, sticks into magic wands, and fallen leaves into potion. When we are engaging in play in the wild woods, which is often, we never run out of things to do or games to play. We have limitless materials that nature has provided us – and often the most seamless and the most collaborative play. Loose parts aren’t just found outside – they are truly any material that can be moved and used in any way.

There are often periods of time that our preschool group sticks close to home base; times where we are not frolicking into the woods. This is usually dependent on the seasons – living on the wet west coast, we often soak through our rain gear for the first half of the day and enjoy our late afternoons in a different way. This is when we utilize our indoor and outdoor classroom. While we don’t have endless supplies of pinecones and pebbles, I think it’s really important to offer   activities or experience that mimic our play in the forest – a feeling of calm and connectivity. I do this by ensuring the children have the opportunity to stretch their imagination in the same way we do in the forest – with loose parts.

When considering which materials, I’m going to introduce into both our indoor or outdoor classroom, I consider the items ability to mold with the children in both development and creativity. A quality item to us, is an item that develops children’s foundational skills, such as: social and emotional, speech and language, fine and gross motor, and cognitive development.  Ideally, the toy or materials can check off most, if not all of those boxes. It can sound like a big task – which toys or material can possibly do all of that? This is why loose parts should be a big part of your learning environment.

It can feel overwhelming as an educator, parent, or caregiver to    obtain piles of pinecones, napkin rings, wood planks, sticks, pebbles, seashells, and more…and then bringing them indoors. If the concept of loose parts is new to your environment, there is no doubt that it may feel messy and chaotic. I would recommend starting small – you can do this by introducing one material at a time and in smaller quantities. As children become more familiar with loose parts, you will have the pleasure of observing them utilize the materials with more intention and creativity than you could have imagined.

While it is true that you can obtain loose parts often for free by walking the beach or local trail – there are many wonderful resources that can be purchased as well. Wooden rounds, are a beautiful addition to any learning environment. You can utilize them in your sensory bin, for an invitation to play, add them to your building blocks area, or just leave them out and let the children decide if they are cucumber slices, coins, or snails.

 Wooden rounds

I recently invited my group of preschoolers to play with a set of Little Pavers. Often, when first introducing a new material, I just leave the materials out as an open invitation for the children to come and explore them. I try to not influence them in any ways, my own ideas tucked into my pocket.  I was so impressed with the quality of these hexagon shapes – I couldn’t wait to observe how my group would use them. These Little Pavers are a great example of a quality item that supports the developmental needs of a diverse group of children – and an item that can be used in a variety of ways.

 Little Pavers

The set of Little Pavers comes with a beautiful set of resource cards. The children utilized these as both inspiration and as a base for their building and driving. Along with the Little Paver pieces, the children also gathered other materials from their surroundings including sticks, dump trucks, wooden rounds, the water table, and a large ramp. I observed as the children tested theories, built different structures, engaged in some peer scaffolding, created patterns, communicated effectively, sorted, counted, and many more. Little Pavers can be used in a variety of ways – a must have addition to any loose part collection – the perfect example of the unlimited possibilities that loose parts can bring to child’s play.

As the children had more exposure to this particular loose part material, I observed their creativity bloom with these hexagonal miniature pavers. They were left outdoors and over the course of several days, I noted them being utilized as ice cubes, bricks, fish, dice, and even as steppingstones in an intense game of ‘Floor is Lava’. I am looking forward to observing the play expand and bloom as the seasons change and nature offers us some of its own loose parts to add to this play – fall leaves, ice, snow, muddy paddles – all a sure compliment to this play.

children playing

Photo taken by Ashley.

Often, observing the children engaged in such meaningful work, I am struck by how seamless their play – how deep and creative they become when they are playing with open ended materials; how adaptable and receptive they are to their peers’ ideas and thoughts. After ten years working in the field of early childhood education, I sometimes chuckle at the faint memory of the time between my own childhood and adulthood when I thought a stick was just a stick. Ah, the magic we miss out on when we are looking without really seeing.

Author: Ashley Elliott.

Check out Ashley’s review of the product Little Pavers here: Little Pavers, 60 Pieces – YouTube

Inclusive Resources for an Inclusive Classroom

The duties and responsibilities of teachers cannot be fully described in the job description. Not only do educators have to meet academic standards, but they must also acknowledge and address students’ emotional, social, and other special needs. The term “inclusive classroom” is mentioned as the standard for the modern-day classroom. An inclusive classroom is where students with learning differences can all prosper together, in a responsive, and supportive environment. It is also an environment where everybody respects and treasures each other’s background and culture. Teaching children in an inclusive environment can help kids not only do well in school but also help them to communicate, and respect others in society. Check out this blog for a few suggestions to build an inclusive classroom, and the necessary inclusive resources to achieve the objective. 


A. Start With The Language. 

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice” – Peggy O’Mara. The power of words is immeasurable. At this age, young minds will likely learn and pick up on what everyone says to them. Take talking with kids seriously, and never use a condescending tone. Use phrases that people would use in a casual, adult conversation, such as: “I agree”, and “I understand what you mean” … which makes the conversation more productive, and kids can feel more heard and respected. Give children truthful, and specific compliments on things they do, or behaviours you would like to see in them. Focus on the language that the students are using too. When you hear students using inappropriate language, make sure to interrupt these behaviours, and let them know there are different ways that they can express their feelings.   

Try to use inclusive language while addressing the students. Instead of saying “ladies and gentlemen”, or “boys and girls”, try using gender-neutral words like “students”, and “friends” to respect students’ identities. When talking about students’ legal guardians, find out about who they are first before addressing them. Words like “mom and dad” might be unsuitable, and hurtful to children who live in foster care, stay with other relatives, or being involved in other complicated situations.   

