Selecting Panels for a Little Room
The Little Room includes side panels that can be changed out depending on the skills the child is practicing. It is important to select the appropriate panels to use when placing a child in a Little Room. Below are images fo the various panels and suggestions for how they can be used. Hopefully the child will begin to explore the panels and develop spatial orientation based on the different surfaces and what he/she can do with them.
This panel has Astroturf on the surface. This is good for the child who has fisted or slightly fisted hands and may begin to move fingers to scratch at the surface.
This panel has castanets on the surface. This is good for the child who is very interested in the sound they make. The child might create sound by batting or banging them and practice opening and closing.
This panel has vertical dowel rods placed along the surface. The child might grasp and let go of these rod or run another object along them.
This panel has two elastic strings with rings tied on them at intervals positioned horizontally. This is for the child who has fisted or slightly fisted hands. A child might be able to hook a single finger in the ring and pull on it.
This panel has a piece of stretch fabric secured to the frame using grommets and strings. The child may push against this with hands and feet.
This panel has a large square cut out in the center. This is for the child who is ready for adult interaction and can sit in the Little Room. It should not be used with the child who is not moving a lot or has little experience in the Little Room. Using this panel, the adult might offer something to the child or take something offered by the child.
Children who have a preference for shiny things might be drawn to reach out and interact with objects on this reflective panel. This could be used with fisted or open hands.
The pegboard panel allows you to hang objects along the panel for a child to practice grasping and letting go. Some children may also be interested in exploring the holes in the panel.
This panel allow a child to get fingers around the strings to pull. This is good for a child with a fisted or slightly fisted hand.
This panel has textured paper. A child might enjoy both the feel and sound they can make scratching on the paper.
This panel is for the child who is ready to take things off and put things on or is interested in manipulating objects. It has Velcro strips attached to it and Velcro can be attached to the object.
To learn more about the Little Room and selecting panels, you may want to view this Coffee Hour video by Patty Obrzut.
Active Learning Coffee Hour: The Little Room – November 19, 2020
Patty Obrzut, Kate Hurst, and Charlotte Cushman discuss the use of the Little Room, including how to configure a Little Room, how to select and hang objects and panels, and special considerations.