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a modern kindergarten with green space and furniture

Interview with Nina, a Kindergarten Director: Kindergarten Design Tips

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Today, we’re happy to welcome Nina in our blog post! She is a kindergarten director with over 15 years of teaching experiences in different kindergartens. She, as a Kids' lover from Indonesia has quite a lot to say about kid’s lovers' expectation from architects for designing the place they need and desire.

Her experience could help you to know more about kindergarten design and kindergarten architecture design, so first let’s hear her out, and then I’ll bring you some tips to design a kindergarten and set up classrooms or playgrounds to fulfill the request of the people who needs to have a place for happy children, so stay tuned.

a group of happy children and their teacher in a kindergarten classroom

All about Nina and her experiences in her own words

Hi, my name is Nina. I am 39 years old. I chose to make a kindergarten because of my emotions to children. I have had the absolute privilege of walking side by side with thousands of children in my life, Children suffering from Poverty, Loneliness, children with families with complex medical needs, children without families, even children with wealthy families, and so on. I believe that they all deserve a happy life.

I like kids and love to make the most of my time with them in daily life. I’ve visited many kindergartens in my country, Indonesia, and I found them boring since they had kindergarten classroom design with few connections to nature, they give cute visual but not unique details. Children need to play, feel happiness and have a space to create new games. So, we need to have new kindergartens with more profound understanding and detail.

I've worked with children a lot as a teacher and a mother. They are reckless, sometimes exhausting, in need of constant reassurance, but also brilliant, sweet, warm-hearted and funny, they make us happy easily, and can be entertained for hours by a joke about a butt. These positive and negative items do not exist without one another. Let me tell you frankly; children are the only pink points in this gray world. So let’s try to make them happy.

According to my experiences, children need:

  • Nature
  • Playing
  • Communication
  • Freedom
  • New space
  • knowledge

The kindergarten should allow children to feel the environment. Design a playground is a necessary item allowing communication between kindergarten’s user and non-user. Also, children can play in this place.

Freedom allows children to observe other class activities and access each kindergarten part easily. Giving unlimited corridor for each class and use of a clear sliding door for the classroom and library in kindergarten design, make the classroom to be opened and transparent so that children can hear the voice from the neighbor, can communicate others, and enjoy each space of the kindergarten. Smart-designed furniture and other objects could increase children creativity. Extraordinary educational places grow extraordinary children. So let’s try to create these places.Thank you for your interest!

a kindergarten classroom with a desk and a group of children

Kindergarten design concept and kindergarten architecture design

The kindergarten design concept is to create a diversified learning experience for the children in a happy place, by introducing various spatial elements within the kindergarten. The architects who are familiar with this concept, encourage the flexibility of the Kindergarten architecture design to benefit children creativity, happiness, and socioemotional development.

A group of happy children with white and blue clothes playing vector art and painting

Tip1. Color and light can be powerful design principles

When a child steps into the kindergarten entrance and hall and also into play room, some items such as colors, sounds, and smells, contribute to what a child senses during first impressions. You should think to ‘what colors give that, "Welcome, come on in," feeling?’ Yellow and green and orange are the most welcoming colors in kindergarten design. You should use these colors for walls in entrance and hall to create a suitable and welcoming space for children. Choosing these colors in façade design could be impressive, too.

Assign a room for children's rest and use calming colors in the interior design of this room. Blue, the color of the sky is a calming color and symbolizes peace, harmony, and wisdom. Rooms painted green are also calming. Green symbolizes harmony and nurturing. A bright classroom (well lit), organized and welcoming goes a long way in helping the kindergartener to feel at home.

In the interior design of the kindergarten's classroom, blue as a creative color is the best choice and found in many art studios. Developing creativity is our main goal for classroom design, so blue is the best color to choose and the color found in many art studios.

the colorful façade of a kindergarten building

a green playground and a kindergarten building with a colorful facade

a kindergarten classroom with blue walls and a red desk

Tip2: bringing nature into kindergarten provides opportunities to teach

Bringing nature into the classroom and yard (playground) in kindergarten design gives children opportunities to learn and value animals and plants. It gives kids time to wonder and ask questions and inspires them to investigate further.

Kindergartens that get children outside into natural places find that their students perform better academically and are more engaged and motivated to learn, and it even improves vision and increases Vitamin D levels, all advantages that make students healthier. "Fuji Kindergarten" in Japan is a proper sample; it designed by Takaharu Tezuka. The kids can play in a park surrounding the trees, climb the trees, or admire the nature from every room in this school. This school furthers its connection to nature with lots of glass and open air, which means the outdoors flow seamlessly into the indoors.

a green playground of a kindergarten for children playing

Fuji kindergarten, a kindergarten that furthers its connection to nature with lots of glass and open air

Tip3: Creating the Feeling of Belonging, calm and happiness is necessary

You should create the Feeling of Belonging, calm, and happiness for children and fight back against their stress existing their mind and compete with the excesses of the world.

To achieve that you can design classrooms with a schedule (teachers will fill the rows by painting) on the wall, because knowing what is expected of them during the day in the kindergarten day is a great comfort to children. It allows them to get lost in the steady pace and let down their guard.

Minimal kindergarten design plus blue color create an organized classroom. The minimalistic design and calming colors can create a feeling of belonging and security.

A little girl playing Lego in a kindergarten with blue walls

Tip4: try to stimulate thought and creative ideas in the mind of the child

Designing furniture for children is truly an art. Furniture has to fit children and capture the interest and imagination of them. Child's brains will be engaged by looking at exciting and creative elements such as furniture in different geometric shapes. Some elements are pretending play items, such as décors that are inspired by fairytales and castle playhouses, fun fantasy automobiles and other objects that engage the mind.

You should play combined with the practical elements of daily life and create designs with pay attention to several items such as durability, innovation, and imagination. Imaginative play, as a key part of child development, helps children to understand and interpret reality and come up with new ideas.

furniture in different shapes and colors in a kindergarten classroom


As you read above, many elements contribute to creating a productive and fun kindergarten. you can compete with the excesses of the world, especially about children and help children using architecture, to overcome their sometimes awful, painful home lives by creating the space they really want and what's best for them, a playground and a classroom free of worry, fear, and negative stress, truly a safe haven for them.

If you have any ideas, leave a comment below. I’d love to know about your experiences.

Kate Silva
Author: Kate Silva
I studied civil engineering at university. I have worked as a civil engineer and urban designer in many consulting and engineering companies. After a few years, I surprisingly got interested in architecture and design. I write on architecture and design, too. I hope you will enjoy my articles and I would kindly regard if you share your ideas and comments about them.

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