  • Mindset Bulletin Board Set help to build positive thinking habits and boost self-confidence. Display this visual to remind students to change their mindset, embrace challenges and achieve success.  
  • Grow for It! Mini Bulletin Board Set encourages students to blossom with a whole garden of encouraging phrases.  
Mindset Bulletin Board Set
Grow for It! Mini Bulletin Board Set

Change Your Words – Change Your Mindset! 

B. Develop A Standard for Conduct 

Letting children know there are behaviour standards in the classroom is essential to build polite, appreciative surroundings. It will also help children to learn manners and get used to following the typical code of conduct which exists in every community and working place. Create a set of basic behaviour standards that you expect from your learners, go over them with the class and get agreement from everyone. The standards should be short, and simple, and ensure that all members in the classroom are included and valued. Some examples are: 

  • Respect others and their belongings. 
  • Be kind and polite to others. 
  • Raise your hand when you have an opinion. Wait for others to finish their ideas first. 

From then on, everyone has the responsibility to follow the standard. Praise the student who consistently follows the code and whoever violates it must deal with the consequence. The consequence must be appropriate, and consistent. When the student shows undesirable behaviour, the teacher could always start with eye contact and remind the student that his/her/their behaviour is not appropriate according to the rules. If the behaviour continues to occur, put the student’s name down on a piece of paper, and discuss it with he/she/they privately. Try to find out what is causing the behaviour, which will help you to understand his/her/their situation and approach the issue from a more positive view. Be prepared for circumstances where students are rude to others. Interrupt the mean teasing and use the case as an opportunity to teach them a lesson.  

C. Get To Know Your Students 

Establish relationships with your students. Give them plenty of opportunities to share their hobbies and struggles while you share yours. This will help you to build a meaningful and long-lasting connection with them. If you have students with disabilities, make sure to spend time asking them questions so you can understand their specific needs. Plan activities for your students to share more about themselves. Some examples of activities could be the “Family Interview” where each student has to create a short survey/questionnaire and get their family members to do it, “Name Poems” – Have each student write their name and add an adjective that describes each letter. Sometimes, a simple walk and talk would also suffice. If they do not wish to share, do not put them on the spot! As long as you create plenty of occasions for them to share, they will understand that they are in an open and caring environment. 

  • Spark discussions with Let’s Talk Cube. Colourful cubes feature 36 engaging questions about student experiences and perspectives, including “What are you most proud of?”, “Who is the bravest person you know?” 
  • Learn a range of essential skills that can be used in everyday life with the fun set Social Skills Games. Answer questions about how to deal with relatable scenarios, differentiate between right and wrong and learn how to express your emotions and recognize how others may be feeling.  
  • Encourage mindfulness and start conversations about emotions with the chunky I Am Me Puzzle! It features a flower-shaped base, 15 affirmation petals and an ‘I am’ centerpiece. Each petal features a different affirmation: funny, brave, smart, kind and more. It helps foster the importance of empathy and develop confidence as children learn to identify and express their emotions.  
Let’s Talk Cube.
 Social Skills Games. 
 I Am Me Puzzle!

So many creative options for students to share about themselves! 

When a student creates problems in your classroom, try to take your time to get at what might be the root of the issues and come up with a long-term solution. It is possible that the pupil has a serious situation at home or an undiscovered learning handicap. Offering help when needed can make a huge impact in the young ones’ minds, get them to trust, and build a relationship with you! 

D. Adapt Teaching Strategies to Meet Students’ Needs 

When students with learning differences are placed in the general classroom, they frequently get accommodation and support. However, the educator might become stressed as he/she/they try to accommodate each kid individually. Despite teachers’ best efforts, some students with learning differences still feel singled out, and even reject accommodations to fit in. Educators have to flex and adapt their teaching styles to fit all students. Try to plan the lessons with the students in mind – make the lessons simple to understand, and relevant to the students. You can also change the methods that you use to deliver the lesson. Students enjoy learning new content in different ways such as visual, auditory, or hands-on. Example: You can show students video recordings/youtube videos, get them to listen to tapes, and use charts, and diagrams in your teachings. Let children choose how to demonstrate what they have learned at the end of each topic. Instead of giving them written tests, multiple choices every time, switch gears and offer students various ways to present the lesson. Let them make slide shows, create posters, do presentations, whatever their own strengths are! Giving children choices to demonstrate what they’ve learned will make the classroom more inclusive, as students get equal judgement, and opportunities to show their growth.   


Inclusive resources create an environment that ensures successful learning for all students and encourages full participation in learning activities. They are essential tools to build an inclusive classroom, as they assist students to fully benefit from their educational experience. Take a look at our recommendations for inclusive resources that promote inclusion value and support every student’s unique pattern of learning! 

E. Multicultural Resources 

An inclusive classroom typically means including students with special needs or learning differences. However, it also refers to making the effort to embrace students of different races, cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and sexual orientations. It is to make sure that everyone receives a fair judgment, has access to learning resources, and erases the prejudices we may have against others. 

  • Increase awareness about other countries’ living standards: Using the Explorer Globe to teach children about world problems. Let one volunteer point to any country in the world and spend time learning about that country’s living standards. Do people have access to school? Do they have access to food, and clean water? 
  • Hello World! Floor Puzzle includes pictures of multicultural children dressed in traditional clothing and greetings from various languages around the world. Greeting one another in many cultures is considered an act of respect and builds friendship. Incorporate this puzzle into daily teaching to teach children about different cultures, and their ways of saying hello! 
Explorer Globe
Hello World! Floor Puzzle

Servus! Hola! Shalom! Greeting one another in many cultures is considered an act of respect and builds friendship. 

F. Books 

The books in your library are excellent sources for kids to explore different viewpoints and people. Stock your library with diverse books that include a range of characters from different backgrounds. Make sure students understand more about themselves and other perspectives from the outside. 

