How to Optimise a Preschooler’s Learning Environment


The Early Years and Preschool years are so important for all infants, toddlers and preschool children. Developing the correct learning environment is an important step in making all that happen. This is true for all children but possibly even more so for children with more special and/or neurodiverse needs.

We believe that all children, including children with special educational needs, deserve to receive an education that will help them to achieve their greatest potential. receive an education that enables them to achieve their potential.

We know that preschool children learn most effectively in environments where they feel safe and secure and free to learn.  A well-arranged classroom environment can help you meet preschool-age children’s needs during play and routines.

Making changes in the classroom layout, design and scheduling and presentation of the daily routine/timetable have been found to increase the probability of appropriate behaviours and decrease the incidence of challenging behaviours.

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Sense of Taste (Mouth)

If you find that your child is reluctant to put things in his mouth, picky feeder etc, try the following:

  • Deep-pressure massage with your finger on the lips, tongue and palate – link to video demonstration
  • Opportunities to try lots of different foods
  • Fun sucking on blowing activities e.g. blowing bubbles, balloons, respiratory toys.
  • Use the Oral Massage programme – more information about this sensory programme is available in the Resources section. 

If you find that your child is eager to put a lot of things in his mouth; including non-food items, do the following:

  • Use an electric toothbrush firmly on the tongue and palate i.e. roof of the mouth
  • Encourage a variety of food textures and tastes e.g. eating a lemon, peppermint, salty and spicy foods.
  • Use the Oral Massage programme – please see the Resources section for more information about this sensory programme.