You might think the rubbish bin rather unlucky with all the stuff that gets put into it. But as a child at home, I thought our rubbish bin did have one thing going for it – its own place! Not only that, but the space it had was a space I coveted. Between two kitchen cabinets with a work-top overhead, it was the perfect little den when I needed a retreat from my older brothers. I’d just give the bin a temporary home and squeeze into its spot. There was a good chance nobody would even notice me there. With my back against the wall I could look at a book or just enjoy being “hidden” for a while before going back out to re-join the action.
Many nurseries do not have such spaces. If we are thinking about vulnerable twos, don’t we at least need to consider a “me place” somewhere in the room? It is equivalent to the “cave” under the bush outdoors. The Wren’s nest may look tiny to adults, but for a two-year-old it’s perfect and even has space for a friend. A comfortable settee or glider where a key person and a child can share a story is important but fills a different function from this individual hidey-hole. So do look at your room from a child’s perspective and ask – where can I go when I need a little time by myself?
For more on creating ideal environments for two-year-olds, download A good place to be Two.