  • Best Behaviour Series teaches that words can hurt someone’s feelings, and violence is not a solution to the problem. Each book has simple words and charming pictures to discover better ways to cope with frustration, mad, sad or cranky feelings. 
  • Becoming Resilient Books encourages children to try new things, embrace change and overcome obstacles! The books focus on friendship, compromise acceptance, and respect. 
Best Behaviour Series 
Becoming Resilient Books

Let children learn more about themselves and others! 

G. Alternative Seating 

Alternative seating is created so kids with learning disabilities can increase their focus and become comfortable in the classroom. Giving students options to pick the seating that fits them is a great strategy to make the classroom more inclusive. Children with autism, sensory issues, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will benefit a lot from alternative seatings, as they are designed to help kids focus, process information, and stimulate students’ senses. 

  • Adjustable Wiggle Stool features an adjustable seat height, with an extra-thick padded seat that allows for comfortable all-day use. The adjustable height reduces distractions and helps to promote a focused environment. The base is angled for improved posture and provides stability, even when over-tipped.  
  • BouncyBand Calming & Fun Sensory Rocker is every kid’s favourite place to relax, decompress and calm down! This rocker provides active movement, deep pressure, and sensory stimulation to calm and aid with fidgeting and restlessness. Children can rock and expel excess energy while being soothed and comforted with deep pressure. Rocking is an excellent way to receive vestibular stimulation, strengthen muscles and develop a sense of balance. 
Adjustable Wiggle Stool
BouncyBand Calming & Fun Sensory Rocker

I don’t know about you, but I’d sit on these all day! (Assuming I have the physique of a child of course) 

H. Fidgets/Sensory Play/Manipulatives 

In the classroom, fidget toys are great options for students as they allow the students to move while completing class work. Fidget toys aid kids who have trouble concentrating in class. Having a few of them around significantly improves classroom behaviour. If students overuse the toys, and get distracted from classwork/distract others, step in and remind them about the true purpose of these gadgets. 

  • BouncyBand Sensipod is a silent fidget enabling kids and adults to fidget without distracting others. Rubbing fingers, palms and feet over the 4 stimulating textures can alleviate tension, hyperactivity and boredom, helping achieve greater focus. Tension and stress are reduced as the soft flexible spikes, bumpy nobs, smooth ridges and crinkly sides provide hours of fidgety relief in the classroom and at home. 
  • While sitting or standing, BouncyBand Fidget Foot Roller silently releases excess energy, alleviates anxiety, and increases focus. Restless fidgeters place a foot on the roller spinning it forwards, backwards, or both ways. It allows movement while working, both sitting and standing, resulting in greater concentration and productivity. Remove shoes for a comforting relaxing foot massage. Features rubber feet that grip to keep it in place while in use on both hard surfaces and carpets. 
  •  Worry Stones is designed to soothe and calm children, helping them to focus, concentrate and feel secure. By holding and/or rubbing a stone, a child’s sensory input is occupied, helping to relieve stress and anxiety, and freeing their mind to focus on the task in front of them.  
  • BouncyBand Portable Weighted Lap Pad is a sensory tool that offers deep calming pressure; increasing the ability to focus, relieving anxiety and stress. This blanket gives kids a comforting sense of security, a relaxing effect on the body and mind. 
BouncyBand Sensipod 
BouncyBand Fidget Food Roller
 Worry Stones 
BouncyBand Portable Weighted Lap Pad

Which one is your favourite to have in the classroom? 


The goal of an inclusive classroom is to give children a sense of belonging – what every child needs and deserves to have. It is incredibly impactful to establish an inclusive environment where everyone feels heard and valued. If you can make a child feel included, protected, and respected, they will always remember you as the teacher who had the most influence on them and carved a positive outlook for them. Isn’t that the greatest achievement? 

The Benefits of Carpets/Rugs in Classrooms

Rugs – we use them because they are cozy, comforting and add a touch of style to our home. However, do you know that rugs are also important items in the design process of the classroom? They contribute to the overall environment and atmosphere of the learning space. A classroom should be safe, fun, inviting, and stimulate learning. Rugs can help to achieve all those criteria. Check out this article for the benefits of rugs, and a few great rugs recommendation from us! 

I/ Rugs Support Play and Learn, and Are Perfect for Early Learning 

Rugs are made to be played on. Compared to desks and chairs, they offer much more room for children to move around. Children can get up without making the screeching chair noise and disrupting their peers. Rugs have more traction than hard floor – which tend to become slippery when wet. They decrease the impact of slips and falls and lessen the chance of injury. Rugs are also durable and are made to last for years. 

Background noises from inside and outside of the classroom, such as conversation, moving desks, chairs can affect the learning process of children. Hard floors and walls can echo and give students a hard time focusing. Rugs, or carpeted surfaces are some of the best flooring options as they can help to reduce sounds and ground level vibration. This helps to create a calm learning environment where students can focus with less distraction. On the rug, everyone is facing one direction: the speaker in the middle of the rug. This makes the communication process with students easier, and teacher can quickly identify the students who are not paying attention. 

Classrooms rugs can also be designed to feature key development topics such as: alphabet, numbers, shapes, language, geography, history and even emotions. These learning rugs usually include eye-catching pictures/drawing, with simple, effective layout to help the young ones learn seamlessly. Children look at the pictures/drawing on the rugs and this can help them familiarize with crucial concepts, which is a necessary process for early childhood learning. 

Sunny Day Rug features colourful learning blocks, where each block is a letter of the alphabet, and each cloud contains a number in them. Young learners will enjoy practicing numbers and letters, while exploring weathers, and colours. The beautiful, bright pattern makes it a perfect item for a positive learning environment. Every day is a sunny day! 

Sunny Day Rug

Look at how stunning the colours are! 

Continental Wonders Rug features a map of the world, with the names of the oceans, continents and highlights many geographic icons across the globe, such as Christ the Redeemer statue of Brazil, Sydney Opera House, and of course, the Canada Maple Leaf. Let children learn about geography, and explore different cultures using this rug! 

Continental Wonders Rug

Can you name all the icons on the rug? 

Canada Rug includes multiple great visuals of Canada: a Canada map, with each colour representing different provinces, detailed province’s flags, and different figures such as a goose, beaver that emphasize Canada’s multicultural heritage. Children will take pride in identifying their provinces and flags with this beautiful rug.   

Canada Rug

Let children explore Canada with this colourful, and informational rug! 

Medicine Wheel Rug symbolizes traditional North American First Nations Teachings. The Seven Teachings identify the core values of truth, honesty, love, courage, respect, humility and wisdom. The Medicine Wheel is symbolized by the 4 colours at the center of the rug, each enclosing an eagle feather. 

Medicine Wheel Rug

The Seven Teachings. 

II/The Sharing Circle Where You Relieve Your Stress 

Rugs provide flexible seating options in the classroom. On the days where students feel more relaxed, or there is not much work to do left in the day, teachers can go with the flow, and ask students to switch to sitting on the rug to study or play games. Rugs offer comfortable cushioning for students to sit, play, or even lay on top of. Bring children together for study, group games, or reading sessions!  

Rugs also bring an important benefit to the classroom: warmth. They are excellent thermal insulators, as the fibres in the material trap heat, keeping the room warmer for longer, and stop heat from escaping through the floor. They are essential for the classroom in the winter. Some rugs are warm, rich colour, which also brings the cozy vibe to the classroom.  

Lastly, rugs are stress-relieving. Some rugs have calm, relaxing designs which help students, and even teacher to feel at ease, and unwind the worries of the day. Teachers can rest on the floor after standing all day long. The class can gather on the rug, talk about their day, or practice mindfulness. Compared to desks and chairs, sitting together on a rug feels more personal, connected. It’s a smaller space, so everyone can hear each other, and speak their minds. 

Mindful Seating Rug is a great example of how rugs can be stress-relieving and support mental health. This calming classroom rug is great for practicing present-moment awareness, and helps young students constructively manage their emotions. The design is simple, and by using natural colors and textures, children can use this attractive rug as an area to decompress, regain focus, and practice the important skills necessary for sound health and well-being. The rug features the colourful circles, each act as a designated seat for students, so they can have their own space and respect others’ boundaries 

Mindful Seating Rug

The calming circles are great to sit on and practice mindfulness. 

Just like the name suggests, Peaceful Tropical Night Rug captures a cool, and calm tropical night. Peaceful starlit skies, calming greenery and some silly frogs create the perfect environment for quiet time, story time or any group gathering. The calming features of the rug help to ease the mind of not just the young ones, but also the teachers.  

Peaceful Tropical Night Rug

Don’t you feel like the summer when looking at this? 

Campfire Fun Rug can bring the outdoor inside, and give students the warm, cozy feeling of a camping night. Gather around the campfire for an afternoon of sharing, storytelling and group activities. Create a dramatic play center and “cook up” pretend smores for an easy camping theme that is certain to delight children and adults alike! Fun activities like this can help students get laughs and relax their mind after a tiresome day 

Campfire Fun Rug

Who wants to share a story? 

Children of Many Cultures Rug emphasize multicultural heritages with charming children in native dress. They hold each other’s hands, meaning that no matter how different we might be in features, culture, personality, we should respect, and treasure each other’s beauty. This rug is a great tool to build an inclusive classroom. The design of the rug gives off a feeling that everyone in the rug is “included” – everyone is respected and heard. Teachers can use the rug as a tool to break the ice and get closer with students. Let them share their feelings, struggle, and introduce new class members using the rug! 

Children of Many Cultures Rug

Respect, and treasure the difference in people. 

III/ Rugs Make Classrooms Fun! 

A furniture’s benefits lie in its functionality, and decoration value. We already talked about the functionality, the educational, stress-relieving benefit of rugs, but at the end of the day, what rugs do best, is add beauty and style to the classrooms. They brighten the classrooms with their colours and designs, make the room more aesthetically pleasing, and inviting. The majority of children love a stimulating and colourful environment, and rugs help to make the classroom a more playful, enjoyable place. The process of selecting the rugs is fun, too. Pick the rugs that match your classroom theme, and be creative with your choice, as there are rugs of all different colours and patterns out there!  

Kidsoft Animal Patchwork Rug include cute animals for children to learn and identify! 

Kidsoft Animal Patchwork Rug

What’s your favourite animal? Mine is the penguin. 

Off Balance Rug include slightly off-balance squares will work equally well as an accent rug under a table or a cool place for children to “kick back”. It also gives off a very artsy vibe! 

Off Balance Rug

Can it get more colourful than this? 

Choose Kind Rug is inspired by the quote from the movie Wonder “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” The word “kindness” is written in 20 languages. It provides a sense of peace and community in your environment, as well as reinforcing learning with literacy.  

Choose Kind Rug

A great option if you want to make your classroom a more inclusive place! 

Note Worthy Carpet assists students in developing a lifelong appreciation for music. Children can practice math skills, simple and complex rhythms, recognition of basic musical symbols and note matching with this rug.  

Note Worthy Carpet

Learn music theory with this rug! 

The Circle Rug introduce children to First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures. Each symbol is designed not only as a sitting space but also as a tool to provide unique insight into Indigenous life. 

The Circle Rug

Introduce children to First Nations culture! 

IV/How to Maintain Rugs 

A properly selected, installed and maintained rug can lasts up to 10 years and sometimes even longer (our vendors Carpet for Kids and Joy Carpets offer 10-year warranty on most of their rugs). That makes rugs a very cost-effective flooring option, which is another benefit! However, knowing how to properly clean and maintain the rug is also important, as it can greatly affect the quality of the rug. The most efficient and cost-effective method of maintaining clean rugs in schools is vacuuming. The majority of dry dirt can be removed from the rug by performing regular, scheduled vacuuming. Make sure to avoid vacuuming over the serge, as this can cause serge yarn to become frayed and torn. Schools are advised to have and follow a maintaining routine for rugs. For active areas where there are a lot of footsteps, daily vacuuming is suggested. Once or twice a year (before school year, and winter break), professional cleaning services or skilled custodians should come and examine the rug.  

Besides vacuuming, there are different cleaning methods for rugs such as: spot cleaning, steam cleaning, and various detergents to choose from. Depend on who the manufacturer of the rug is, you want to follow their cleaning instructions. However, the general rule is to never use soap, ammonia, laundry detergent, automatic dishwashing detergent, washing soda, or any strong household cleaning agents intended for use on hard surfaces, i.e., woodwork, linoleum, tile, as these cleaning agents could damage the rug. Avoid any cleaner with bleach, strong chemicals that would cause the dye to run. When cleaning, always blot, never scrub or rub abrasively, as this may create a fuzzy area. Some rugs are also washable with cold water, mild detergent, and gentle cycle setting.  

Let’s talk about the biggest foe of all rugs: mold. Leaks, spills, dirt can all result in the formation of mold in various parts of the rug, especially if this is followed by an extended period of high humidity. To protect your rug from mold, do not install it in areas that are likely to be exposed to high moisture. Make sure everyone takes their shoes off before entering the rug and consider keeping all food away from the rug. If any water, liquid, or other moisture contact with the rugs, make sure the surface is dried thoroughly afterward.  

Every rug contains a flammable risk, so make sure to install them correctly, and choose rugs that have high level of fire resistance, from reputable vendors. Our vendors Carpet for Kids and Joy Carpets carry rugs that are Class 1 rated according to NFPA standard, which is the best rating for fire resistant a product can receive. 

V/ Seating Kits and Sharing Circles 

Seating Kits and Sharing Circles deserve an honourable mention! They have more mobility than the usual classroom rugs and help kids with physical distancing seating. They give ample room for kids of all ages while providing flexibility to arrange seating as needed. You can use them for playing games, circle time, or marking quiet spaces. 

Greenspace Artificial Grass Seating Circles temp you to kick-off your shoes and enjoy the relaxing and inviting grass texture.  The grass blades are specifically engineered to resist matting and crushing and will maintain their original beauty in even the most active areas. Comfortable, casual and low maintenance, this vibrant and versatile artificial grass rug can be used anywhere! 

Greenspace Artificial Grass Seating Circles. Kid smiles

Manufactured from premium, eco-friendly synthetic fibres. 

Farm Animal Seating Kit have fun shapes, colors, and farm animals’ drawings. Kids can learn and pick their favourite animals! 

Farm Animal Seating Kit

Old Macdonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o! 

Learning Blocks Kit include easily identifiable images that help children learn about the sounds of letters. Each colourful square illustrates a letter of the alphabet with a matching icon that makes learning fun. 

Learning Blocks Kit

A is for Alligator, D is for Dog, Q is for Quality Classrooms – the best quality at the best price! 

Rugs are essential for every classroom. They add beauty and style with their vibrant colours, bold patterns, and interesting textures. They retain warm air longer than other flooring types, so they provide warmth and comfort in the winter. For the young students, carpets and rugs are great to sit on, play on, and due to their surface, carpets and rugs decrease the possibility of slips and falls and reduce injuries when falls occur. Most rugs designed for children include teachings of fundamental topics with relaxing, inviting graphics and that’s why they are great tools to assist learning and take part in the development of the young minds. Take care of your rugs by vacuuming them daily, follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely, and get professionals to check on them once or twice per year! 

Feedback from the customer

Feedback from the customer. Lovely! 

Back to school – Back to Learning!  

It’s that favourite time of year again – get ready for the freshly sharpened pencils and brand-new backpacks. Sometimes after a long summer playing in the sun, learning brains can have a hard time bouncing back. Students of all learning abilities and styles need some time – and resources – to adjust to a new learning environment. Back to school can be difficult; lots of students and teachers alike are nervous and feel uncomfortable about starting a new year. Preparing properly for a new year with the right resources, products, and information can help put your mind at ease.  

As educators, it’s important to make every student feel included and encouraged when participating in class. Inclusive education is all about how we develop and design our schools, classrooms, and programs with the right tools so that all students can learn and participate together. This can come to life when neighbourhood schools support learning and contributing to all aspects of the life of the school and all students. 

How can I help students adapt to their new learning environment?  

Using inclusive resources helps create an environment that ensures successful learning for all students and encourages students to fully participate in learning activities. Students all have unique needs when it comes to learning, so providing options for all students to achieve the best possible is a must have.  

-For young students especially, representation is important. Offering dolls with different abilities and ethnic backgrounds can help young ones feel included. The friends with diverse abilities helps teach about positive and inclusive attitudes towards those with physical challenges. 

The Down Syndrome Baby Dolls are a wonderful resource for little ones when it comes to inclusion. These anatomically correct dolls raise awareness of diversity and inclusion with differing types of people. They promote values of acceptance, equality, and integration within your class. It helps educate children and makes them aware of various abilities and disabilities while teaching them to be respectful and inclusive. 

-Students can have a hard time focusing during class, which is where bouncyband can certainly come in handy. Bouncy Bands enable kids to have an outlet for excess energy while working, alleviating anxiety, hyperactivity, and boredom, and increasing focus and performance. Extra focus can lead to higher grades and better performance! The patented design keeps the bands elevated for continuous silent use, preventing them from distracting other students. Inclusive education options like this are important to keep leaners engaged. 

a small child using an alternative seating arrangement for inclusive resources (band for bouncing legs)

Bean bag chairs are a great way to set up a safe space for relaxing and reading. Bean bag chairs are lightweight and are great for individual or social seating, and their cover features double stitched seams for durability. With many colours such as red, sky blue, sage, grey, and deep-water blue, there are so many options and sizes to choose from. You are sure to find the perfect option for your classroom! 

-The touch and match board is a fun activity to help visual perception skills and tactile awareness. Students can match the different textures in these counters with their corresponding textured surfaces on the board for a great multi-sensory experience. 

-The Classroom Cruiser is a great tool for self-regulating through movement without disrupting the class. It features an adjustable seat, backrest and handlebars, so students can maintain good posture while they pedal, a quiet drivetrain, an enclosed flywheel and a built-in display to track distance, speed, time, RPM and calories burned (batteries included). It’s light enough to move from space to space, making it the perfect addition to your class. 

a bike for riding in the classroom to aid with focus

The Adjustable Wiggle Stool is a fun seating solution that comes in six different colours. Since it is adjustable to different heights it grows with your students, so you never have to worry about sizing. They come with an extra-thick padded seat that allows for comfortable all-day use. The tamper-proof adjustable height reduces distractions and help promote a focused environment. The rubberized non-skid base is angled for improved posture and provides stability, even when over-tipped. The integrated handles allow for easy carrying, even for smaller children!  

What products are must-haves for back to school?  

You really can’t go wrong with the Create-A-Space Storage Centre. It brings an easy, convenient way to organize and present everyday materials in the classroom. This bright and cheerful set includes a circular tray with 8 colourful containers. Organization is key for starting up a great new school year! 

an organizer with craft supplies

The sorting and craft trays can help keep your arts and crafts table clean with this useful product. You can use it to contain paint, water spills, and sort and count activities. It’s also a great place to store art while its drying. 

It’s a great idea to provide lots of arts and crafts supplies. Construction paper is a great base to start, with scissors, pencils, and stamps as great tools to add on. It’s simple and fun and can keep children occupied for hours. 

The Classroom Caddies are an organization essential. Perfect for storing supplies for grab-and-go use, it features a comfort grip handle, made with stackable impact resistant plastic, and it is completely washable and dishwasher safe. It can be used to sort paint supplies, pens and pencils – it even comes in handy for carrying your snacks. 

The Time Timer is a wonderful tool for structure in the classroom. Time management is a skill that children will use for the rest of their life and setting a time limit for activities and discussions can help encourage them to get things done. Even better, Time Timers don’t have a distracting loud ticking sound! 

Looking for fun rewards for good behaviour? Look no further than the Treasure Chest Rewards.  Recognize a birthday or special achievement and be sure to bring lots of smiles! Children will enjoy choosing between 4 sticky lizards, 14 rings, 4 erasers, 4 stampers, and 2 smiling face balls to commemorate their accomplishment. 

First day at school ideas to encourage a positive environment:  

Children may be prone to first-day jitters; not only are they getting to know you, but they are also getting to know their classmates and new environment. The first day is the perfect time to use an ice breaker and ask students to share about themselves in order to help them feel more welcome and at home. 

Play some games. What better way to get students talking to each other than games! Play something light-hearted and fun, like Jenga or Bananagrams. This also helps children become more comfortable with each other. 

four children in a classroom playing a game

You can’t go wrong with first day arts and crafts projects! Help the start of the new school year go smoothly with a fun and creative art project. A simple and classic one would be creating name tags for their desks. Encourage creativity and allow them to be themselves! 

Conversation cubes can help spark discussions on the first day and beyond. They feature 36 engaging questions about student experiences and perspectives, with questions like “What are you most proud of?” and “Who is the bravest person you know?” It comes with an activity guide which makes it a great fit for breaking the ice to start off the first day of the new school year. 

Encourage children to introduce themselves to the class. It helps build emotional intelligence, build confidence and public speaking skills. Ask them to share something special such as their favourite colour, book, movie, or food. This can help bring children out of their shell – and they are usually very excited to talk about things they are interested in! 

Write a “Welcome to my Class” letter to all your new students introducing yourself. Share some interesting facts about yourself to help get the conversation started and share your personality with your new students. 

Tips for starting the new school year the best way possible: 

Plan and think ahead. An easy way to increase stress? Leave things to the last minute. In order to allow your classroom to shine, make sure things are planned before the day of. This goes for anything – lessons, class decorations… it always helps to think of a plan ahead of time and a schedule to assure that you won’t forget things. Make sure to keep an organized classroom – have a place for everything.  

Establish a classroom culture. Update (or create) classroom rules while preparing your new space. Discuss these rules with your new students and establish them into your routine. These should also be posted somewhere in the room, perhaps with visual schedules to help reinforce to remind students of this information. Make sure students know that your classroom is a safe space and a space to grow. Keep a sense of humour! Start each day with a joke or riddle to help ease students (and yourself) into the school day. 

a smiling young boy holding books and an apple on the first day of school

Set Goals.  The best way to measure success is to set and review goals. Don’t want those papers you have to mark to pile up? Set a goal to have half of them done by tomorrow, and the next half the following day. Setting goals helps to establish new behaviors, helps guide your focus and helps you continue these habits overtime. This helps motivate you and provide you with momentum to get stuff done!  

Reflect on the previous year. Whether the previous school year was the best (or worst) one you’ve ever had, use it as a learning tool. Teaching can be a lot of trial and error, so think about the things you implemented in the classroom that worked in the past, and the things that didn’t turn out as well as you thought they would. Moving forward, experience gives you some insight into how to create the best classroom experience for your new students for years to come. 

Decorate to set the tone. Children respond well to positivity, and this is no different when it comes to the aesthetic of their environment. Putting up motivating posters can help the mood and energy of the room to create a happy and productive atmosphere for learning!  

a smiling teacher on the first day of school

Connect with co-workers and parents. Your coworkers may have lots of ideas and experience when it comes to preparation for September. It never hurts to bounce and share thoughts with each other, just like it doesn’t hurt to connect with your student’s parents either. Another tip – don’t only contact them about disciplinary situations with their kids. Feel free to share the good stuff too – like how polite their child acted or how hard they’ve been working. It always feels nice to be appreciated for the things you do right, instead of only being scolded for the things you’ve done wrong. Recognize good behavior!  

Remain flexible. Sometimes, things happen that are out of our control. It’s best to stay calm and do your best to adapt to new challenges. Have backup plans just in case for things that worry you to help ease your mind. Don’t be afraid to reach out of your comfort zone and try new things – how else will you figure out what works for your students? 

four children running on the first day of school with backpacks on

Here are some words of wisdom from anonymous teachers about starting a new school year: 

“Above everything else, focus on building positive relationships with your students.” 

“After disciplining a student, don’t carry it over to the next day. Treat every new day like starting over – everybody has bad days, and no one likes to be reminded of them.”  

“Be consistent. Keeping things structured and in order helps make it easier for children to trust you.” 

“Don’t take student behaviour or parent misunderstanding personally.”  

“Remember to cultivate kindness and love at the beginning of the year. It’s the most important thing you will do all year!”  

“Build relationships with everyone – office staff, janitors, parents. You never know when you may need assistance!” 

“Make a personal and meaningful connection with each student every day. This could be as simple as greeting them at the door or giving them a high five before they leave to go home.” 

“Always make eye contact with your students and build up their confidence with compliment.” 

“Find friends in other teachers and keep them close. Veteran teachers can give some great advice and guidance.”  

“Stay positive, have fun, and keep trying!”   

two children holding hands with backpacks

Improving Sensory Play for Early Development

Early development is one of the most important stages of growing up, and sensory play is a huge part of the journey. Sensory play is a big step in development as it not only helps children learn how to use their senses but also helps their blooming confidence and independence as they transform from an infant to a small child. There are lots of ways to improve sensory play in early development, and with the right products, the right information, and the right tools, you can make sensory play one of the best and most important parts of your centre. 

There are lots of ways to improve sensory play in early development, and with the right products, the right information, and the right tools, you can make sensory play one of the best and most important parts of your centre. 

Why sensory play? 

Sensory play helps progress many types of development, from hand-eye coordination to correlation. Sensory play isn’t just beneficial for children who have difficulty with sensory integration or are neurodivergent, sensory play is beneficial for every child. Sensory play is the beginning of children taking in the world around them and understanding the correlation between touching, feeling, playing and learning.  

Not only does sensory play help encourage senses and correlations, but it also benefits imagination, creativity, and independent thinking. It promotes brain and language development and encourages cognitive growth. Play through touch is a remarkable thing, and it helps to stimulate children as they become excited about learning. 

When it comes to sensory play, we usually think of the senses that are initially activated; taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. There are other equally important functions that we commonly miss; like body awareness and balance. Sensory play helps build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways which lead to the children’s ability to take on new tasks and skills. Safe to say, it’s a lot more than just play!  

a small child has sand on your hands from sensory play

Sensory play helps build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways which lead to the children’s ability to take on new tasks and skills.

Here are a few things that sensory play can help in early development: 

Imagination. Through sensory play, children create stories and ideas engaging their imagination. They may not be able to express it through words, but they can with screams, laughter, and movements. Sensory experiences help develop the ability to talk about what they are doing and the observations they are making with their hands-on learning. 

Hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is the ability to move your hands while being guided by the eyes. This is a fairly important skill, as it is needed for many things such as making a cup of tea, grasping an object, or simply tying a shoelace to name a few. Using your hands for sensory play is great practice for other skills. 

Adaptability. Sensory play also teaches children the feelings they like and don’t like, and how to better adapt to situations. It focuses on problem-solving through analyzing experiments. It is a great process for little ones to discover new things and figure them out.  

Fine and gross motor skills. Gross motor skills focus on building lower-body muscles useful for things like jumping, running, and even riding a bike. Fine motor skills are more focused on the muscles in the hands and arms, like writing and colouring. Encouraging sensory play helps develop these muscles their growing bodies need to develop strongly. 

Child is using a pencil to write in class

How do I support sensory play?  

Offer children choices with different toys. For the younger ones, hold out two different choices of toys and allow them to pick which one they want to play with. This helps budding problem-solving skills as they start to figure out how to make decisions and manipulate the toys. 

Arrange a sensory station. Nothing beats a classic sand or water table! This allows an environment dedicated to sensory play. It is a perfect place to try both new activities and those tried and true – perfect for playable sand, clay, water, sensory stones, and basically anything under the sun. There are so many different options when it comes to sensory play and different tables and stations.  

small children playing with a sensory table

Sensory tables come in all different sizes and heights for different ages. Some sensory tables contain multiple tubs, which can allow two children to play side by side in different sensory environments simultaneously. See-through tables are a great option for being able to play with water since you can closely monitor the water level and it includes a see-through acrylic cover to prevent splashing. The tables are able to wheel and move around, which is perfect for a busy centre that is always changing. 

Another fun idea for a station is a light cube. This really stimulates the sense of sight and helps light up the imagination, but can encompass other senses as well. Recommended to be placed in a quiet location like a reading area or playtime corner, it can also be used as a piece of furniture. It comes with a battery and remote that can be charged, which prevents the need for keeping the cord around, preventing it from getting tangled or tripped on. It comes with an easy-to-clean surface, a long-lasting LED light source, and is very sturdy, perfect for enduring years of use! When it comes to light cube activities, the possibilities are endless.  

A light up cube with toys on top of it

Sensory play products by age: 

Earliest Steps. These products are for the earliest steps in children’s development, ages 1-3. These products help children learn skills like fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, and sensory stimulation. Children at this age are focused on learning about the world around them, and sensory play is a perfect opportunity to let their earliest discoveries grow and flourish.  

Sensory balls. For the early years, sensory balls are the perfect start for early development. Children don’t need much guidance when it comes to sensory balls. You’ll find them often teething, squeezing, and holding these sensory balls as it helps soothe and comfort them. Enhancing sensory stimulation in both tactile and visual ways help develop children’s motor skills.  

Sensory tubs. Sensory play doesn’t need to be complicated! All you need are a few simple household items, like rice or beans, and let their small fingers take them on their own unique journey to discovering textures and patterns. Encourage tactile discovery, social interaction, and development of fine motor skills with this double sensory table. This lightweight low-profile play table features 2 roomy tubs so toddlers can explore multiple sensory items at once. 

Dimpl Digits. Dimpl Digits is the perfect early learning sensory toy. All children have to do is touch, push, pop, and learn! It features squishy, silicone bubbles that captivate the fingers in a way that makes it impossible to want to put them down, while simultaneously opening a unique new avenue for learning. On one side, the bubbles are embossed with numbers 1 through 10, each accompanied by its matching word in English. Flip it over and you’ll find the words written in Spanish, plus dots to feel and count! 

a child playing with a colourful sensory toy

Later learning. These products are great for the next stage in children’s early development, ages 3-5. This stage is heavily focused on awareness, language development, and adaptability. This is a great time to integrate social interaction with sensory play, as it helps children develop conversation skills and interpersonal skills. It helps them become team players and work better with others. 

Sensory Play Set. The Sensory Play set comes with tons of basics for simple sensory play. It includes sorting trays that are perfect to hold different sensory stones and toys. It features 12 tactile stones for sorting, 12 sensory stones, 6 speckled sound-making eggs, 16 threading pebbles with laces, and a set of 8 sensory play animals. 

Jumbo Eye Dropper.  The Primary Science Jumbo Eyedroppers are a wonderful addition to sensory play. Children can use it to experiment with cause and effect while building fine motor skills! Plus, it comes with a convenient stand. 

The perfect add-ons for sensory fun:  

Coloured sand. Not only is coloured sand super fun and aesthetically pleasing, it’s also super mesmerizing and keeps children entertained with it for hours. It features eight different colours so children will have lots of fun switching things up and rotating new colours. You don’t need anything special; simple objects like shovels or cups are more than enough to get their imagination going! 

Transparent Tactile Shells. These are wonderful for early development sensory play, as it engages multiple senses and parts of the brain. Children can use three of their five senses (sight, sound, and touch) to explore these shells and engage in sensory play. It is ideal for light box play. It features 6 different tactile surfaces in 6 different colours (red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple). 

Water beads. These are beautiful for sensory exploration. Soak these multicolored water beads in water and watch them expand to become bouncy, squishy sensory beads! Once expanded, let children play with the beads to feel their texture for a sensory experience that encourages quiet focus. This sparks creativity and builds fine motor skills as children count and sort the multicolor beads. These nontoxic beads expand in water and then shrink in the sun so they can be used over and over again. 

hands holding water beads

Sensory Play for Everyone with EduShape 

EduShape is the perfect place to start when it comes to sensory play. Throughout the years, Edushape toys have consistently incorporated high educational values while supporting a child’s healthy social and emotional development. 

Young Brix. Young Brix is a fun way to start a STEAM approach to sensory play. Now young architects can enhance their creativity from an early age. The soft, flexible and oversized brix are ideal for open-ended and constructive play. Young Brix are flexible soft and easy to hold and work with. It comes with 9 shapes, including triangle, circle, trapezoid and more. 

Shake, Listen and Match. This is a super fun sound-based memory game. Help children discover pairs of tones and find out how good their sensory perception is by finding the pair of bells that sound the same. Linking, matching, and connecting pieces encourage the growth of logic, and reasoning skills are just a few of the helpful lessons learned through the game. Easy-grip pieces assist in the development of fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It’s a perfect activity to play alone or together, working together to create a race track or other scenes. 

Sensory Snap Beads. These multicolour soft texture plastic beads. It includes reusable storage jar, and comes with 14 beads. Each safe-to-wash and easy-to-clean bead measures approx. 9 cm x 5.5 cm. 

a small girl plays with a long sensory toy

Sensory Play Activities:  

Playing music. Did you know that infants can recognize the melody of a song long before they understand words? Playing any kind of background music or sounds is great for little ones to start to familiarize themselves with their sense of hearing. Encourage them to reciprocate rhythms by clapping or tapping objects. 

Pouring from container to container. This is a perfect example of practicing real-life skills in sensory play! Fill up a large bucket and fill it with small cups, bottles, and containers. Using these containers, guide children to practice pouring one cup of water into another cup of water. Bring out a funnel to assist in pouring. This is a fun way to introduce children to pouring, and it is a wonderful example of how sensory and hands-on play can assist in learning new life skills.  

Beading. Perfect for developing fine motor skills, beading offers children the chance to run their fingers through a collection of various beads with unique textures, colours, and patterns. For older children, the bead treasure box is a perfect option as it comes with beading thread and over 3,500 assorted coloured beads. For smaller children, it’s better to start with larger things to thread, such as the count and lace stones. In addition to fine motor skills, these are also designed for shape and number recognition. Children sort the stones by colour and shape (circle, square, hexagon), then count, order and thread them together. 

Children can learn and experience so many different things through sensory play, but the things they learn to go beyond tangible and measurable skills. Children develop a stronger sense of confidence, strength, and essentially discover the world around them on their own. Sensory play is an important part of creating milestones and memories in early development, and helping children embrace their brave new world. 

a small child with braids in her hair smells a flower

Sensory play is an important part of creating milestones and memories in early development, and helping children embrace their brave new world.